Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special #1

Writer:  Raven Gregory

Artist: Various

Zenescope Entertainment

Review By:  Jeff Marsick

Ah, Halloween.  That time of year when one-offs emerge from the depths of comic houses, filled with ghastly and ghouly tales of the supernatural and weird, all produced with the gleeful intent of scaring the bee-gees out of readers.  Zenescope Entertainment makes their inaugural dip into this annual pool party of the macabre with Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special #1, on sale this week.

Sure, the opening scene is one kind of creepy when Belinda answers her door on Halloween dressed as the Wicked Pictures Witch for a trio of bright-eyed and innocent tweens whose definition of “candy” is still a few years away from the kind that Belinda flaunts on fleshy display.  But once the kids are lured inside for a story at her bethonged side, Zenescope’s mynx of mayhem cranks hair-raising to eleven and then busts the knob.

Belinda’s tale isn’t one of fairy this time around, rather it’s a grim imagining of the classic frightener, The Monkey’s Paw.  You know the tale (and if you don’t, then shame on you.  Get thee hence online and download a copy), and as one wish begets a gift with horrible consequences and then another, the paw ultimately finds its way into Sal the Morgue Attendant’s hand.  Sal’s the stereotypical lovable loser who unwittingly casts his first wish on his hot Megan-Fox-wannabe co-worker (is there any other kind in the Zenescope universe?) and objet de l’amour, Cindy.  Poor Sal, we the reader know his is a story that cannot possibly have a happy ending, even though for a period looks are deceiving.  Of course it ends horribly, in true Zenescope fashion, and while the message of the Monkey’s Paw is “Be careful what you wish for”, as Raven Gregory  lays it out what I take away is “What your wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her” with a side of “Honesty is NOT always the best policy”.  The book’s true kicker is when Belinda finishes her tale and shushes the kids out the door, with one of them carrying a special surprise inside his goodie bag, one that portends to make the Yuletide less gay and decidedly more gruesome (perhaps an omen of Grimm Fairy Tales Holiday Special #1?).  

This issue had several artists contribute, but since my review pdf came sans credits page I regret (and apologize) that I cannot name names.  Suffice it to say, this is one of the best looking books Zenescope has done, with a darker and moodier feel than usual, perfect for the story.  Big splash pages and Mark Brooks-meets-Mike Grell style artwork really flesh out Raven Gregory’s script, enough that even at forty-eight pages thick, I was left in want for about twenty more.  Oh, and those covers?  Fuhgeddaboudit.  Zenescope needs to put out a premium edition hardcover just of the beautiful covers they’ve had done for their books over the years, for they are simply spectacular.

Good clean fun is what this book is, and well worth the cover price.  Pick up a copy today.

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