"Grimm Tales of Terror #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
Written by Shane McKenzie
Illustrated by Przemyslaw Klosin
2014, 32 Pages
Comic released on September 3rd, 2014
There was a time in which super heroes were a dying breed in the comic book industry. Horror reigned supreme and characters like the Cryptkeeper and Uncle Creepy stood tall, introducing a variety of short stories designed to scare the crap out of you. Zenescope Entertainment is trying to capture some of that magic with Grimm Tales of Terror, presenting stand-alone comics filled with monsters and other things that go bump in the night.
Long-time fans of Grimm Fairy Tales will notice a similarity between this and the first issues of the publisher's premiere title. Both feature a beautiful all-knowing woman trying to teach someone a lesson with a story. In Grimm Fairy Tales, it is Sela using updated versions of the classic fairy tales to impart some wisdom on a passerby. In Grimm Tales of Terror, it's a sultry redhead who is far more sinister. Her stories end in bloodshed and serve as a warning to those she shares them with.
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This time around, the warning goes to Mr. Thomas Tessier, a collector of strange artifacts from around the world. He had hired a man to track down the sacred Mother Widow statue from the Spider Queen's lair. The guy disappeared, and two years later some camera footage turned up showing that he found the cave in question. Fueled by greed, Tessier sets out with the man's two sons to collect the statue at long last.
Suffice it to say, if you're afraid of spiders, this comic will terrify you. You can probably guess where this is going. They are heading to the Spider Queen's lair, after all. There are arachnids everywhere. I found myself shaking out my clothes and checking for spider webs after finishing this book. It left me with an uneasy feeling, like a bug was crawling up my spine.
The overall lesson regarding greed is pretty heavy handed. There's a lot of exposition to get to the point where the real terror sets in. You're basically waiting for the other shoe to drop for the first two thirds of the comic. Then it's a mad dash to the finish to cram as many spiders onto the remaining pages as possible. It's fun seeing a heartless douchebag get his just desserts though.
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Przemyslaw Klosin gives Grimm Tales of Terror an Indiana Jones feel when the characters get to the Spider Queen's lair. It's very reminiscent of the first scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark as these three men enter a mysterious cave filled with riches and all sorts of danger. It starts out subtly with one of them walking through a spider web and almost falling to his death. Then they enter a vast cavern with loads of treasure surrounding a giant golden statue, not to mention a few skeletons lying about. It's here where Klosin adds a great effect on a two-page spread as the men are attacked by spiders. All of the panels are wrapped in webbing. This doesn't appear anywhere else in the comic but it helps amplify the terror of the scene as they all run for their lives.
Grimm Tales of Terror pulls on a very real fear that most people have. It takes a little while to get to the scares, but it has a decent pay off, plus some bonus bloodshed with a book-ended scene. What's more exciting is that Zenescope is carving out another little home for short horror stories to live in the comic book industry. We can't have enough of those.