"Tales from Grim County #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Sex and Monsters
Written by Mike Hoffman, Dom Kreep, and Will Penny
Illustrated by Mike Hoffman, Dom Kreep, Mike Vosburg, Sam McKenzie, and Nik Poliwko
2016, 44 Pages
There's no debating that the anthology is one of the pillars of the horror comic industry. It has a long and storied history that continues to this day with established names like Creepy and Eerie and independent collections from up-and-coming creators. Tales from Grim County is among the latter with its own spin on it, serving as a companion comic to the new album from the Kreeps, performing as The Grim County Coroners. Each copy of the comic comes with a free download of the album.
What is immediately apparent with Tales from Grim County is its attention to detail. It harkens back to the olden days of anthology horror comics with introductions and outros from Dom Kreep, plus ads done up in the style of an ancient magazine. These are particularly impressive, as they appear worn and battered, like they've been cooped up in a trunk in someone's attic for decades.
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There are six titles altogether in Tales from Grim County. They include vampires, demons, ghosts, and more. Each is unique and each delivers a nice twist ending. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be a tossup between "Triple Hexxx Curse" from Mike Hoffman and "Vampyre Dust" by Dom Kreep, Will Penny, and Mike Vosburg.
Hoffman's artwork on "Triple Hexxx Curse" is spot on. He captures the look and feel of age-old horror stories from the first panel. The story has a trio of juvenile delinquents roaming into a video store and finding some demonic porno. They get more than they bargained for when they get sucked into the television. The three of them have a strange and annoying way of speaking where they call each other the names of former Presidents. It's inconsistent though, so it's not like one guy is called Jimmy Carter over and over again. They mix it up, flipping through a number of different names, which becomes confusing and irritating.
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"Vampyre Dust" follows a slayer who sells the ash left over from a killing as drugs. Things don't go as planned with these highs, and chaos breaks out. This is a great premise and one that I'd love to see fleshed out a bit more. What kind of horrors can you get into in a world where people snort the dust of vampires? Vosburg's artwork has a classic look that fits with the overall scope of Tales from Grim County very well. He delivers an awesome five-panel spread of a winged vampire getting staked and turning to ash that is a sight to behold.
Tales from Grim County is a perfect anthology for any nostalgic horror fan. If you grew up with Tales from the Crypt or any old EC comic, this book is made for you. I haven't given the album a listen, but I'm definitely going to do so now that I've read through the comic. I'm curious as to how the music syncs up with the book.