March Horror Hunter Madness- Grimm Myths March 16, 2011
GRIMM FAIRY TALES MYTHS & LEGENDS #1 – 2 (Zenescope Entertainment, January + March 2011) Story by Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco. Written by Raven Gregory. Art by David Miller. Colors by Jason Embury with consultation by Nei Ruffino. Letters by Jim Campbell.
Rather than being an adaptation of classic fairy tales or simply based on them as parent title GRIMM FAIRY TALES does, GRIMM FAIRY TALES MYTHS & LEGENDS is an original story and set in current times. The “myth” or “legend” referred to in the title appears to be a werewolf for this first story arc. It’s a fierce and stalking predator of gigantic Incredible-Hulk-sized physique with a bloody appetite - - all vividly depicted in the Zenescope house style of gore and girls. All of the Zenescope books I’ve read feature gorgeous women with enhanced anatomies in seductive and teasing poses and situations. They sometimes come close to being R or X-rated adults only fare but always stop short, back off, or withdraw. (“Relax, don’t do it” . . . . . as Frankie says.) I’m not complaining about that - - just want you to know not to share these books with the kiddies.
The institution being stalked by this mega-werewolf is the Seidwell Rehabilitation Institute, a treatment center that caters to troubled adolescents - - as long as their rich parents keep paying the steep monthly fees. The institute is located in the deep woods of South Dakota and contained within a fenced-in area. Three security guards ensure the 22 residents remain confined to the building and immediate grounds. The nine faculty members are free to leave each evening, with the security force, three orderlies and two EMT members on site all the time. As you might suspect, by the end of Issue #2 their numbers have decreased thanks to the determined werewolf who sneaks into the compound in Issue #1. In addition to being big and mean, the werewolf apparently also possesses shape-shifting abilities which complicate matters further in Issue #2.
The story focuses on a small group of residents being counseled by staff member Britney Waters, a very conscientious and understanding person who cares deeply for the welfare of her charges. There are six members in her group therapy sessions and each of them has a different disorder and interesting personality. Take away the stalking werewolf and you would still have a captivating storyline about the residents. Of course every single one of the female patients is beautiful. None of the male patients are that appealing, but some of the staff and security guards are studs (equal time for women readers). These patients include Lydia, a skimpy Goth-clothed, raven + frosted short haired, heavily tattoo-ed, pain killer addicted anti-social complainer; Brian and Louis - inseparable buddies and both big-time alcoholics in denial; Tanya Rosenburg, who is a sex addict; big and bloated David, who suffers from binge disorder; Andrea, who’s got serious self-mutilation issues; and Eric, a catatonic schizophrenic who never speaks. Hunky but married Dr. Christopher Patricks shares Britney’s concerns for her group, but head administrator & chief of medicine Dr Wilson just cares about the big money coming into the institute.
The art is wonderfully detailed. Outdoor backgrounds are depicted with the appropriate dark atmosphere and sense of hopeless isolation. Large panels, free of dialog and captions, enhance the action scenes and impact of the bloody carnage. This is a well done production.
G.F.T. MYTHS & LEGENDS is more than a mere horrific stalking werewolf story - - even though a new reader wouldn’t know that just from reading these two issues. There is a deeper storyline that traces all the way back to events from the very first issue of GRIMM FAIRY TALES. There is just one two-page scene in Issue #1 that alludes to this but offers no explanation. There will be more than just a single werewolf causing havoc in modern times before this series ends. Several creatures from the realm of Myst escaped into the real world. The evil witch Baba Yaga captured them for her own sinister purposes. (I didn’t know this. I learned of it by searching the Zenescope web site.)
Also, Britney Waters is more than just a curvaceous counselor who cares about doing her job properly. She is the same Britney featured in The Little Red Riding Hood story from that #1 issue of GRIMM FAIRY TALES. She was the hero of that story and her true purpose at Seidwell Rehabilitation Institute has yet to be revealed. Meanwhile, the creature from another world has caught her scent and is out to destroy her before she can realize her destiny.
I wasn’t sure I was going to like this all that much after reading the debut issue. It took another look to make me realize there is a good bit of depth to this story - - and it’s worth following. I’ll probably wait for the eventual trade edition to complete reading this story - and expect to enjoy it more when it’s complete.
It’s also nice to see a smaller independent comics company having some success, especially one that offers books rooted in the horror genre rather than the standard comics fare. In addition, it’s also cool that they are a Philadelphia-based company (Fort Washington area). I plan to support them more in the future. Hooray for horror! - - as long as it’s done correctly.