I have always loved horror, and have many fond memories of my grandma letting me watch scary movies that kept me up at night for months after, much to the dismay of my dad. I will admit, though I adore being scared, I’m a total chicken, but that’s half of the fun.
Grimm Tales of Terror is a series I’ve followed for a while, and I think my Tales From the Crypt-loving grandma would have dug it too. Comics are obviously different from movies, and I think a big part of creating of a scary atmosphere is the noise and ambiance that so many films have that make you hold your breath and make your heart beat in your ears. Comics are obviously lacking this sound factor, and it takes a real talent for terrifying people in order to make up for what is missing and get the fear across from page to reader.
Grimm Tales #3 is about the Black-Eyed Children, two supernatural kids who come to your door at night and try to take you away. Eyes are a fantastic way of playing into someone’s fear, as a creator can do so much with them to really grab the heart of the reader. Vincenzo Riccardi’s illustrations are spot on, and the Black-Eyed Children really do appear soulless and haunting. I always say if a movie has creepy kids in it, it’s going to be scary. But pushing that to the next level and really making the eeriness factor go up is what shoves the envelope of Pat Shand’s writing.
The story is simple enough, but the characters that fall victim to the Black-Eyed Children’s games are actually interesting. So many people in horror tales are so one-sided and have nothing redeeming or memorable about them. Maybe I’m a bit twisted, but I always root for the villains and the horrible creatures in stories like this and rarely find myself caring about the actual victims. But Pat’s writing made me want to see the characters survive, and in such a small amount of time, the main character and her father were intriguing to me. I was rooting for them to actually not get eaten or slime-ified or all the other wonderful things that happen in horror media.
Valentina Cuomo’s colors really play up the creep factor, and she uses just the right amount of black to get the appropriate feel for a Grimm Tales book. Make a comic too dark and it’s easy to go muddy, but go too bright and it loses the scary factor. Being able to keep a palette under control and set the mood is especially important in a story like this, and Valentina nails it. She brings Vincenzo’s creepy Black-Eyed Children to life, and that’s quite a feat considering they are not of this world.
Overall I really enjoyed this story, and the ending was wrapped up quite nicely. It didn’t conclude how I was predicting, and Pat Shand has a certain knack for adding details and twists like that with his work. This story got the same special treatment, and I would definitely recommend it to those fellow horror fans out there.
Story: 5 Stars
Artwork: 5 Stars
Colors: 5 Stars
Cover: 5 Stars
(W) Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha, Patrick Shand