In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales 2018 Cosplay Special

A quick Skye adventure accompanied by several pin-ups comprise this book's contents.

The covers: Eight different covers if one is craving to own every edition of this one-shot. The A cover is by Derlis Santacruz and Ula Mos. This is a funny cover because it’s Robyn Locksley, as made obvious by her missing left eye, dressed in a classical Robin Hood outfit. The smug smile on her face tells the reader she knows exactly what she’s doing. She looks good, the costume is spot on (for the films), and the colors are fine. I like this. Kevin McCoy and Ceci de la Cruz have created the B cover which has a long red haired woman wearing a low cut black leather outfit. She has a matching collar, black boots, long gloves, and cat ears. Her right arm is surprisingly reptilian, ending in long claws. She is standing before a two way mirror, facing the reader, allowing her backside to be clearly scene in the right glass. This looks okay, but I have no idea who this is. The C is by Renato Rei and Vinicius Andrade and they have the perfect subject who looks as though she’s cosplaying all the time: Liesel Van Helsing. Dressed in her Steampunk attire (top hat, goggles, corset, gloves, metallic wrist accoutrements, belt, splayed skirt, and stockings) and standing in an underground lair, which features leather furniture, a telescope, a stylish chandelier, and a larger circular metallic door, Liesel looks to be in her element. Very nice. The last of the regular covers, the D, is by Alfredo Reyes and Ylenia Di Napoli. This focuses on another character I can’t recognize. This has a cute brown haired woman in a tight blue jacket and torn black tights holding a animal mask in her right hand as if asking the reader if it’s the right one for her. Behind the character is a really well illustrated costume shop’s interiors featuring several masks and costumes. I like how the colors on the character are brighter than that of the background, pulling the reader into the image. There are four exclusive covers also available, but I couldn’t find images of them anywhere online. I’ll have to wait until I get to the San Diego Comic-Con to see what three of these look like. There’s the San Diego Comic-Con Wraparound Cosplay Exclusive (limited to 100 copies) by Sabine Rich, the San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive (limited to 350) also by Rich, the Best of Zenescope Exclusive (limited to 150) by Sanju Nivangune, and the San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive (limited to 50) by Mike Krome. Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A, B C+, C A, and D B+

The story: Created by Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Dave Franchini, and Adam Kelly, with the latter writing this eight paged short story, this tale features a quick Skye adventure. She’s visiting a costume shop to pick up an outfit for comic con. She texts Shang to ask if he wants a particular costume and his response is worth the price of this book alone. Once inside the shop she’s helped by the salesperson who acts oddly as she chooses a character. Once Skye has donned her outfit the salesperson reveals her true identity and a fight breaks out. The final bit of dialogue from a new character is also fun. This is a fine short story and the humor hits all the right marks. Overall grade: B

The art: Moy R is the artist and does a solid job on the characters and costumes. The first three panels on Page 3 show a nice bit of movement, but look behind the salesperson — the advertisement on the wall, which is great, goes along perfectly with the character’s actions; a funny visual. Skye’s costume choice is good and Moy makes it look great on her. I also have to give a shout out to the others on the rack that she doesn’t pick which are equally well done. The battle is fine, though it’s either from a distance, leaving the characters too small to really see any details, or super close-up, with only one character shown. The character in the story who’s not involved with the battle has some fun visual moments. I would welcome Moy’s return to the Zenescope Universe anytime. Overall grade: B+

The colors: I was pleased to see all the bright colors from Leonardo Paciarotti. Most Zenescope books have characters or actions in the dark or dimly lit interiors. This story is set in a store in the daylight and Paciarotti uses a bright palette for the tale. The first page has the characters brighter than the background, allowing them to draw the reader’s eye. I do like the rose tint for these backgrounds, reminding me of what San Diego can be like in the summer. Inside the costume shop the backgrounds are tinted yellow to represent lights in a business. The greens on Skye’s costume allow her to be the focus for the reader whenever she appears. The crimsons used at the end of the story increase the visuals considerably. Overall grade: A-

The letters: Fabio Amelia is responsible for creating the telephone texts, yells, dialogue, creature speak, sounds, and music. The telephone texts look like what one would see on a phone, the unique font used for the antagonist nicely widens the visual divide between human and the supernatural, and the sounds are perfect for the actions committed. The dialogue was a little tiny for old man me. I could read it, but I really had to pull the book up to my face. Yes, I’m that old, but it did come off as smaller than the dialogue in most Zenescope books. Overall grade: B

The pin-ups: This is why people will be buying this book. There are twenty-nine full page splash pin-ups by a variety of artists. Most, if not all, of these have been variant covers over the last twelve months. If one couldn’t pick up any of these variants, this would be a good way to have them. With a wide array of artists and subjects, some of these will be more appealing than others. I like Missy by Ryan Kincaid and Grostieta, Skye Mathers by Keith Garvey, Robyn Hood by David Nakayama, Hellchild by Joe Sanchez Diaz and Ceci de la Cruz, Mary Medina by Paul Green and Ula Mos, and Liesel Van Helsing by Mike DeBalfo and Mos. The others are fine. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A quick Skye adventure accompanied by several pin-ups comprise this book’s contents. The story is fun and the pin-ups are a solid collection that go from fine to outstanding. A solid collectible for Zenescope fans. Overall grade: B+

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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