In Review: Grimm Fairy Tales 2019 Swimsuit Special

A great short story and plenty of pin-ups to make your summer sizzle.

The covers: Six sexy frontpieces to add to your Zenescope collection with this year’s special. The A cover is Alfredo Reyes and Ylenia Di Napoli. This features Skye Mathers in a red two piece bikini looking at the reader with quite a bit of anger. She’s holding her sword before her in her right hand and the jewel in the hilt is radiating energy. This is one intense cover. The B by Noah Salonga and Ceci de la Cruz has one of the publisher’s newest heroes, Gretel. She’s turned three-quarters to the right, though her head is facing the reader. She has a lime green two piece on, showing plenty of skin and all of her important markings on her arms. The water is exceptionally clear behind her and the there are only two clouds in the blue sky above the mountains. This is my favorite cover. Robyn Locksley by Derlis Santacruz and Ula Mos created the C cover. She’s in profile to the left wearing a dark green bikini. Behind her is a photo insertion of a pier with a Ferris wheel. She looks terrific! I can’t identify the brunette on the D cover by Michael DiPascale and Sanju Nivangune. She’s got long brown hair and light blue eyes that go with her blue bikini. She’s laying on the beach right where the surf hits the sand. Palm trees frame this cover and can be seen in the distance. Nice, but I wish I knew who this was! There are also two exclusive covers by Elias Chatzoudis. These San Diego Comic Con Cosplay Exclusives are limited to 250 and 100 copies. Sadly, I couldn’t find images of them online, but I’ll see them next week when I’m at the convention! Good luck, collectors! Overall grades: A A-, B A+, C A, and D B+

The story: The ten paged story of this issue is by Dave Franchini. If the title on the inside cover hadn’t identified this as Thumbelina, I never would have known who this was because she’s not named in the tale. The character is being chased by crab humanoids who have guns within their large claws. She’s trying to get something and avoid the crabmen. She has some cool abilities and arrives in an unexpected location by the end of the issue. This is obviously a tease for this character to make future appearances in her own title or in another’s book. It’s fun, but doesn’t give much because it’s a prelude for more. Overall grade: B+

The art: Eduardo Garcia is the artist of this tale and I like his style. The character is introduced in a tight close-up and then is clearly shown as she runs and kicks. I like the ability she has that’s shown in the first panel on the second page — makes me want to see what else Garcia can do with this power. The antagonists are creepy looking and the cave setting is well done. The last page is a full-paged splash putting Thumbelina in a surprising place. The people and that setting look good. Overall grade: A-

The colors: I really enjoyed the bright colors in this tale. Jorge Cortes does an incredibly strong job with this element. I love the bright colors of the title character, the creatures out to get her, and the last page. I would like to see Cortes color Garcia again if they both get to do a continuation of this story. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios creates the text of the issue that contains narration, sounds, dialogue, grunts, the creatures’ speech, yells, and the four word non-conclusion. I can’t thank a letterer enough for making narration different from dialogue and Esposito does that here. The sounds are many, most electrical, and look good. I’ve never brought up grunts before, but the character that makes them has good reason to do so and they look appropriate. The creatures’ speech is slightly different from Thumbelina, which further distants them from her. The final four words look cool. I’m liking what Taylor is doing. Overall grade: A+

The pin-ups: The next twenty-eight pages are pin-ups of various characters of the Zenescope Universe enjoying some sun and/or water. In this selection there’s going to be at least one image of the reader’s favorite character. The name of each character, their location, and the artist and colorist is at the bottom of each illustration. There’s something for everyone, but my favorites included Jasmine by Mos, Peyton Parks by Santacruz and Grostieta, Calie Liddle by Sheldon Goh and Hedwin Zaldivar, Carmen Alexander by Chris Ehnot and David Delanty, Mary Medina by Monte Moore and de la Cruz, Cindy by Santacruz and Grostieta, Violet Liddle by Ehnot and Delanty, Liesel Van Helsing by Santacruz and Cortes, and Robyn Locksley by Ehnot and Delanty. I think that Ehnot and Delanty need to do more work for Zenescope! Overall grades: A 

The final line: A great short story and plenty of pin-ups to make your summer sizzle. I really enjoyed the Thumbelina tale and I’m left wanting to see more of her, hopefully by the same creators! The pin-ups feature Zenescope’s best characters and best artists. This is a one-shot to find. Overall grade: A

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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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