In Review: Grimm Tales of Terror #13

A decent scare story if they're to your liking.

The covers: A foursome to find on this finale for the first volume of this title. The A cover features Keres looking haughty at the deed she’s just performed, which involved taking an organ from an willing source, who is in a bath filled with his own blood. The red headed hostess holds a bloody human organ transportation container, and there’s a smattering of crimson on her legs that show her source didn’t give up his donation easily. Excellent image, with a terrific face on Keres, from Pasquale Qualano, with great colors from Ylenia Di Napoli, who creates a nice back light effect with her work. The B is the cover I chose to accompany this review, and it’s by Tina Valentino and Victor Bartlett. Keres is barely clad, holding an axe, as she walks through a desolate area. This strongly reminds me of classic Vampirella covers. This is beautiful. Eric J and Sean Ellery do the C cover which is another EC Comics inspired cover, and this is a beauty! Underneath the bold red title reminiscent of that classic comics line, a horrified man wakes up in a bathtub full of ice, blood is streaming off the walls and out of the tub. This looks fantastic! Very similar in style to the work of icon Johnny Craig. The final cover is one to hunt down because there are only 350 copies of it available. It’s a Year 10 Photo Shoot exclusive by Michael Dooney and Ula Mos. I couldn’t find an image for it online, so best of luck to you on that one! Overall grades: A A, B A+, and C A+

The story: Story credits go to Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco for this finale, with Brusha actually writing “Dead Girl Walking.” As always, the story opens with Keres encountering a person who needs to heed her tale of warning. This time she’s a waitress in the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles and her reluctant listener is an older man who’s been watching two much younger women who are drunk as skunks. As she pours him his shots she tells her tale. It stars Sandra Belle, a leggy blonde wearing a tight little black dress who catches everyone’s attention when she walks into a bar. She passes up a maudlin drunk and a leering younger man to sit at the table of a man eating a burger. She tells him she’s there to celebrate her recent divorce. She then asks if he’s married. Things take an unsurprising turn, based on the covers of this issue, in his motel room, but it’s on Page 9 where the story really takes off. 10 has something happening that someone will regret, and 13 has some ominous conversation. 16 features a terrific twist, with 17 and 18 being a real horror show. The final four pages feature the older man’s fate, and he gets what he deserves, but not how one would expect. This was a good twist on the classic organ donor tale, with Sandra being a very cool character. Her personality is quickly established and what her fate would be kept me interested. I did not see Pages 17 and 18 coming at all, and that’s why they were so strong. Overall grade: A 

The art: Ferran Sellares does an okay job with the artwork on this book. His characters have a very simplified look to them; his views of them from the front look much better than when they’re at three quarters, as shown on Page 2. This is the least glammed up Keres I’ve seen in this series and wouldn’t have recognized her to be the storyteller were it not for her telltale dialogue. Sandra’s entrance is fantastic — she’s gorgeous and rightfully makes heads turn. The first clear reveal of the man she sits down with on Page 4 makes it appear that he’s wearing eye liner and has been crying. This eye liner reappears at the bottom of Pages 6 and 7, and is in the main panel on 8. I’ve never seen surprise on a male character’s face with such heavy lines around the eyes. Outside of this line work, the wake up scenes on 7 and 8 are good. The male character introduced on 9 looks okay, but is shown from the exact same angle for the remainder of the issue. The Miami scenes are nicely laid out, and I like how Sellares shows Sandra stalking her prey. The reveal on 16 is wonderful surprise and 18 is just ghastly, though I would have liked the illustration to be closer on what’s being looked at, as it’s too distant from the reader — I think horror closer to the reader’s face would have provided a better “jump.” The art is okay, though it does rise and fall. Overall grade: C+

The colors: There are also a few speed bumps with Marco Lesko’s contributions. The opening page starts well with the brighter colors drawing the reader’s attention to the bar where the older man is. However, the coloring of his hands in the final panel make him appear to be in late fifties. Noticing this work on this man, my eyes then went up a panel to the young drunk girls. Look at their knuckles — they’re looking much older than they should be with those hands. This is a constant problem throughout the book: hands looking way too old due to coloring. Sandra is gorgeously colored on 3 and she looks terrific on every page after this, though the bar/restaurant she’s in is the brightest pink I’ve seen in such a setting. The coloring of the ice is fantastic and the blues in Miami are awesome. The oranges and reds of the final four pages are also very strong. Overall grade: B

The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, Keres unique speech, a yell, a whimper, a secretary’s notification, and the concluding text on the final page were crafted by Fabio Amelia. No sounds are needed for this story, so it’s a fairly calm collection of fonts. They look good, but nothing stands out as superior, save Keres’ fantastic dialogue. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A fun story takes a classic myth a moves up to new horrific levels. The art is just a smidge better than average. A decent scare story if they’re to your liking. Overall grade: B

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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