Comics: Grimm Tales of Terror #12 - Reviewed

Zenescope’s Grimm Tales of Terror is an anthology of short horror stories that are said to be inspired by works of classic literature and urban legends alike. Issue twelve is entitled Wax Museum and as a fan of all things horror, and as someone who has a special place in their heart for horror graphic novel adaptations, I was very excited to give this a read. 

The book begins on a somber note, with the main character drowning himself in a bottle of booze on the night that we learn is the anniversary of his wife’s death. There is an unsettling sadness in writer Erica Heflin’s writing style, something that works well with such a story of tragedy, death and personal longing. That being said, unfortunately, the tale itself was predictable and offered very few scares. When you pick up something labeled as a horror anthology, you are hoping for something that is going to spark that feeling of unease and dread and, naturally, hope it to be a little bit scary. This particular issue of the Grimm Tales of Terror did not offer any of those things, and I was left rather disappointed. As an ode to an urban legend that certainly has had its share of hits and misses in pop culture, the topic itself has great potential for offering a bone chilling tale. That said, I felt like this retelling of a spooky tale was simply that, just a retelling of a story that we have been telling for decades. There was nothing new or inventive or overtly imaginative about this retelling, which is disappointing as I think that the topic itself could have certainly been reinvented and told in a very disturbing, chilling way.

If you judge the art, done by Sean Hill, by the cover of this particular issue you will certainly be anticipating a dark, macabre story complete with scenes that will keep you up at night. The cover is downright spooky, of a woman, clearly made of wax and flesh, whose skin and extremities are sliding down her face, melting right off of her as her arm is outstretched, reaching toward you as a reader. Although one may find it a bit cliché or over the top, I love the nod to classic works like House of Wax that this cover offers. That being said, though the art done by Hill throughout the rest of the story certainly showcases his tremendous talent, it, like the rest of the story, just doesn’t offer much when it comes to the horror aspect of the story. The art is emotional and steeped in mental conflict and torment and I cannot say that Hill doesn’t do an excellent job in connecting the reader with each character through his art, I guess I just wish it had been scarier and more unsettling. Perhaps that is not the goal of the Tales of Terror series, so it very well just may be a matter of my own personal opinion and taste when it comes to horror anthologies. 

I love the idea behind Zenescope’s creation of the Grimm Tales of Terror series, as I am, quite frankly, a fan of most anything horror related. This was my first peek into the series, so I am unable to compare it with any of the other titles that came before it, when it comes to the scare factor. I wish the Wax Museum had offered a bit more of an innovative take on such a horrific tale, as opposed to going down such a predictable route, but the emotional and intense artwork coupled with the somber storyline certainly did offer some enjoyability to me as an avid horror fan. 

-Rachel Rutherford