Comics: Grimm Tales of Terror #13 - Reviewed

Zenescope’s horror anthology collection based on classic works of fiction as well as urban legends, Grimm Tales of Terror, is releasing issue 13 on February 28, 2018. This particular issue, titled Ligeia, will be very familiar for those readers who have also read collections of work done by the great master of romantic horror himself, Edgar Allen Poe. Poe wrote a short story entitled Ligeia which was published in 1838 on which this issue is heavily based.

The Grimm Tales of Terror version of this story follows the classic work very similarly. It is the story of a man who loses the love of his life to an illness. He then later remarries, however he cannot seem to give up the memory of his past love and is desperate to recover her at any cost, no matter how far such a task will make him thrust himself into darkness and the occult. Writer Joe Brusha captures the gothic romantic horror of the original Edgar Allen Poe story in his writing style. It is dark, romantic and brooding and the words paint a clear picture of the narrator’s obsession with his first wife, verging on unhealthy codependence, as well as his grief at her loss. Though keeping with the trend of this anthology series, this particular piece is a retelling of a classic tale, it is retold in such a way that it feels more like a beautiful homage to the original work, as opposed to just rehashing old material. Brusha’s writing has poetry and romance in it and it’s so fitting with the darkly gothic horror theme; you feel a connection with the character, despite his heinous actions and the fact his sanity is very clearly slipping away. 

The art is done by Yusuf Idris and it complements the harrowing storyline very well. The colors are dark and dreary and the shadowing rather heavy, setting up the perfect scene for such a depressing tale. The color scheme assists in creating a backdrop for the sad times, being soft, muted and dark and when happier times approach, the color scheme begins to change, opting for warmer, brighter hues. The color scheme always fits the mood of each scene and I think it’s very appropriate that he focuses more on using color and shading to connect with the emotion of the story as opposed to being overly focused on details when it comes to the characters. 

Everything about this story works. It is dark and haunting and captures how dangerous obsessive love can be as well as painting a clear picture in its tribute to Poe’s work. After finding last week’s Wax Museum tale a bit of a letdown, Ligeia certainly has redeemed the series for me and I look forward to seeing the next issue.

-Rachel Rutherford