Comics: Grimm Tales of Terror #1 Volume 4 - Reviewed

Rachel review the new issue of Grimm Tales of Terror

Zenescope continues their cycle of Grimm Tales of Terror hits and misses with their latest issue entitled New Teacher. New Teacher, a story that is set to be showcased in Zenescope’s Grimm Tales of Terror feature film that is in the works, is, in my opinion, very much a miss, unfortunately.

The issue focuses on three high school boys as they learn the terrifying history of their school from a mysterious new student, Trish. The issue opens with a conversation the three students are having in which they make a pact to never speak of an experience they shared, leading us to believe they definitely either saw or took part in something heinous. As the story continues and we learn more about the boys, it seems fairly clear that the latter is true. Frankly, I found myself hoping that the three idiots met a bloody, painful death as they were absolutely horrific. Between the testosterone filled quips, sexual harassment and rape jokes, you certainly don’t find yourself forming much of a bond with the main characters which I have to say was most likely the point of this story. That being said, I still am completely at a loss as to what the point of this story was. Mysterious goth girl pretends to befriend the school douchebags in order to make sure they paid for a shocking crime that has been committed seems to sum up the premise fairly simply. That being said, everything about the story just felt like a trope. In a story that certainly has been done before, I do still think it is possible to keep things less predictable, but with every turn of the page I felt like nothing new was explored. There was little to no excitement in the telling of this tale and I found myself quite bored while reading this issue. Though I do understand that this project is taking common urban legends and putting them into graphic novel form, I do think it is possible to tell an old as time urban legend and keep it creative and inventive, instead of cramming every high school stereotype into one book that outlines every high school horror storyline stereotype. School assholes, check; mysterious but sexy goth girl, check; hot teacher, check; raunchy inappropriate comments and jokes, check. It’s quite unfortunate, as I thoroughly enjoyed Joe Brusha’s writing style in February’s issue, I actually had to double check several times to ensure that it actually was, in fact, Brusha that had written New Teacher. Everything about this particular issue just felt overdone and stereotypical, which certainly doesn’t give me a lot of hope for the feature film’s release.

There is a double artist team on this issue, consisting of artists Sean Hill and Babisu Kourtis and though the art is not bad, by any means, but it also is not especially memorable. Unfortunately, when you have a story that is weak, there is a hope for the art to carry it and make it worthwhile and for me that wasn’t the case with this issue of Grimm Tales of Terror. I will say, you definitely can tell which style belongs to which artist, which I do appreciate, as I have found sometimes when it comes to the Zenescope stories with multiple artists, they styles look incredibly similar. I wish I had more to say about the art, but like the writing of the story, it just didn’t make much of an impact.

I would love to see more hits from the Grimm Tales of Terror, as I do thoroughly like the concept behind it. Taking stories that have haunted us for years and turning them into readable graphic novels is a really great idea and has the potential to be something delightfully horrific, as we have seen with some of the issues. In order to make this series work, they have to breathe new life into these tales of old, as opposed to just retelling a story that we have heard a thousand times. Inventiveness, creativity and staying away from cheesy tropes will definitely help this series be more successful, in my opinion. This issue does have me a bit concerned for their upcoming feature film, but again, this is just one story out of many so the possibility of the series redeeming itself is certainly still there.

-Rachel Rutherford