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Early Review: Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: 2020 Halloween Special

Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: 2020 Halloween Special

Sorry warm woolen mittens, but short stories, horror fiction, and comic books are a few of my favorite things. Lucky for me, Zenescope has combined all my favorites into a single comic book. As an added bonus, this special one-shot is coming out just in time for Halloween. The Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: 2020 Halloween Special, due to hit comic shops on October 21st, collects three original tales of terror. Each story is introduced by Keres the goddess of death.

Keres may be the goddess of death, but in this Halloween Special, she’s moonlighting as a fortune teller. Each of the three tales in this comic revolve around people who walk into her shop hoping to learn what fate holds in store for them. This connecting story sets up the high point of the comic, Tarot card inspired page breaks, drawn by Sheldon Goh and colored by Ivan Nunes. These page breaks are so gorgeous, I found myself wishing I could hang them up on my wall. Different teams of artists illustrate and color each of the three stories. Unfortunately, not all of their work is of the same quality as the page breaks.

The first story has a lot of flashbacks, but artist Dario Tallarico and colorist Maxflan Araujo don’t do much to distinguish these scenes from those set in the present. The reader eventually catches on, but some sort of deviation of color would have helped make the change of setting much clearer. The second story looks much better than its predecessor. Oliver Borges uses perspective to great effect. He draws panels from varying angles, giving the story a cinematic look. Plus, the monster he gets to draw looks fearsome and badass.

Artist Novo Malgapo puts fine detail into some aspects of the third story, but seems to slack off in other aspects. Most notably, the proportions of the main character are sometimes drawn very poorly, making him look misshapen. As for the connecting story, Babisu Kourtis draws New Orleans in a very recognizable way. Even if the narration didn’t explain that New Orleans was the setting for the connecting story, the reader would be able to tell the location just by taking in the illustrations.

Unlike some of the artwork, the stories contained in this comic are all high quality. The first story has a lot of different horror elements, but the writers are able to connect everything into a creepy story. In the second story, the writers put a cool twist on a classic monster myth. The final story takes a familiar premise and brings it into the modern world. The obsessive nature and depravity of the main character in this story made my skin crawl. Plus, it’s got a surprising ending that’s tinged with a touch of dark humor.

Before I wrap up this advance review, there’s one more thing I want to mention. I find it really cool that Zenescope’s President and Chief Creative Officer Joe Brusha is not only one of the writers on this special, but he also created the Grimm Tales of Terror series. It’s not like it is unheard of for a publisher’s executive to contribute to a comic, but I feel like these days they only come off the bench for big events or anniversary issues. It’s refreshing to see a CCO take the time to write an entire holiday special. Grimm Tales of Terror Quarterly: 2020 Halloween Special is due to be released on October 21st, just in time for Halloween.

Writer: Joe Brusha Story: Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Dave Franchini
Art: Novo Malgapo, Sheldon Goh, Babisu Kourtis, Maxflan Araujo, Oliver Borges
Color: Ceci de la Cruz, Ivan Nunes, Fran Gamboa, J.C. Ruiz, Maxflan Araujo, Grostieta

Letters: Taylor Esposito Art & Colors: Various Art Teams
Story: 10 Art: 6.0 Overall: 8.0 Reccommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Pre-Order: Kindle/comiXology

Review: Belle: Ghost and Goblins

Belle: Ghosts and Goblins

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy a good story about monsters. Whether we’re talking Kaiju, werewolves, or a mad scientist’s creation, monsters are fun to watch. What I enjoy most about these types of stories are the characters who hunt down and fight those monsters. So Belle: Ghosts and Goblins was right up my alley. In this new one-shot from Zenescope, Belle continues her family’s monster hunting legacy. Strange creatures are kidnapping people off the streets of Philadelphia. Belle must track the creatures through the city’s alleyways in order to rescue the abductees and figure out their intentions.

Writer Dave Franchini tells a tight story in Ghosts and Goblins. No space is wasted and the storyline fits perfectly into this one-shot’s thirty-four pages. The story is book-ended by two exciting action sequences with solid character development in between. It is a clever touch on Franchini’s part to keep the creatures mysterious by waiting to fully show them to the reader. We’re shown their shadows, but it’s not until toward the end of the issue that the reader actually sees what Belle is up against. This added mystery to the plot and made for an exciting reveal.

I really liked the book’s artwork and artist Igor Vitorino draws Belle in such a way that both her strength and femininity are apparent at first glance. I love Belle’s costume. It’s reminiscent of a superhero costume, but has a realistic look. One thing I didn’t care for was that every page looked a little blurry, almost as if it was out of focus. I don’t know if this is true solely for the digital review copy I received or every issue of this one-shot, but the blurriness was a real disappointment. It made the dialogue harder to read and took away from Vitorino’s finely detailed line work.

Belle: Ghosts and Goblins is a very fun read. There’s a lot of action and the whole thing centers on a strong and independent female protagonist. This one-shot is a great introduction to Belle for those who’ve never read any comics featuring her character. On the other side of the coin, this issue is an awesome next chapter for those who have been following Belle’s adventures for some time.

Story: Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, and Dave Franchini
Art: Igor Vitorino Colors: Adriano Augusto Letters: Kurt Kathaway
Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus Comics

Review: The Watcher #1

The Watcher #1

As a fan of horror movies, it can be difficult to find a film that is both good narrative-wise and in relation to entertainment value. The movies that usually stay with you re the ones that are completely plausible. Take, for instance, the plot of The Purge. A film series and television show which answers a very real question concerning overpopulation. Then there’s Hostel, a story based on actual acts that take place in Thailand.

Then there’s entertainment that “feels real,” but is less so because it deals with the supernatural.  Take, for instance, the 2004 movie Sightings-Heartland Ghost starring Nia Long and Beau Bridges. The film crew on the show Sightings filmed a demon possession. It was an event that would forever change the film crew and the family that was being haunted. The debut issue of The Watcher features a story much like that film unspools and is one of the best “jump scares” I have ever read.

We open on a young woman who’s seemingly asleep having nightmares. The dream becomes too much, as every night it feels even more real. We’re taken to Saint Michael’s High School, in East Point, Massachusetts, where we find our protagonist, Erica, beginning at her fifth school in so many years. Her acclimation to her new surroundings has its own bumps in the roads. Finding friends is easy but someone she can trust is more difficult. The series spirals into the introduction of a brutal killer whose targets seem more than coincidental.

Overall, The Watcher #1 is a story that mixes coming of age tropes with supernatural and horror elements. That changes the paradigm on the genre. The story by Ralph Tedesco and Victoria Rau is horrifying, smart, and exciting. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that looks to make the reader jumps out of their socks and does it exceedingly well.

Story: Ralph Tedesco and Victoria Rau
Art: Carlos M. Mangual, Julius Abrera, Fran Gamboa,
and J.C.Ruiz
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Hellchild: Blood Money #1

Hellchild: Blood Money #1

For anyone who watches Richard Madden’s work, you know he’s one up and coming actor. Most people got introduced to him through Game Of Thrones where he played the heroically tragic Robb Stark, a flawed leader whose bad decisions caught up with him ultimately. Lucky for him, his fate did not go the way of most television actors, in fact, he’s done a few films and starred in a few more shows each one possessing a stellar story. One of his first ones was Medici where he played the oft mentioned bankers for the Vatican, in a rather captivating tale.

Another story that put him front and center was The Bodyguard. In the story he played David Budd, a British Secret Service agent charged with guarding the UK Home Secretary. He protected someone who everyone disliked and had people looking to kill them at every turn. In the debut issue of Hellchild: Blood Money our protagonist while working as a hired gun gets pulled into a wasp nest of pandemonium.

We are taken to the Hollywood Hills in California where Jake, the son of a powerful politician has made a life changing mistake, one that could end life as he knows it. His father’s head of security decides to hire Jessica Blackstone, aka Hellchild, a bodyguard with some otherworldly talents. Meanwhile, the two girls Jake killed worked for a powerful gangster, somebody who wants to be paid for what considered his property.

Overall, an action-packed debut issue that plays into the bigger Grimm Fairytales Universe while setting itself apart at the same time. The story by Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha, and Dave Franchini is fun, gory and pulse pounding. The art by Butch Mapa, Taylor Esposito, and Dijjo is magnificent. Altogether, an exceptional debut that deftly blends crime thrillers and genre shows.

Story: Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha and Dave Franchini
Art: Butch Mapa, Taylor Esposito and Dijjo
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

SDCC 2018: Zenescope To Premiere Revenge of Wonderland

After a three year hiatus, Zenescope’s smash hit series returns with Revenge of Wonderland. The first issue will be released at San Diego Comic Con and hit shelves at comic book retailer shops in late July. Zenescope’s Wonderland series became a breakout sensation for the young publishing house back in 2007 with its original title: Return to Wonderland. The company went on to publish several sequels and prequels over the following eight years. In 2012, Zenescope debuted Alice in Wonderland which sold out of the initial 20,000 copy print run within the first week of its release.

Revenge of Wonderland is a twisted tale of love, loss and vengeance. The story follows “The Duchess” as she rises to power within the now abandoned dimension of Wonderland and begins to fill it with brand new inhabitants of her own twisted design. But the Duchess’s disturbing creations will force Calie Liddle – and her daughter, Violet – back into Wonderland to confront a brand new horror that neither is prepared to face. Raven Gregory returns to write the series based on a story by Zenescope’s Ralph Tedesco, Joe Brusha, and Dave Franchini. Artist Allan Otero will illustrate the six part mini-series.

Zenescope will also be launching a Revenge of Wonderland marketing campaign with collectible sticker art prints. The company will be giving hints out where to collect the stickers up until the series release. On the series release date, fans can collect the final sticker and can assemble the art print with the stickers they have collected. The first fan to send a full image of the art print will be drawn into Zenescope’s next Wonderland series and get free tickets to attend any comic con on Zenescope’s 2019 show schedule.

Zenescope Releasing Three #1 Issues in Early 2017

Comic book and graphic novel publisher, Zenescope Entertainment, is set to launch three new titles in early 2017 as the company continues to expand its development of original sci-fi, fantasy and horror content.

In January, Zenescope debuts Day of the Dead #1 (of 6), as a Grimm Universe regular gets her own spinoff written by Dawn P. Marquez. The series follows Necromancer Mary Medina who’s drawn to New Orleans on a quest to find the mysterious being known as the Talisman, while a secret and dangerous group works behind the scenes to gain access to her unique abilities.

While not a new title for the company, Zenescope’s popular horror anthology series, Grimm Tales of Terror, returns for the start of a third volume in February. The fan-favorite series continues to reinvent well-known urban legends and ghost stories with brand new twists for a new generation of readers in its homage to series such as Tales From The Crypt and The Twilight Zone. Volume 3 of Grimm Tales of Terror will offer 13 brand new stories and debuts in February.

Finally, in March, writer Ralph Tedesco brings readers his brand new series, The Courier: From the Ashes. After a manmade pandemic virus kills off most of the world’s population, a very different world emerges from the ashes. Eve Harper, a smuggler-for-hire, is one of the best there is at navigating the extremely dangerous landscape and making deliveries to the rich and powerful who have erected strongholds to protect them from monstrosities that roam the wasteland in between.

Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales Returns in December

Zenescope Entertainment has announced that Grimm Fairy Tales, the company’s flagship series, returns this December.

Grimm Fairy Tales is the cornerstone of Zenescope’s Grimm Universe and its evolution shows just how much the company has grown over the past eleven years. The new Grimm Fairy Tales follows Sela’s daughter, Skye Mathers, who has taken over her mother’s responsibilities as the Guardian of the Nexus. And series creators Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco are taking the epic series back to its roots.

The new series will follow Skye as she attempts to guide those who may have untapped special abilities and are heading down the wrong path in life.  Each story will be self-contained and very much in line with the earlier issues of the original series.

Grimm Fairy Tales #1 features 7 covers by some of the industry’s best talent, including David Finch, Eric Basaldua, Greg Horn, Talent Caldwell, and Josh Burns. The creative team includes veterans and newcomers alike, boasting names such as, Grimm Fairy Tales co-creator and writer Joe Brusha, jaw-dropping interior art by Ediano Silva, colors by Ivan Nunes, and letters by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios.


Red Agent—Mission Impossible Meets Grimm Fairy Tales

In comic shops January 20, 2016, Britney Waters, aka Red Riding Hood, is recruited by a secret government agency to help take down a rogue organization that is determined to take out any and all Highborn threats across the globe. Using the codename Red Agent, Britney must infiltrate the mysterious organization and ultimately confront a seemingly unstoppable weapon called “Alpha”—a sadistic laboratory-enhanced warrior whose sole purpose is to seek and destroy. Don’t miss the brand new Grimm Universe spy series Red Agent from Zenescope!

With a story by Grimm Fairy Tales creators Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco, the creative team for this new mini-series boasts writer Lou Lovino, artist Diego Galindo on interiors, and colorist GROSTIETA—with the remarkable cover artists: Mike Lilly, Caio Cacau, Jamie Tyndall, and Giuseppe Cafaro.

Local comic shops are ordering Red Agent until January 4th, 2015, for the January 20th 2016 release date.

Van Helsing vs. Dracula In-store Promotion

Van Helsing vs. Dracula 2On August 19th, Zenescope Entertainment launches a brand new release featuring fan-favorite character, Liesel Van Helsing. Van Helsing is a brilliant inventor and expert Vampire killer, two skills she picked up from her legendary father, Abraham Van Helsing. In this five issue miniseries Liesel Van Helsing continues to pursue her most elusive target and the monster responsible for her father’s death: Dracula.

Zenescope will be supporting retailers around the country on Wednesday, August 19th with several in-store signings, giveaways, and exclusive merchandise raffles. Zenescope has already partnered with retailers for events surrounding two of its other new series, Coven and Aliens vs. Zombies. This will be the publisher’s third such launch event of the summer.

Zenescope Van Helsing vs. Dracula launch events will be occurring at the following list of stores:

All Things Fun, West Berlin, NJ
New Dimension Comics – Pittsburgh Mills – Tarentum, PA
Uncanny Comics, North Wales PA
Yesteryear Comics, San Diego, CA (*Series Writer Pat Shand appearing)
New Dimension Comics – Century III – West Mifflin, PA
Cosmic Comics, Las Vegas, NV (*Series Creators Joe Brusha & Ralph Tedesco appearing)
Uncanny Comics, Plymouth Meeting PA
Graham Crackers Comics, Chicago, IL

Van Helsing vs. Dracula Creative Team includes:
Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco & Pat Shand (Story)
Pat Shand (writer)
Michele Bandini (artwork)
Walter Pereyra (colorist)

Zenescope Offers Free Download of Grimm Tales of Terror #9

GRIMM TALES OF TERROR #9Zenescope Entertainment is giving away a free digital download of its brand new issue: Grimm Tales of Terror #9. Any member of the Zenescope email list or who signs up to the list prior to Noon EST on March 13th will receive a FREE download of Zenescope’s horror comic.

Furthermore, all subscribers will also get a special Grimm Tales of Terror wallpaper sent to them FREE along with their comic download. In order to participate, fans can sign up for the Zenescope Entertainment newsletter here.

Grimm Tales of Terror is an anthological horror series, inspired by TALES FROM THE CRYPT and TWILIGHT ZONE. The series was created by Zenescope founders and Grimm Fairy Tales and Wonderland co-creators Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha.

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