It’s like if Tim Burton hosted an international buffet
Title: Short & Shivery a.k.a. “The Wide World of Horror”
Author/Editor/Reteller: Robert D. San Souci
Illustrator: Katherine Coville
Summary: Everyone loves a spooky story. Don’t you?
Welcome to a chilling world of hair-raising tales! The thirty stories in this book were gathered from around the world, selected for their ghastly details and terrifying twists. Come inside and meet the young miller’s daughter in “The Robber Bridegroom,” who may have discovered too late that she has been betrothed to a madman; the dancing skeleton who returns from the dead to haunt the friend who betrayed him in life; the Golem, who tires of serving his greedy master and suddenly turns evil; and intriguing characters in stories from the Brothers Grimm, Washington Irving, and other world-famous authors. But before you settle down in your cozy reading chair, check behind you… and keep all the lights on!
Here’s the second of the three installments for the first “Short & Shivery” collection by Robert D. San Souci. Unfortunately Wing we still haven’t reached the werewolves yet, but we DO have a vampire story and one of my favorite monsters of all time, the Nuckelavee.
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For my fairy tale theme, what makes a better fit than this collection of international folk tales and ghost stories? “Short & Shivery” has been a presence in my life since middle school, and I own all four volumes. Many of the stories had something of an impact on my writing, and recently I’ve been attempting to incorporate some of the creatures in these tales in my comic ideas.
Now I originally planned to recap all 30 stories in one post, but figuring this would take too long for me to do and for Wing to go through and comment I’ve decided to split it into 3 posts to cover all of the tales. Less frustration and anxiety trying to get it done. Enjoy these first ten tales.
[Wing: This is another set I’ve never read before, even though I love creepy short stories.]
Grimm Fairy Tales #1 – Red Riding Hood, a.k.a. “Little Red Abstinent Hood”
Writers: Joe Tyler & Ralph Tedesco
Pencils: Joe Dodd
Inks: Justin Holman
Colorist: Lisa Lubera
Designers: Jeffrey Ariola & Jason Sorrenti
Cover Artists: Al Rio (R.I.P.) and Tom Smith
Editor: J.C. Brusha
Exploring the connection between sex and violence, the
adaption of Little Red Riding hood confronts that line. The werewolf displays
the lust and animal nature of sexuality while Red symbolizes the innocence and
purity of love. The hunter is the balance between them both, taking you back
close to the original story of the brothers Grimm rather than the doused down
version we know today, the true moral behind the story is displayed.
A young girl with doubts about losing her virginity to her pushy boyfriend reads a story about Little Red Riding Hood in a book she finds beside her bed. The story of the fairy tale character parallels her own, and the ending of the updated story teaches her a lesson, which feels all too real.
[Wing: I mean, Little Red Riding Hood has always had sexual threat built into the story, but this will be interesting. That cover, though. Not feeling it.]
Happy birthday, Wing! For the fairy tale theme this month I’m doing a recap featuring your favorite thing, WEREWOLVES! [Wing: I’m scheduling this to go up after my birthday, because I was too busy around my birthday to comment, but I love this as a gift recap.]
[Wing: I’m scheduling this to go up after my birthday, because I was too busy around my birthday to comment, but I love this as a gift recap.]
Zenescope’s “Grimm Fairy Tales” is a prime example of a
sleeper hit. Back in 2005 when I was in high school, I found the first issue
buried within the small pile of independent comics at my store. Being a horror
comic and with my interest in fairy tales, I was immediately intrigued. Imagine
my surprise when, despite the sexy cover done by the late Al Rio, it was a
story about a girl being pressured into having sex by her boyfriend…
And she said no.
I missed the next two issues but attempted to support the
series regularly. Unfortunately there were a number of delays with the following
issues and I wasn’t sure when they were coming out, but I quickly got into
buying GFT on a monthly basis. It was starting to grow pretty big, and
spin-offs were being launched such as “Return to Wonderland.” Suffice it to
say, nearly 15 years later and Zenescope Comics is still going strong and has
created an entire world through their GFT series.
The basic premise of the original issues followed Sela
Mathers, a mysterious woman with a book of fairy tales. Sela would present
herself to the “Main Character of the Week” and show them a fairy tale relating
to their current dilemma. Interestingly, Sela did not appear in the first
issue, only her book did. And in the second issue she was startlingly different
from every issue onward. It wasn’t long afterwards Sela became the main
character as her past was explored, followed by the introduction of her arch-enemy,
the redheaded Belinda. At that point an entire myth arc was constructed and I
began to lose track as the series moved away from its original, episodic
Unfortunately, I haven’t supported GFT in years. My comic
shop became rather erratic in ordering the current issues and I completely lost
track of the series by the time the 100th issue came around. Since I
hadn’t done anything with Zenescope for a long time, and I needed the space in
my boxes, I ended up selling my entire collection on eBay. However, I held on
to the first issue (and the 2nd print of the 2nd issue)
for sentimental reasons.
That being said, Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales will always be important to me because of one reason. It was by supporting “Return to Wonderland” that I befriended colorist Nei Ruffino on DeviantArt shortly after graduating from high school in 2008. Nei is the closest friend I’ve ever had, and the first real friend I made after getting out of the hell that was grade school. She’s been a part of my life for ten years, longer than any friend I’ve known. If it wasn’t for her presence in my life I genuinely doubt I’d be alive right now.
Evil twins, Wing and Dove, and their friends recap Point Horror and other teen genre fiction.
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