Review: Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Halloween Special

Moo hoo ha's that time of year again. These trees better start shedding some orange leaves before I start spray painting them and knocking them down with a weedwhacker. I don't get uncontrollably geeky about many things anymore, but Halloween is one of them, a double whammy of sudden genre content everywhere and the weather changing to habitable for those of us who like nice coats more than other people. And I love Halloween Specials, even if they don't often love me back. I reviewed Zenescope's entry last year, not a fun time, but goddamn if this weather isn't putting me in a forgiving spirit. Let's see how this October shapes up for the House of Disappointment. Hey now. What's this?

Zenescope interior art that is actually better than the cover art?

It's a Halloween miracle. All Hail the Great Pumpkin.

GFTHAL2014_coverD 10.1Actually, this is due to the book having a pretty bad cover this year, but I'm not taking points off for that, this is actually the best Zenescope book I've picked up. The linework is pretty passable, functional if unexciting. The colors on the other hand, by Hedwin Saldivar, are nice, really vibrant and tonally matches the linework well. It's a bit over-saturated for my tastes, but it was pleasing on the eyes and made this one of the better looking books from this company.

The story also seems to tie into what is going on in the main title, though very clumsily. I don't read Grimm Fairy Tales, so I had to rely on the broad characterization to understand everyone's role, but basically it's just another story from that book with a Halloween party as an opener.

Actually, the Halloween part is pretty superficial. The set-up is some of the students of this magical academy go to a nearby graveyard to hunt for ghosts that for some reason they don't believe are real. I mean, this is a magical academy; people are casually casting spells in the climax, but ghosts? That's just silly. Also, despite the tell-me-a-scary-story set up, there aren't any ghosts. Some mystery guy sics a monster on everyone. That's the conflict.

Again, not so much a Halloween book, and definitely less Halloweeny than last year where it just felt like a goofy excuse to draw horror monsters, which honestly was an attitude I appreciated. Still, this issue actually bothers to have character development and some thread to the main plot, as well as a shocking lack of cheap T&A, so really it's up to your tastes which direction was more successful. If you don't already read Grimm Fairy Tales there isn't anything here worth investing in, but if you are a regular reader, this Special might be necessary for the character development.

Score: 2/5

Writer: Dan Wickline Artist: Butch Mapa Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment Price: $5.99 Release Date: 10/1/14 Format: One-Shot; Print/Digital