Review – Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Sleepy Hollow 1

Sleepy Hollow 1 Cover A Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Sleepy Hollow 1

Story By Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Raven Gregory

Written By Dan Wickline

Art by AC Osorio, Chandran Ponnusamy, Jim Campbell

Covers by Stjepan Sejic, Matt Triano, and Ylenia Dinapoli

Released: October 17, 2012

Verdict: Definitely worth picking up especially with Halloween just around the corner

I’m sure you’ve heard the tales of Sleepy Hollow before, odds are you grew up with it. Personally I’ve always loved the story, from the cartoons, to the movies, even the takes shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark would do to it. Really who doesn’t enjoy the tales of a ghostly monster riding down unsuspecting travelers and stealing their heads? You’re probably most familiar with the basic story, a young schoolmaster in a small village in New York gets run down by the ‘Ghost’ of a Hessian soldier who lost his head during the Revolutionary War. Well in their usual fashion Zenescope Entertainment has taken that classic tale, and wrapped it up with some modern twists and turns.

We’re not following the usual Ichabod Crane, no this time we’re following a modern day Student Aid named Craig Marsters. Craig attends Tarrytown University in New York, which for literature buffs was the town where the secluded glen of Sleepy Hollow was based. He’s your normal driven college student, well as normal as it is to have a driven college student anyway. He puts school work before parties and has some pretty strict morals about said school work. He’s got himself a beautiful and caring girlfriend, and a pretty big passion for American history. Like most college students, he seems to be consistently late also but that’s no surprise.

So now you’re probably thinking that it’s going to be heading in the standard Headless Horseman lore, maybe some other guy shows up and starts making moves for his girlfriend. Perhaps it’s followed up with some kind of dare involving the legend of the Headless Horseman and they somehow wake up the spirit. Or maybe that ‘other guy’ sets up a trap just to make Craig look like a wimp in front of his girlfriend. That’s a completely reasonable assumption if this were an after school special, do they even make after school specials anymore? Regardless, you’ve got to remember this is a Grimm Fairy Tales book, and nothing is going to be that simple.

The story in this first issue is 100% set up, and it does a fantastic job of that. It’s hard to introduce a character and have you actually give a damn about them in a single issue. Dan Wickline pulled it off though, Craig becomes a likeable character pretty quickly. He stands up for himself, has a purpose, and can crack a joke. That’s what you want in a main character for a story. And by the end of the issue you actually start to feel for the guy, you want to know what happens next in his story. And obviously no matter how happy and shiny things may seem on the surface, like I said before, this is a Grimm Fairy Tales book from Zenescope, and it’s based on a pretty dark story. So I’d wager it’s going to become pretty unhinged, and make you tremble with disgust and delight in some absurd union of the two.

In this first issue alone we see how Craigs life may already have problems brewing just below the surface. Just enough for us to want to see how they play out, while still adding more character development to Craig to keep us caring whether life decides to crap on him. For me this is the perfect tale for the Halloween season, just taking the source material it’s fantastic and now we’re getting it with modern twists and turns and probably some truly screwed up revelations in future issues.

I do hope though that the final page is just a cliffhanger and not how the story is really going to continue. Not that it will be bad, just that I don’t want it to be that way, it’s really strictly a selfish request. Unfortunately for the sake of not spoiling anything I can’t go into anymore detail, and even though I wish it wouldn’t happen the ending is definitely unexpected and can lead to some great story in later issues. I guess we’ll be waiting till next month to find out though.

Let’s finish this up with a talk about the artwork, the art in a comic book can really make or break it. Too much detail and people can start looking ridiculous not enough and they all look the same it’s a tough job to draw a comic, having to get the characters the same panel after panel. I’ve gotta say though AC Osorio did a great job with this issue, there are flaws, but it’s quality work. And after looking him up and seeing some of his other works I think his style is going to be a fantastic fit for Sleepy Hollow. If you don’t believe me check out his site, he’s got some pretty cool artwork up there. There’s a chance you’re wondering what flaws I was talking about, and they’re minor, but near the end of the book because of the panel layout it gets harder to really tell who is who. It’s not impossible and it’s not like you’re going to keep turning the page trying to figure it out it’s enough to distract though and one thing you never want is for the art to distract from the story it’s telling.

In the end Sleepy Hollow is a solid story, and I’m really looking forward to see what happens next. It may not be for everyone, but when you head to the store this week, or next week, or whenever you end up going pick up a copy give it a shot. And obviously if you’re a Zenescope fan, and you already follow the Grimm Fairy Tale books don’t neglect this one, next issue you’ll even get a guest star from another part of the Grimm Universe.

talks a bunch on PodQuest each week. He's also been known to write about stuff from time to time.

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