Graphic Novels (6): Grimm Fairy Tales vol. 1

Grimm Fairy Tales vol. 1
by Joe Brusha & Ralph Tedesco

Red Riding Hood is forced to confront the insatiable hunger of a terrifying beast; Cinderella seeks a shocking vengeance for the years of torture she’s endured; Hansel and Gretel realize that the problems they left behind at home are nothing compared to the horror that awaits them on their ill-advised journey; a desperate girl makes a deal with the hideous Rumpelstiltskin only to find out she may lose more than she ever imagined; Sleeping Beauty learns that narcissism can be a very gruesome trait to possess and an envious sister finds her extreme measures to capture the man of her dreams may lead to much worse than just heartbreak from the Robber Bridegroom.

Grimm Fairy Tales vol. 1 includes the first six issues of the series. Each one deals with a different fairy tale, and the artists differ for each one, which gives each tale its own unique look and feel. The stories have an overarching character to tie them all together – she finds people who can benefit from her tellings of the fairy tales, but these are tellings like we’ve rarely heard before. Each tale is told with a darker intent; the message behind the fairy tale is made inherently creepy in order to turn a person away from the same path. Unlike Disney who took the original creepy, sad, or depressing fairy tales and gave them happy endings, the Grimm Fairy Tales are just that – grim. Even the fairy tales that were always lighter in nature are twisted; the stories keep the basic roots and premise of the original fairy tale but make them worse than they ever were.

There is definitely merit in already knowing the story being re-told. I had never heard the Robber Bridegroom fairy tale, so I had no idea where the story was leading. For ones like Litte Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel, I could easily guess what the “warning” in the story would be. But this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the tale because I didn’t know the outcome, in fact I liked having a completely new fairy tale to read (and the warnings are still pretty easy to guess). What I liked about the ones I did know, was seeing how the writers turned the story around to suit their darker intent. I’m definitely excited to see where the following volumes take the storyline!

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