With our recent Silent Hill anniversary feature, you’d think we had enough doom and gloom around the OneMetal scene. Logically, yes—we’re still trying to overcome our quivering dependence on the family pack of night lights we just bought (or was that just me?), but Zenescope’s collected edition of Grimm Fairy Tales: Pinocchio landed on our doorstep unexpectedly. I’ll give you a head start on running now. And you thought the Saw movie puppet was bad.
From the innovative minds and hands of David Seidman, Ralph Tedesco, and Dave Hoover crawls a gnarled twist on the well-known Pinocchio marionette story. In common Zenescope fashion, the comic parallels the lives of Mark and his son, Jacob, with the lonely artisan Gepetto and his enchanted craft, Pinocchio. Of course, amass every warm and fuzzy charm of your favorite Pinocchio myth and kiss them goodbye, because Seidman and Tedesco literally carve their re-visioning from a dark and evil wood. Between the devilish conscience of a small cricket whispering menacing notions in Pinocchio’s ear to the circus handlers and real boys who fan the flames of kindled hatred, with each step the anthropomorphic puppet develops a heartless taste for blood. His quest to find the secret of becoming a real boy leads Pinocchio down a startling path wrought with dangerous lies.
But the writing pen falls in equal measure to the phenomenal and truly disheartening artwork of the Pinocchio sequences—illustrated by Seidman. Indeed, the plot would fail to engage the reader if not for the drastic visuals, which completely justify opening the book. If The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary (a PC game from my elementary school days) were transformed into a mature and freakish production, then David Seidman would be at the top of the design credits list. (A weird compliment, I know, but a compliment no less.) Blending photo-realistic characters smeared with moody colors and dulled modern finishes, the result spins the onlooker into a world of black magic, fantasia, and impossibilities only attainable within the fairy tale realm.
The regular style of the Jacob panels, however, unhinge the rich momentum of Seidman’s talent, and the ending screeches to a confusing and unsatisfying halt. Nonetheless, the greatest return accompanies the gradual, connecting build between Pinocchio and Jacob, giving the comic an even more chilling edge. What once began as a heartfelt tale becomes disfigured, corrupting the innocent, childlike icon with demonic energy. Against your better judgment, you’ll be itching to turn the page and uncover the truth behind the famous character’s origins. Just remember to sleep with the lights on for awhile.
Grimm Fairy Tales: Pinocchio is on sale now courtesy of Zenescope Entertainment.