Tales From the Darkside # 1
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Ryan Hill
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Growing up, I had always been a fan of Tales From the Darkside. I like anthologies and fantasy/horror/thriller stories and Tales From the Darkside was my gateway into some really creative stories and hardly disappointed me. In May of 2015, writer Joe Hill was set to bring back Tales From the Darkside to TV. I was excited for this to happen, but my excitement was short lived. CW was going to air the series, but then the news came that they had declined to pick it up. Hill approached other networks, but no one optioned to pick up the series. This new comic mini-series is based on the scripts that Hill wrote for the re-launch of the TV show.
The first story titled “Sleepwalker” is about a young man named Ziggy. Ziggy has pretty much “sleepwalked” through most of his life. In school, he slept through his final and the only way he could pass was if he helped a fellow student who is a theater major, with her scenes. He becomes quite fond of her but she leaves to study in England, he promises to wait for her to come back. Ziggy becomes a lifeguard, which he considers his dream job, he goes to all the parties, and is loving life. And then a tragic accident happens at the pool he works at and the blame falls on him due to him falling asleep on the lifeguard tower, failing to help. Cleared of all wrong doing, Ziggy finds comfort in seclusion at home. He eventually ventures back out into the world and that is when he is caught in the Darkside event that causes everyone that looks at him to fall asleep.
Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke and Key) unite again to bring us this first issue. Hill, the son of famous horror writer Stephen King, can create one helluva story and he proves it here. My only complaint is that I know he can go deeper with his characters, but with this being a one issue story, he has only so much room to expand on them. The positive is that the story takes off and never loses its pace. And I couldn’t help but wonder how much he had to cut to make this into comic format. I would have LOVED to have seen this played out on television. Rodriguez’s art work is top notch. It gave me a nostalgic feeling, the expressions on the character’s faces, and the close ups really add to the tension of the story, as well as his attention to detail. Ryan Hill’s color complements the art with muted colors and contributes to adding a dark tone to the story.
Buy it! If you are a Tales From the Darkside fan, you will enjoy this! If you aren’t familiar with the old TV show and curious to see what could have been with the new TV show we didn’t get, this is your only chance to experience it. I am kinda bummed out that this will only be four issues. I would like to see the stories expand into a couple of issues to get more in depth with them because with this issue being a prime example, I would have loved to have read more into the history of what caused this mysterious phenomena to happen. Overall, if you are into tense, creepy stories, then give Tales From the Darkside a chance!