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Tales From The Darkside #1 (of 4)

Script by Joe Hill
Adapted by Michael Benedetto
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors by Ryan Hill
Published by IDW

Joe Hill had some ideas for a relaunch of the horror anthology television show, Tales From The Darkside. It didn’t make it to series, but when you have gotten awards and recognition for your work with scary novels and the Locke And Key comics, when life hands you lemons, you make a limited series with IDW.

This series is going to be a collection of independent tales with a connective underlying mythology of The Darkside, a supernatural phenomenon that hits people who have been very, very bad or very, very good. And in this issue, teenage loser Ziggy has not been good at all. He parties all night, sleeps all morning, and naps in the lifeguard stand at the local pool instead of doing his job. But when his negligence leads to tragedy, he falls into a Darkside event and returns to the real world with a terrible poetic curse. A good-looking guy tries to explain everything, but the curse makes that impossible. Readers can only watch as Ziggy tries to make amends for his naughty naptime, and it’s a tense thrill.

This would have made an excellent episode of television, with a straightforward plot and a theme of justice that reminds us all of being on both sides of a big mistake. The curse is scary but wouldn’t have needed too much for a special effect budget. The hint at a larger, unifying Darkside mythology is captivating, and it would get me back for next week’s story. This issue has gotten me hooked for the rest of the miniseries, and I hope it can get back on a producer’s desk.

Also, the back of the issue has an ad for an October hardcover release of Joe Hill’s script ideas for the Tales From The Darkside show. Fans of Hill’s horror work are going to be in for a treat, so preorder this one now – just talk to the person at the register at Ultimate Comics in Chapel Hill or Raleigh.

-Matt Conner for Ultimate Comics