Comic Review: Sleeping Beauties #1 (IDW Publishing)

New from IDW, Sleeping Beauties #1 wakes us up from our uneasy spring and summer, a new day in these challenging and unprecedented times. Based on the novel by Stephen […]

New from IDW, Sleeping Beauties #1 wakes us up from our uneasy spring and summer, a new day in these challenging and unprecedented times.

Based on the novel by Stephen King and Owen King, Sleeping Beauties is adapted by Rio Youers (Canadian, author of novels Old Man Scratch, Point Hollow, The Forgotten Girl, etc)

The premise is this: “Sleeping Beauties explores a world where women have sunken into a deep, cocooned slumber, their dreams taking them to an idyllic other place. They can only wake if disturbed, which results in violent, feral behavior.” In the midst of this emerges a mysterious powerful ‘forest woman’ who seems to delight in killing. Oh, what a start! Shades of COVID, shades of ManEaters, shades of political relevance.

The art is atmospheric and engaging. Artist Alison Sampson (British, Hit-Girl: Mumbai, Winnebago Graveyard, The Wicked + The Divine, Genesis, etc) handles the ambiguity, the horror, the many many people in the cast. The expressions are intriguing. The gestures read: realistic. The environments are grounded. The panel shapes are architectural, varied, coded. But there is also a visual poetry, an addition to the proceedings that only the best-equipped artists can contribute.

Colourist Triona Tree Farrell is fearless in pursuit of the visual tone of Sleeping Beauties. Blues and greens intersperse in the Garden Of Eden sequences but are quickly shifted inside the sickly brown and mustard prison walls. The colours run freely, expressively throughout, as Farrell understands that colour is a code for subtext in addition to fulfilling its own simple purpose.

Not a simple tale, but an engrossing one, one that threatens to keep us awake when we want to nap, no Rip Van Winkle days ahead, instead, we look forward to issue 2!

The first issue is available with many variant cover choices. Some are included as bonus backup pages in this issue.

Sleeping Beauties #1, IDW, $3.99 for 25 pages of comic content. Mature

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!