Review: Sleeping Beauties Vol.1 (IDW)

Writer: Stephen King and Owen King Adapted by: Rio Youres
Artist: Alison Sampson
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Letterer: Chrita Miesner and Valerie Lopez
On Sale: 20th April 2021

This graphic novel adaptation based on the horror novel by Stephen King and Owen King provides a visual interpretation of the bestselling book.

PLOT AND STORY

A bizarre sleeping sickness, known as Aurora, has fallen over the world, and strangest of all, it only affects women. In the small town of Dooling, a mysterious woman has walked out of the woods; she calls herself Eve and leaves a trail of carnage behind her. More mysterious: she’s the only woman not falling asleep.

An original novel by Stephen and Owen King has been adapted well into a fluid graphic novel. Rio Youres does a great job in breaking down the novel into a well structured visual version. I personally never read the original novel so I find this story to be interesting and captivating. I like the way this doesn’t overly rely on the words and lets the artwork tell the story. There are a few great examples of this when a panel or page has no dialogue at all but the image tells the story a thousand words could not.

ARTWORK

In complete honesty when I began reading this I found the artwork to be quite messy. Some close up shots and darkly coloured panels made me have to look twice to fully understand. However, the more I read the more I warmed to the art and realised its rough textured lines were as much part of the story as the story itself. I realised the sometimes scruffy looking panel is an interpretation of the narrative. 

As the story develops and crazy things start to happen Alison Sampson’s art with Triona Farrell’s colours come to life. Their interpretation of the web like cocoons women become entrapped in when they sleep are really clever and eye-catching.

I’m always a fan of lettering that moves away from the standard white box and black text and letterers Chrita Miesner and Valerie Lopez do this to the max. The standard letters throughout are black box with white text with a variety of other colours when required giving the book a different feel, which in turn blends really well with the artwork and story.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

Previously released as individual issues in 2020 this collected hardback version brings the first chapter of the story together with the additional variant cover collection and I find this a good way to read this series. Much like binging a TV series I believe binging your way through this collected edition helps suck you into the story and keeps your attention. 

I read this via a physical hardback collected edition issued by Penguin Random House on behalf of IDW Publishing and received no other incentive to review this comic. All images and artwork are courtesy of IDW Publishing and their respective owners.

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