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Review: The Grimm Files: How to Bake a Murder Cake

By Delicia Williams
Self-published
Purchased copy

I love fairy tales. I love zines. How could I resist the two combined in one clever package? Delicia Williams' The Grimm Files series (there are three so far) are covered using cut-down manila folders, stamped CLASSIFIED. The inside cover notes the crime catalogued within. It really gives them the presence of police file, and is more effective than if they just had a self cover. The 8-page comic inside recounts a fairy-tale crime in verse.

The first page

"How to Bake a Murder Cake" tackles Hansel and Gretel. In this retelling, the witch is the one with something to fear from these hungry children. The rhymes are sometimes strained, but the illustrations are excellent. The pages get blacker as danger looms, and the expressions on Hansel and Gretel's faces are quite frightening. There's also a wonderful bit of spot red drawn in to give extra impact to the horrid ending. There's something terrifying about the illustrations, especially when combined with the loopy lettering.

Williams also works as a penciller, and I plan to look up some of her other work. Notably, she inked and pencilled a story in the Wayward Sisters anthology, which has a foreword from one of my favorite comics artists, Faith Erin Hicks.

This article originally appeared on In Bed With Books