Sleeping Beauties # 1
Adapted by: Rio Youers
Art by: Alison Sampson
Colors by: Triona Tree Farrell
Design/Letters by: Christa Miesner
Shameful to admit, I have never read a Stephen King novel. Now mind you when I use words like “read something” I mean I haven’t read it from cover to cover. When I was about 8 I followed behind my mother into the adult section and selected his Night Shift. I realize now the reason I couldn’t, and haven’t attempted to finish his works is because he is not merely horror master. He has the ability to present life in an uncomfortably unsettling light.
Unsettling is my best description for IDW’s Sleeping Beauties # 1, an adaptation of the novel by Stephen King and Owen King. I am unsettled due to the feeling that people always claim adaptations are never equal to the author’s originals. The story that takes place is just as unsettling when coupled with societies current struggles. Unfortunately portions of the issues art are somewhat unsettling which I found distracted me from the story taking place.
Our story begins in a women’s correctional facility. Given the premise of this tale this location works to get a true impact of what is happening. A virus, stop me if you’ve lived this one before, is spreading across the globe. Called by numerous names at first, finally it is labeled simply Aurora. Like the Disney princess this virus leaves its targets, only women at this point, asleep with webs forming around their heads. This premise makes for a strong storyline. Dr Norcross is great as a potential savior protagonist of this story. Given his profession and position at the Dooling Correctional Facility he seems to be in the perfect position for this role.
As villians go Avon Lady is yeah unsettling. Her appearance is childishly innocent while demonically terrifying. The heart on her sweater, was that the way it came or did she add it with someone’s blood. It is little details like this that stand out in this comic and make you question your place in the world.
The moments when the issue struggled for me were during the violent moments. The fight scenes were too busy and lost what was making this comic great. Some panels were particularly dark and the lettering gets lost. I say this all in light some amazing opening panels of the Avon lady in the woods.
As with any adaptation something will be lost and we can only hope something too is gained. Given the our worlds climate, Sleeping Beauties # 1 is poised to tell a story almost ripped from the headlines. A unknown threat targeting a specific population. The main story location, a place housing individuals that could turn violent because they feel marginalized, victimized. Unsettling.