TKO Presents: Tales of Terror edited by Sebastian Girner
TKO Studios (November 2021)
180 pages; $19.99
Reviewed by Danica Davidson
TKO Presents: Tales of Terror is a comic book anthology with nine different short stories. It’s in the vein of Tales from the Crypt in that each story is self-contained, each story has a twist, and they’re all snippets of horror in bite-sized pieces.
The stories run the gamut in themes, and the two things most common in them is that they get a supernatural twist, and a number of them involve Brooklyn. The art styles change to match with the tale being told. Sometimes the art is more clear and detailed, sometimes more surreal and sketchy. Some of the stories veer more into the realm of science fiction, and some have moments of real humor. But at the end of the day, they all involve horror.
Some of the more affective stories are “Night Train” and “The Father of All Things.”
“The Father Of All Things” takes place during World War I, when a 14-year-old boy signs himself up for the army and gets in way over his head. There are some bloody war scenes, but mostly the story is about the overwhelming reality of war, even if it isn’t on all the panels. While this story is grounded in something historical, it takes a supernatural bent and isn’t just an anti-war story, but goes for something deeper (and admittedly very creepy).
“Night Train” is told from the perspective of a bigger brother who has to deal with a new infant in the house. He comments to readers about how biology is necessary to make anyone want to stay home and take care of a helpless baby. His mother is sick, his father is often not there, and when he tries to get the baby off his hands for a while, something terrible happens. This one, like the previous story, is grounded in a scene familiar in reality, but then takes a supernatural twist.
Other plots include vampires, undersea travels, space exploration, people going after a bruja, and a group in Brooklyn protecting themselves from snow monsters.
TKO Presents: Tales of Terror would probably be best enjoyed by fans of horror comic anthologies. There’s nothing absolutely terrifying in here to keep you up all night, but there are those fun twists and turns that horror comic book anthologies are typically known for. It might help you look at things in a different way, least of all snowmen.