WRITER: Kate Leth
ARTIST: Drew Rausch
From the introduction on the first page:
At the end of the beloved film, we see Kim relating the story of Edward Scissorhands to her young granddaughter. Now a teenager, Megs begins to wonder about the stories she heard as a child, despite her mother’s wishes. The years and loss have not been kind to Edward, who is more reclusive than ever, and beginning to find some strange and unusual things in the shadowy halls of his castle on the hill….
I used to read comics a fair bit as a child and occasionally still pick one up if something really interests me, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s more a format I respect rather than love. Therefore I’m not sure if I’m the right person to review one, but there was no way I could not buy a sequel in comic format to one of my favourite films of all time. Tim Burton’s achingly sad fairy tale, one of cinema’s most touching depictions of being an outsider and the need to love and be loved, remains for me his very best work and it’s a film I don’t think he’ll ever quite match. It’s truly one of the great fantasy pictures, highly imaginative but full of emotion and beauty and the damn thing manages to bring me to tears every time I watch it.
Edward Scissorhands was only a moderate box office success but became a film adored by many, so it’s not surprising that there’s been a fair bit of fan fiction [and even rumours of a remake unfortunately] written which try to continue where the film’s heartbreaking ending left off. I’ve only read a small amount of it, partly because I have my own ideas as what Edward might be up to decades after the events of the film. I suppose I was a little apprehensive about reading issue one of Kate Leth and Draw Rausch’s comic book sequel and it sat in my house for a few weeks unread but….how wrong I was! If this first issue is anything to go by, this is about as worthy a sequel to the brilliant film as you can get. Frankly, I fell in love with it after about four pages, because its creators have managed to totally recapture the film’s unique melancholic whimsy, seem to totally understand what makes it the film so special and why it affects so many people, and, rather than either attempt to exactly replicate the look of the film and its world, or do something totally different which would give the impression it wasn’t much connected with the movie at all, they achieve a perfect middle ground. Reading the comic does give the impression you’re looking into Burton’s head in a way that perhaps only animation can also entirely realise, but it also enhances the skewed weirdness with lots of visual distortions, the castle for instance being much creepier than in the film. The distinction between the virtually black and white castle scenes and brightly coloured Suburbia scenes means you almost have to adjust your eyes several times, but it’s well worth the effort.
The story carries on from where the film left off very smoothly, expertly giving an impression of both time standing still [for Edward, plus we still seem to be in the same time period with not even a mobile phone in sight] and time having moved on a very long time [Suburbia]. We alternate from being with Edward in his castle where he makes a very interesting discovery which really does open up intriguing [and very dark] pathways for this tale, to Kim’s granddaughter Megs, a typical teenager girl with a serious dislike for mornings. It seems that people in Suburbia think her grandmother was mad and that Edward, if he existed at all, was just a murderer. Of course she starts to not believe this and sets out to find the truth. There’s a wonderful sense of the past being filtered through the present in this first issue, something I’m very impressed a comic managed to achieve.
Leth and Rausch tell their story mainly visually with as few speech bubbles as possible. There were a couple of times where I found it hard to tell what was happening and had to spend a few seconds working it out, something probably more due to my relative inexperience in the comic format than anything else, and the whole thing’s rather brief, though rather than rush through it I was more than happy to take my time with it and immerse myself in its pages. Of course we’ll have to see how things continue, but if one trusts the first issue, IDW’s Edward Scissorhands is quite a wonderful little thing and a treat for Edward Scissorhands lovers. It’s something I recommend all fans of the film, even if you’re not sure about it or just not into comics, to give a go.
Review of issue two Coming Soon…..