Writer: Gabriel Benson | Artist: Mike Hawthorne and Mike Atiyeh
Publisher: Beckett Comics
Reading comics on the web is not always ideal. As many an e-book proponent has found, the experience of reading a printed product translated to the screen is not always a pleasant one, and rarely equals the experience of having the physical thing in your hands.
But there are some great web comics out there and the web is a terrific way for indie creators to preview or promote their work.
Beckett Comics is doing just that right now by publishing all of the first issue their new comic, The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty, on their website.
This story is a new spin on the well-known tale of Sleeping Beauty, placing the story in the old West and adorning it with trappings of both the Western and Horror genres.
The first issue, which is largely set up for the series, centers on a gunfighter, Cole, and an unnamed kid swapping stories while they wait out the night before their execution on the gallows.
The kid tells Cole the legend of this Sleeping Beauty:
A group of settlers came West to a set up a new town and a new life for themselves. In their first, harsh winter in the town, an old Indian woman came seeking their help. Having fought Indians on their way across the plains, they turned her away, sending her back into out into a snowstorm.
The townsfolk forget about this until, after the first child of the town is born, the old woman returns. She puts a curse on the town, saying that upon her 18th birthday, this first child, a girl, will fall into a deep sleep, as will the whole town.
Before the townspeople can grab her, she walks off into the distance, fading away into dust.
Cole is skeptical but intrigued. As the ghost of an Indian warrior creeps up to the gallows, the issue ends.
Though the story is a little slight and not much happens in the first issue, the comic is an interesting take on an established tale and could bear further reading.
The first issue – which was originally released for Free Comic Book Day – is online for free so readers can check it out then decide for themselves whether they want to start buying the series with issue 2, which is on sale now at comic shops.
Read The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty