READING THE FIRST ISSUE of The Fear Diaries, I couldn’t help but think of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, wherein a wooden nutcracker soldier comes to life one night and leads a toy army against rampaging mice in order to protect the little girl who calls him her favorite toy.
I don’t know if author Garett Gunn was thinking about this story when he conceived the world of The Fear Diaries, but whether he was or not, he was clearly drawing from the same deep well of fantasy that has yielded countless millions of stories dreamed-up by children who believed that their toys had lives of their own, and that if there was danger lurking under the bed, those toys would be there to protect them.
In Diaries, there is indeed danger in the night—specifically, bad toys from The Nightmare Realm, who serve a Dark Mistress out to collect the fear of every child on earth. You know when they’re coming because a greenish mist precedes them, or at least you would know if you were awake. But never fear, because Theodore Bearsley—a.k.a. Teddy the teddy bear—is on watch, ready to leap out of bed and lead the other toys into battle.
And that’s good, because the Dark Mistress and her army of stuffed goons are gearing-up for their biggest assault ever.
The Fear Diaries is a promising series that’s nicely drawn and beautifully colored. It looks marvelous on a hi-res screen. The nighttime purple and aqua color palettes are especially gorgeous, and really pull you into this world. The story is appropriate for all ages, but definitely skews young. It’s gripping without being overly scary, and its themes of duty, honor, loyalty, friendship, and bravery offer something healthy for young minds to process.
Another winner from one of our favorite indie publishers, Alterna Comics.
THE FEAR DIARIES #1
A Digital Comic
Release Date: February 16th, 2017
$1.99, 24 pages, full color, action/adventure/fantasy/horror
Age Rating: All Ages
Writer: Garrett Gunn
Art: Nicolas Touris, Jim Callahan, Ulises Grostieta
It’s available at ComiXology.