Review: Grim Love & Ten Other Tales of the Fairy, Folklore, and Fable Variety

Book Reviews

Grim Love & Ten Other Tales of the Fairy, Folklore, and Fable Variety
Tyler Dunning and Matthew Woods

Street: 06.15

Comprised of new interpretations of endearing tales and a healthy helping of original contributions, Grim Love is Tyler Dunning (author) and Matthew Woods’ (illustrator) post-modern take on the fairytale. In this compact zine, we find stories concerned with exploring personal meaning over global moral—a surprising, through not entirely pleasing departure from the genre’s form. And in this ultra-personal vein, we are led by a hardly inspired, jaded narrative voice—a voice troubled by our modern times, a voice in disbelief of the magic its peddling. Yet whenever the narrative voice seems misplaced, the illustrations seem to take the reins and propel the stories forward in compelling and complementary ways—each illustration, existing in minimalistic form and an eye-catching color-palette of blood-red and grayscale, seems aimed at creating narrative lives the extend beyond the page. Though it struggles to stack up against the Biblical standards as set by Anderson, Grimms, Lang, MacDonald, and Perrault, Grim Love isn’t without its successes (see the title piece, “The Ambassadors,” “The Dancer,” “Gesundheit,” and “Snow White”), but ultimately it is a work that has forgotten the key to the fairytale—transcendence: beyond time, space, and the individual. –Z. Smith