- Author: Rio Youers
- Artist: Alison Sampson
- Colorist: Triona Tree Farrell
- Main Cover Artist: Annie Wu
- Letterer and Designer: Christa Miesner
- Editor: Elizabeth Brei
Thanks to IDW Publishing for the review copy!
SLEEPING BEAUTIES, a series written by Stephen and Owen King, tells a very timely story given the COVID-19 emergency facing the world. The Aurora Epidemic covers women with a sticky web and causes them to fall asleep. Right now, the origins of the epidemic are unclear, but it somehow seems related to a mysterious woman that appeared in the first issue. I haven’t read the book this series is based on, though I’m guessing those who have know more about what the cause is.
The book effectively captures the panic gripping the nation, as well as its impact on individual people. Having the backdrop of our own epidemic gives the reader a baseline from which to measure everyone’s responses. Unlike the Coronavirus, which we can avoid by staying inside, wearing masks, and washing our hands, Aurora seems to strike anyone at any time. When you couple that with our newfound shared understanding of what can happen in an epidemic, the book can be quite terrifying, especially given the new aspect of the epidemic that is explored in this issue.
SLEEPING BEAUTIES uses a surreal psychedelic style that fits quite well with the writing and plot. The coloring uses a muted palate, which is in alignment with the gloom of what is going on. One drawback to this art direction is, it can be quite difficult to tell who is who. The dialogue is noteworthy in that the speech bubbles are colored (usually black) with white lettering. This is an interesting choice, but it is done with every character. As a result, it loses some of the impact I’ve seen in other titles where the technique is uses sparingly to make a point.
In addition to mature themes, Sleeping Beauty has nudity, horror style violence, and curse words. While it should not come as a surprise for King fans, it bears mentioning that parental discretion is advised.
SLEEPING BEAUTIES #2 is now available.
Are you going to pick up this title? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.