Review - Winter's Eye

Typically, an anthology has some common thread that links all the stories together. It could be a theme or character, but sometimes it's an item. Winter's Eye from Grim Crew is an anthology with a mystical object called the Winter's Eye as the glue holding the stories together.

The series of short stories boasts multiple talents. "Through the Silence" is written by Brandon Barrows and illustrated by Kay. "Birth Pains" is written by Amanda Orneck and illustrated by Fede Marin. "Problem Solver" is written by Tommy Brownell and illustrated by Cary Stringfield. "The Other Side" is written by Gianfranco Staltari and illustrated by Marco Zorzan. "Have You Seen Me" is written by Martin Brandi II and illustrated by Charles Dowd. "Hooky" is illustrated by Barrows and penciled by Rowel Roque (letters by E.T. Dollman and tones by Ionic). "Inheritance" is written by Brownell and illustrated by Ben Soto.

Each story features a different creative team, all of them with only one "mandate" so to speak: include the Winter's Eye in some capacity. The stories show the artifact existing throughout history, bringing a range of emotion to the owner. There's a wide variety of stories here, all of them similar to something you would find in The Twilight Zone or Tales From the Darkside.

It's hard to evaluate the overall writing or art in the book, because there is so much talent involved. The creators do a great job of including the Winter's Eye in ways that seem natural to their respective stories, making the whole book feel like one entire story. The writers have put the owners of object in some very trying situations, such as Brownell in "Problem Solver" and Barrows in "Hooky."

While there are multiple artists involved, the art is all in black and white, which helps with the horror behind the Winter's Eye. This is an artifact that seems to bring despair and ill luck to its owner and illustrating it in black and white hits that point home really well. Winter itself is typically viewed as barren and isolated and the association between the season and the artifact is bolstered by the stark illustrations.

There's a lot to like in Winter's Eye. The book takes the Winter's Eye through time and space, showcasing a myriad of different scenarios and settings for it to demonstrate its possessive influence. Little is included that explains the origin of the item, but it's pretty clear that it has a strong magical influence. This is a horror anthology that focuses more on psychological horror as opposed to gore and will resonate with those looking for that type of atmosphere.

Winter's Eye is available October 27, debuting at Annapolis Comic-Con. It'll be available more widely shortly thereafter.