Sleeping BeautiesSleeping Beauties #1

Story: Stephen & Owen King
Adapted by: Rio Youers
Artist: Alison Sampson
Colorist: Triona Tree Farrell
Designer & Letterer: Christa Miesner
Editor: Elizabeth Brei
Publisher: IDW Publishing

In Sleeping Beauties #1, a strange illness is spreading across the world. Known as Aurora (after the princess who snoozed for a century), the sickness is only affecting women, leaving them in a deep sleep and covered in a web-like substance. Without the female of the species around, the men are left to figure it all out. What does that mean for society as a whole?

Based on the bestselling novel by Stephen and Owen King, the 10-part comic series from IDW Publishing is adapted by Rio Youers (The Forgotten Girl) and illustrated by Alison Sampson (Winnebago Graveyard). Triona Tree Farrell is on colors, and letters are by Christa Miesner. The action takes place in Dooling, a small town where some major things are happening. Crime and carnage are on the rise, and a mysterious woman named Eve seems to be at the center of it all. She is also unaffected by the sleeping disease that is knocking out every other woman in the area.

The first issue gets right to the action with very little exposition to bog down the narrative. The dialogue and the art are enough to set up the story and immerse you into the unsettling world affected by the mysterious illness. The script by Youers deftly captures in just a few pages the essence of the novel and the disconcerting vibe of this enigmatic world. Sampson’s art is fluid and pretty, even in the more disturbing panels, and the vibrant colors from Farrell are an interesting juxtaposition for the heavy and frightening events playing out on each page.

For me, the best part of this first issue is that it moves easily and the pacing is nice. I often find King’s storytelling a little wordy and cumbersome, but this adaptation zeroes in on exactly what needs to be shown to establish the rules—and mysteries—of the universe. Overall, this first issue is a strong start.

Sleeping Beauties #1 is slated to release in June. Look for covers by Annie Wu, Jenn Woodall, Jana Heidersdorf, and Diana Naneva.