Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
I am one of Trick 'r Treats' biggest fans. I just needed to put that out there first thing. I don't just watch it, religiously, once a year, but during the year as well, to bring me that Halloween feeling, as well as to marvel over the craftsmanship with which the movie was made. So when I saw that Days of the Dead was being released, I had to have it! And I do, thanks to my birthday (yesterday) and my very generous best friend!
Like the movie, the graphic novel follow four different stories; unlike the movie, the stories aren't interconnected, except for the appearance of Sam, and that was a bit of a disappointment, but understandable, considering they had different writers, and different artists, with Dougherty coming up with the overall picture and supervising.
Seed - The most disappointing of the four. I don't think Trick 'r Treat ever needed a tragic love story, but I still could have gone along with it if it weren't for the immense historical inaccuracies. Pumpkins were indigenous to North America and didn't catch on in Europe for a long, long time; they wouldn't be in Ireland in the 17th century. And there was no great witch inquisition in Ireland, either; there were witch finders, and, oh! There were burnings. But the concentrated effort shown in this story is fallacious. What I would have liked to see from this story is the origin of Sam's earthly form, and I think that was supposed to be the implication (?), but it was poorly done and I was left underwhelmed.
Corn Maiden - Now this is more like it! Though, again, it's a little too early in American history to be celebrating Halloween (and to have traditional candy, to boot!)--curse my historical knowledge of this holiday!--but it's a good story, well told, with a macabre twist. I can't help but feel that there's too much of a righteous feel to Halloween at this point, however, which is directly in contrast to the message of the movie, that Halloween is capricious and has its own rules. And one of those rules: Always checky our candy!
Echoes - Now we're talking! With bizarre, almost mind-bending artwork, this story was when the fire really began for me, when it caught and started to blaze. Again, Halloween is surprisingly benign, and it feels as if they're trying a bit too hard, as in Seeds, to show a modern, more progressive form of witchcraft (I'm Wiccan and this still slightly bothered me, because it felt preachy). But the suspense, the art, the writing, it all works so well! The only thing I might criticize is that I occasionally got lost. Characters speak from off panel, and it wasn't always easy to follow who was saying what; it lent it a dreamlike quality, but also a little confusion. I felt as if a page were missing somewhere along the story, and that's a problem, but otherwise, so solid and beautifully done, I couldn't really fault it.
Monster Mash - My favorite. The art is fantastic, and the use of costumes for two little boys to walk among real monsters is so very much in the spirit of traditional Halloween, as is the fact that one of them decides to stay. And the religious push against modern Halloween adds the perfect touch of Halloween history to the story. And I loved how it tied into the very beginning of the story. Perfectly done!
And this will now become a yearly read, as the movie is a must-watch. And it will tide me over until the sequel is made!