Sunday, August 17, 2008

Comic Book Review HALLOWEEN 30 YEARS OF TERROR Special

In anticipation of Devil's Due Publishing mini-series HALLOWEEN: THE FIRST DEATH OF LAURIE STRODE and the release anniversary of the original film, a 48-page anthology special has been put together entitled HALLOWEEN: 30 YEARS OF TERROR. This special includes five short stories written by HALLOWEEN fanatic and director of the documentary HALLOWEEN: 25 YEARS OF TERROR Stefan Hutchinson.

Within these five stories you'll discover how the lives of Laurie Strode, Tommy Doyle and Dr. Sam Loomis all had their lives changed by those fateful events that unfolded on October 31st, 1978.

In "Trick Or Treat", you'll find out what happens when Tommy Doyle and Lindsay Wallace scream at the top of their lungs all the way to the McKenzie's house. "Visiting Hours" reveals the fate of poor Laurie. Michael Myer's first person view in the opening scene of the original film remains a horror touchstone, and in "P.O.V." artist Jim Daly lets one of Michael's victims share that perspective. Learn what Tommy Doyle is up to as an adult in "Tommy's Web", with a surprising departure that becomes the best story in the book. Finally, in "Repetition Compulsion" it is 1989 and Dr. Sam Loomis waits patiently for the inevitable return of The Shape in a story that most perfectly captures the heartbeat of the film series' motifs.

Hutchinson's love for the source material is undeniable as he envisions what has happened "off screen" to the characters that have been touched by the soulless evil that is Michael Myers. After reading this special, as well as his previous mini-series NIGHTDANCE and the upcoming FIRST DEATH..., it is pretty clear that Hutchinson should have been given reign over at least one of the sequels or even blessed with the HALLOWEEN remake. Whether your a supporter or detractor of Rob Zombie's vision, it is clear that had Hutchinson been in command, there would have been a lot less bickering amongst horror fans.

Yet the book is not without its faults. The rapid pace of each story, coupled with the short length of each gives the book a jerky start-stop-start rhythm which is made worse by the fact that there is no bumper to alert the reader when a new story is starting. In addition, the scratchy and amateur looking art of Brett Weldele on "Visiting Hours" almost completely ruins what should be a highlight of the book given its call for repeating iconic image motifs and its focus on Laurie.

For HALLOWEEN die-hards and even those that consider themselves more than casual fans, HALLOWEEN: 30 YEARS OF TERROR is definitely worth picking up and marks another success for Hutchinson as he continues nightmare of Michael Myer's saga. Just be sure to have the soundtrack playing quietly in the background to get the theme just right.


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