31 Days Of Horror Presents Heroes & Villains Trick ‘r Treat, Halloween Man

Another Wednesday in October brings even MORE Halloween themed comics to write about and I could not be more excited about the ones I got this week. I haven’t had a lot of time to brine myself in seasonally appropriate movies and TV specials…yet. I feel like that I should have consumed more than I have at the halfway point of the month aside from Halloween (2018) and The Adventures of Pete and Pete’s “Halloweenie” episode.My father reminded me that we’re due to watch Garfield’s Halloween Adventure so that’s rocketed to the the top spot of my “must watch” list.

Before we get on to the comics, I have a question for you: Which of The Simpson’s Halloween specials is the best and why is it “Treehouse of Horror V”?

Trick ‘r Treat: Sam’s 10th Anniversary Collection
Michael Dougherty & Various
Legendary Comics

The fine folks at Legendary Comics had reached out to ask if we’d be interested in reviewing Trick ‘r Treat: Sam’s 10th Anniversary Collection and joke’s on them because I’m into that shit and I had already bought my OWN copy. I don’t know what other kind of ringing endorsement I can give it other than that. Actually, it was a surprise gift from my pal Dan who knows that Trick ‘r Treat is one of my all-time favorite Halloween movies. It was no small feat that he was able to fly under my radar and snag me a copy of this book before I was even aware of it.

For the uninitiated, Trick ‘r Treat is one of the best horror anthology movies of the modern era and is required annual viewing for me. Back when the movie was first released in 2009 I had heard rumblings about it online and it wasn’t anything that my friends had seen but I was nevertheless intrigued. I was at K-Mart (back when those still existed) and the DVD of Trick ‘r Treat was part of their seasonal Halloween movie display and after carefully considering the box I returned home and added it to the top of my Netflix DVD queue (another very old fashioned thing to say). Within a couple of days I had received the movie in the mail (back when we still had a fully functioning USPS) and I proceeded to watch the movie and rave about it to all of my friends, immediately ordering a blu-ray copy for my library.

The tone of the movie was what really sold me, it really felt like a proper Halloween movie should. The various stories of the anthology weave together and interconnect in clever ways, all under the watchful button-eyes of Sam, the spirit of Halloween. Simply put, the movie is a lot of fun…it’s scary, gory, and funny all in equal measure.

Here’s a blurb about the book:

Legendary Comics is bringing fans the full compendium of twisted Halloween tales, brought to life by a top-notch team of creators, including: writers Zach Shields (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Krampus) and Todd Casey (Krampus); Eisner Award-winning writer Marc Andreyko (Batwoman); Eisner Award-winning artist Fiona Staples (SAGA); ZID (Skull Island: Birth of Kong; Lost in Space: Countdown To Danger); Stuart Sayger (Bram Stoker’s Death Ship); Stephen Byrne (Green Arrow); Grant Bond (Supernatural); Mike Huddleston (Man Bat); and Christopher Gugliotti (Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

Trick ‘r Treat, the graphic novel adaptation of the film, reveals four evocatively illustrated tales of horror interwoven into one unforgettable Halloween night as the unsettling figure known as Sam pays a visit to an unsuspecting community, wreaking havoc during the scariest night of the year.

And then, in Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead, franchise icon Sam takes readers on a journey back through Halloween history with four chilling tales. Discover old-world lovers whose romance takes a chilling turn and Western pioneers who discover the dark side of the frontier. Travel to 1950s Los Angeles for a tale of pure horror noir and into the heart of small-town America to see some pranksters taught a lesson they’ll never forget. Across centuries of Halloween horror, wherever fear lies, Sam will be waiting…

Now, I was over the proverbial moon when my friend gifted me a copy of this book; it’s a fantastic hardcover edition complete with new cover art, bonus extras, and a new intro by Dougherty himself. I had previously purchased both of the graphic novels that are contained within this edition but having them in such a slick package makes for a great addition to my bookshelf, not to mention my ever growing collection of Trick ‘r Treat merch (I’m more than a little bitter that Shout! Factory sold out of the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray last weekend before I could snag a copy, but hope springs eternal).

Just as Trick ‘r Treat is essential Halloween viewing this collected edition is essential Halloween reading. A little something to curl up with on a cool October night while we dream of a sequel to this masterpiece of a horror movie.

Halloween Man: Beyond October
Drew Edwards (W)
Various (A)
Nicola Scott and Annette Kwok (Cover)

Out TODAY on ComiXology is Halloween Man: Beyond October. Here’s the blurb:

Meet Solomon Hitch, the Halloween Man himself—a misunderstood monster with the power of the horror movie sequel, a heart of gold, and a taste for living flesh—and his lady love Lucy Chaplin, the world’s most glamorous mad scientist. With his friends by his side, he just might smash evil, save the world — and maybe even save his soul!

In Halloween Man: Beyond October it’s revelations abound as a frosty Halloween night is invaded by folkloric Yuletide monsters. Frau Perchta, the Christmas Witch wants to sink her claws into Halloween, but first she must rob Halloween Man of his supernatural powers! Join us for endings and beginnings in an issue that will delight old fans and inspire new ones!

Aside from that kick ass synopsis, here’s what I dug about Halloween Man: Beyond October; it was a lot of fun and it reminded me of going to a comic con and seeing a comic that looked interesting and taking a chance on a book based only on that cover and the enthusiasm of its creator…and then being rewarded with a book that’s actually pretty good! There were so many books I picked up at conventions in the late 90’s and early 00’s that were possessed by the same boundless love for comics as Drew Edwards clearly has for Halloween Man.

The book is ALSO celebrating its 20th anniversary which in the world of indie publishing is an amazing feat in and of itself!

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