Comic Book Review: Halloween: 30 Years of Terror

Cover1

Halloween: 30 Years of Terror is another from Devil’s Due Publishing and Stefan Hutchinson, published in 2008, with art by Lizzy John and Tim Seeley. It also takes place during the H20 timeline, and is considered a “one-shot comic,” meaning it’s not part of an ongoing series. Instead, this is five short stories featuring Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, Tommy Doyle, and Dr. Sam Loomis.

I’ll say again, as I’ve been saying, the artwork is fantastic, and particularly, this collection has almost a water color quality to it that creates a nice effect to the drawings. That artwork extends to the fantastic covers, including the above pictured, and absolutely fantastic cover with a weathered Loomis holding the mask of Michael Myers. It almost looks like Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” with the way the mask looks like it’s melting.

And of course, I’m a sucker for the alternate cover side-by-side (with a knife down the middle) of Laurie Strode and Michael Myers in the featured image of this post. That is the definitive look of Michael Myers, in my opinion, because it’s from the original film.

This first story, “Trick or Treat,” picks up in the middle of Michael Myers’ rampage on Halloween night 1978, where Tommy Doyle and Lindsey Wallace run out of the house to the Mackenzie’s house. We get a look inside the Mackenzie’s house, which is fun. I don’t think that small detail in the original film has ever been followed up on before.

The husband at the Mackenzie’s house ends up passing away at some point, and Michael Myers pays the widow a visit, with this great shot of him sitting in a chair:

Myers in the chair

In, “P.O.V,” Haddonfield has crowned “Miss Haddonfield 1991,” and is clearly an echo of the original film. A theme that runs through many of these comics is that Michael Myers is obsessed with the original killing of his sister Judith Myers, which in the film, was done with the point-of-view of the killer. In this short story, we get that scene played out again when Michael Myers kills “Miss Haddonfield.” There’s no dialogue, only that point-of-view.

This is probably one of the more gruesome kills in any of the comics I’ve read yet because Michael Myers literally decapitates her. Then he’s just staring in the mirror at his own reflection with her headless body and lots of blood around him. I think this is the first time in any medium we’ve seen Michael Myers look at himself in the mirror. That’s a pretty neat image and thought. What does he see when he sees himself? Does he see anything?

decap

In, “Visiting Hours,” Laurie Strode thinks about the life she would have, if not for Michael Myers. But the thoughts of him are intrusive, and for example, she imagines a bloody Annie (who was killed in the original) telling her, “If you were smart, you’d have stopped him from killing me.”

The water color effect I was talking about earlier really comes alive in this section. And the way Annie’s face melts reminds me of Dali again. Look at this panel:

myers water color

It’s obviously horrific, but gosh, it’s beautifully horrific.

“I can’t even dream of a normal life without you killing it,” Laurie Strode says.

That’s powerful, and as with other comics, I like when we delve into the psyche of Laurie Strode because, after all, she did experience a traumatic event. This also seems to take place right before the events of Halloween: Resurrection because Laurie Strode seems to be in an asylum now, and she’s flipped the script because she’s the one waiting for Michael Myers.

With, “Tommy and the Boogeyman,” we get the interplay that’s been a fun theme in Halloween 6 and in other comics: Tommy Doyle dealing with the aftermath of his encounter with The Boogeyman. He’s 35-years-old now, and believe it or not, has become a horror comic book writer.

He’s written a horror comic called Tarantula Man, which is beautifully drawn in real drab, Gothic color schemes. The comic in a comic picks up with two girls walking home, not knowing the danger lurking in the shadows until they get caught up in its web, literally. The metaphor is heavy with this one, huh? But I like it. Tarantula Man is a bit of a pervert, to say the least, as he’s rummaging through one of the victim’s underwear.

tarantula

As someone who hates spiders and is terrified of them, this was a genuinely horrific comic within a comic. And like with Michael Myers, there’s a fatalistic element to it: He [Tarantula Man] is going to get you, and there’s nothing that can stop him. Likewise, Michael Myers, the Boogeyman, is going to get you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

“Repetition Compulsion,” picks up in 1989 with an elementary school teacher in Haddonfield, telling her students not to be scared about tomorrow since it’s Halloween. This one is kinda silly because there’s a scene where Loomis is with Marion (the nurse from the original) and apparently, Michael Myers was in his office at some point, and literally put a pin on a map of where he was going to go. Imagine it. Michael Myers putting a pin on a map.

school

But, the drawing in this short story is tremendous, and it’s where we get the Dali-like melting Michael Myers mask. It does get effective, and reminds me of H20’s opening, when Michael Myers comes behind the elementary teacher to kill her and she can see Loomis and Marion just outside the window, but they don’t see her. That said, we don’t know why Michael Myers is killing a random elementary school teacher, and we don’t know why he killed “Miss Haddonfield 1991,” either, albeit, I suppose you could say that is precisely the point. He’s just a random, chaos killing machine.

This one is really about the psyche of Loomis and his never-ending quest to stop Michael Myers, but, again, fatalistically, realizing he can’t. That he’s just a simple pawn in Michael Myers’ evil game.

Overall, this is a fun collection to celebrate 30 years of Michael Myers. It’s fun to explore a couple small stories without trying to tell a larger story. With this, we get to delve into the psyche of Laurie Strode, Dr. Sam Loomis, and even Tommy Doyle to the extent that him becoming a horror writer (and what he wrote) reflects on him. If he had never encountered Michael Myers, would he become a horror writer still? Maybe because he was already fascinated with the idea of The Boogeyman. If I had to pick, my favorite was “Visiting Hours,” because of diving into Laurie Strode’s psyche but also because the drawing with the melting Annie was great.

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