Best Shots Extra: WildStorm's TRICK R' TREAT

Best Shots Extra

Trick ‘r Treat

From: Wildstorm

Written by Marc Andreyko (based on the film by Michael Dougherty)

Art by Mike Huddleston, Grant Bond, Christopher Gugliotti, and Fiona Staples

Letters by Rob Leigh

Color (chapter one) by Jim Charalampidis

Review by Troy Brownfield

Trick ‘r Treat comes to us as a strange beast.  It’s based on the film from Michael Dougherty, he of writing credits for “Superman Returns” and the “X-Men” film franchise.  The movie itself had actually been set for a 2007 release, but, despite strong advance buzz from festivals and previews, was unceremoniously pulled from the schedule by Warner Brothers for reasons known only to them and Bugs Bunny.  Wildstorm had been planning a tie-in mini-series adaptation, but it wasn’t released.  Now, two years hence, the film gets a DVD release on Tuesday, October 6th, and the planned mini has been collected as one graphic novel by writer Marc Andreyko and a group of talented artists.

It’s only speculation, but I’m guessing that part of the hold-up may have been the fact that American studios often turn out to be fairly chicken-s#!+ when it comes to the subject of horror violence perpetrated on or by children.  While that’s not the entire focus or the entire point of Trick ‘r Treat, it’s present, and probably present in enough of a capacity to turn an executive’s designer suit white.  Make no mistake: Trick ‘r Treat is for horror fans; if you don’t dig the genre, then you probably shouldn’t pick this one up.

However . . . if you ARE a horror fan and if you like the idea of someone reinventing the specificity of Halloween-related horror outside of Haddonfield, Illinois . . . you might find this to be a wicked treat.  Despite being a card-carrying member of the Fangoria family, I have not seen the film version yet.  BUT.  If it has half of the punch of this collection, I’m in.

Andreyko does a terrific job of building suspense and cross-cutting between narratives.  The pace and action run efficiently, and manages to build some vivid portrayals in a short period of time.  I know that adaptation is hard, but Andreyko seems to have done this fairly handily.

The art side of this really sings.  The four talents involved have fairly disparate styles, but each person seems to match their section nicely.  Grant Bond does a particularly strong job of capturing youngsters getting in way over their heads, while Fiona Staples does a fine job of playing with little Sam.  Ah, Sam.  He’s got a chance to be the new horror hero.  In his scarecrow mask and toddler’s height, he’s almost adorable.  Except that pumpkin sucker dripping blood.  And what’s under the maks.

I enjoyed Trick ‘r Treat for its Grand Guignol twists and “Tales from the Darkseid” turns.  It put me in mind of the inherent spookiness of a Midwestern October night.  It’s less about Michael Myers and more about Ray Bradbury.  If Bradbury were in an especially angry, deadly mood.  Horror fans should probably peek at the DVD, but you may want to give the graphic a look as well.

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