Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

I Luv Halloween


I Luv Halloween by Keith Giffen and Benjamin Roman


What I know about Keith Giffen, really, is one thing: He co-wrote the Ambush Bug series in the 1980s. I loved those comics, because they were wacky, lunatic, and bizarre. The humor was so off-the-wall that it tickled my 12 year-old funny bone, and I can re-read them today, at 34, and still get tickled. When I read that he was writing a series called I Luv Halloween, I remembered how much I liked Ambush Bug, and put it on my list of books to read.

What I had forgotten, though, is that Keith Giffen also created Lobo. This little graphic novel has more in common with Lobo than it does with the Ambush Bug series. It's dark, graphic, perverse, and disturbing. I knew that the book was going to be about some rambunctious kids running around on Halloween, doing whatever necessary to get candy, but I was expecting the darkness to be more balanced with a keen sense of humor. I suppose it's there, but in a much, much darker tone than I was expecting. The opening scene shows the main character, dressed for Halloween, coming downstairs to get his sister, who's dressed up as the Tooth Fairy and prying a molar from the mouth of the dessicated corpse of her mother. There's some talk about zombie hordes, and whether or not they'll have enough teeth to eat the flesh of the living when they return, but that's really just an aside. This all takes place within the first five pages of the story, but it sets the proper tone, since a lot of destruction and injury follows these two kids.

The theme and tone of the graphic novel put me off, but I really have to credit the author and the artist for capturing the characters of the main cast. Each had his (or her) own distinctive personality, and there were some honest, laugh-out-loud moments throughout the story. The interplay between characters felt genuine (if twisted), and the violence wasn't necessarily gratuitious; it was just extreme.

The story was composed of four vignettes tied together to take place all on Halloween night, but there wasn't a strong theme that carried over all stories. There seem to be more questions left at the end of the story as to exactly what's going on with these characters, but since this is the first of three volumes, I expect they'll be answered along the way. I'm just not really sure if I'm going to make it through the next two.

If you like dark, nihilistic themes, you probably won't have any issue with the story. For me, though, I read one Chuck Palahniuk novel and realized I didn't need to read any further; I think I may feel the same way about I Luv Halloween.


May 12, 2006 - Posted by | Graphic Novels, Reviews

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: