Posted by: John Gholson
If you really want to experience the differences in storytelling between comics and film, comic book movie adaptations are always a great place to start. The panels serve as a series of “greatest hits” moments from the film, the writers and artists thanklessly reducing thrilling cinematic action sequences into a static panel or two, and swapping emotional character beats for only the choicest one-liners. It’s got to be a tough job. DC/Wildstorm does their best effort with TRICK ‘R TREAT, the comic adaptation of Michael Dougherty’s straight-to-video anthology love letter to Halloween. Sporadic screenings and good word of mouth have helped TRICK ‘R TREAT gain a cult audience in advance of its official release, and I think those that are already huge fans of the film will be interested in seeing how the story unfolds in a comic book format.
There are four different artists at work here, working under Marc Andreyko’s writing, which is faithful to Dougherty’s script, but uninspired. Mike Huddleston (Gen 13, Friday the 13th: Badland) tackles the first quarter of the book, which includes two major scenes from the film–the opening vignette wherein a young couple return home from a long night of partying, and the film’s most conceptually disturbing story, which introduces sinister school principal Mr. Wilkins. Huddleston has a straight-forward, pleasing comic art style that’s a touch on the cartoony side, but he compliments it here with heavy blacks and dramatic silhouettes. Grant Bond (Archibald Saves Christmas, Gene Simmons’ House of Horrors) takes on the story of a Halloween trick gone horribly wrong. A group of kids decide to scare an idiot savant with the local legend of a school bus full of mentally disturbed children that fell to their watery grave in a rock quarry one Halloween night. It was my favorite segment of the film, and Bond’s pastel-colored visuals give the tale a storybook quality that feels appropriate.