Turning Horror On Its Head
♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Tim Cundle takes a look at Our Final Halloween, now crowdfunding on Kickstarter…
Our Final Halloween
Writer: Mike Garley
Artist: Michael Lee-Graham
Letters: Mike Stock
Bonus Art: Sam Beck, Kate Brown, Steve White, Meaghan Carter & Shaun Kimber
There’s a reason for the existence and enduring popularity of genre-specific stereotypes and it’s an incredibly simple one. It’s because they’re an effective storytelling vehicle. They work, people like them and so they remain a constant and reassuring presence in every facet of film and literature. However, that doesn’t mean that writers and artists can’t have fun with them, can’t twist them inside out, turn them upside down and bend them into all different kinds of shapes in order to create something unique, that while escaping the confines of the established genre rules is also familiar enough for its audience to immediately identify with. And that is exactly what the creative team responsible for Our Final Halloween, a book that’s recently launched on Kickstarter, have done with their loving ode to all things dark and horrible.
Utilising, and incorporating some of the most well-established institutions and conventions of horror, namely the group of teenagers along in a house in which all manner of hell (quite literally) has broken loose, Our Final Halloween teases, toys and plays with its audiences expectations right up until its closing moments. While it sounds a little formulaic, it’s anything but and only uses the tropes that its readers are familiar with in order to lure them in before pushing them through a forbidden door that’s covered in all manner of demonic sigils and occult symbols. Sure there’s monsters a plenty and all manner of things from beyond the veil, but hurling group amnesia and an overwhelming sense of creeping dread into proceedings allows writer Mike Garley to ramp up the tension and lead his readers in all manner of different and interesting narrative directions. Artistically, the story is nearly perfect as Michael Lee-Graham and his cohorts in detailed devilry consummately capture the stetting, mood and tone of the tale by directly transferring everything that makes the best teenage scream-a-thon and slasher flicks work into the four-colour world.
Wearing its influences proudly on its blood-soaked, gore-infused sleeves, Our Final Halloween pays homage to HP Lovecraft, John Carpenter, Alfred Hitchcock, The Twilight Zone and the viscera-coated video nasties that rose to prominence in the eighties. Sure, it borrows liberally from all of the aforementioned, especially in its what if Lifeboat had been penned by John W. Campbell style finale, but that doesn’t detract from the story which is packed with more than enough of the crimson stuff to satiate even the most ardent devotee of horror fandom. Beguiling, entrancing and intriguing, Our Final Halloween is a thoroughly satisfying way to spend an evening as the darkness draws in. Frighteningly good fun… Tim Cundle
Support it now with just a few days to go on Kickstarter