I Luv Halloween is a deliciously twisted (but hilarious) graphic novel published in black and white “American manga” format by Tokyopop. It tells the story of a bunch of children left to their own devices in an almost surreal small-town setting on Halloween. The protagonists are led by Finch (with skull mask) and include his sister Moochie (dressed as a tooth fairy), friends Pig Pig and Mr. Kitty, and the mysterious Devil Boy (who, it is strongly implied, may actually be the devil). The reader knows this isn’t going to be your usual story when Finch and Moochie head downstairs after getting dressed and nonchalantly walk past their clearly long-dead parents who are desiccated corpses sitting at the dining room table. This doesn’t bother the kids one bit, and Moochie proceeds to extract some molars and other “pretty teeth” from the corpses (she ends up extracting teeth from a variety of living and dead victims throughout the story).
The kids must deal with a variety of obstacles to good trick or treating including the need to break a candy-related curse (they end up framing an old lady for giving out apples with razor blades in them) and recover a stolen bra for a massively-endowed teenage girl. There’s plenty of violence, gore, and over-the-top action along the way. It’s truly dark, twisted, and hilarious. You will be at various times as you read it aghast, disgusted, disturbed, repulsed, stunned, offended, creeped out, and, of course, vastly amused. This is not for the weak of stomach or the humorless.
Clearly, on some level the creators of I Luv Halloween are going for fun, twisted humorous situations and gross-out jokes, but I think there’s actually much more going on here than that. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I think they’re also commenting on the savagery of children. We all know how senselessly and thoughtlessly cruel children can be – to each other, to animals, to some adults, etc.; in some ways, if adults behaved the way children do, we’d describe them as sociopaths. Here, the kids are truly on their own and they take full advantage of the situation. Characterization is good, providing a real sense that the kids are behaving as (exaggerated) kids really do and dialogue is both authentic-sounding and clever.
If you have a twisted sense of humor, find enjoyment in dark comedies and grotesqueries, and don’t mind some (humorous) gore, I highly recommend this. It’s so far out there that I haven’t seen anything else quite like it – it really is unique. I give this 4.5 stars out of 5.
Review copyright 2010 J. Andrew Byers