Halloween is always a good breeding ground for strange and scary stories and this one is no exception. The only problem is the comic seems to be suffering from a case of identity crisis which in the end affects the final product and left me feeling disappointed and a little frustrated.
The comic begins with The Goon, Freddy and the kid driving to Detroit when a mysterious fog rolls in and suddenly they come upon a carnival named Theatre Bizarre. Tempted with promises of beer, women and candy, the trio cannot refuse at least a peak at the carnival. (Although the creepy clown describing the carnival should have been a cause for at least some concern)
Inside they meet Roxi D’lite, a sort of queen of the peep show, who has an agenda all her own to escape the clutches of Zombo, the leader of this bizarre freak show. Of course, our trio walks right into this and chaos and humor ensue.
The first thing I noticed right away was that the comic looked great. The art by both Eric Powell and John Dunivant is fantastic. Stunning colors and beautiful detail highlight a visual delight that moves back and forth from a strange cartoon look to a more evil and twisted design. It definitely kept my attention from start to finish, moving easily from panel to panel without getting too busy or over complicated.
However, the story itself was not nearly as well done. While I appreciate the combination of both horror and comedy in the story, that is a tricky thing to pull off and I was left feeling a little confused as to just what writer Eric Powell was going for. Also, because the comic was so short, neither the horror or comedy parts of the story seemed long enough and made both sides feel like something was missing.
There were many times that the art and story came together and made for some great panels to look at and read but too many times they just didn’t work like they should, leaving me more than a little frustrated at the final outcome.
Be that as it may, the overall final product was still good. The artwork was superb and while the story didn’t quite match that high quality is was still a decent read. If you are fan of The Goon and Halloween this will probably be a fun read for you, even if the uneven storytelling and length leave you scratching your head a bit by the end.
Three stars out of five