October 8, 2015

Indie Review: Halloween Man: Ray Gun Gothic


halloeenmanraygunHalloween Man: Ray Gun Gothic
Publisher: Independent
Written By: Drew Edwards
Art By: Sergio Calvet

He’s back to kick ass and ward off monsters in an all-new collection. He’s: Halloween Man!

For those unfamiliar with this character, Halloween Man is an indie-comic gem that has going for about fifteen years now, created by author Drew Edwards. The plot follows the adventures of Solomon Hitch, who was once killed by a vampire, but brought back to life through the use of ancient magic. He now saves the day in the futuristic city of Solar City, Texas, fighting off hordes of monsters as the half-zombie known as Halloween Man. Frequently, he is supported in these deeds through the help of his action babe/scientist/girlfriend Lucy, and the ancient demi-god Man-Goat!

Based off that midnight movie description, you should already be able to tell if this, or any of the series, will be the book for you. The good news is, for fans of late-night cult genre, if you’re like me at least, this comic is very much for you.

Halloween Man: Ray Gun Gothic is a swank collection featuring a few stories. “Cry Havoc!” is an epic multi-parter in which ancient killer dwarves from another dimension invade Solar City, and only Halloween Man and friends can fight off this new evil menace. “Eye of the Beholder” focuses on Lucy dealing with a villain from her past named Olympia, who has made all the women of the city plus-sized. “The Bombshell Experiment” and “Lucy vs. Farmers Ghost” are again Lucy-centric tales, the latter channeling the comic’s inner Scooby-Doo setups. In a tale sure to please fans of Troma’s Blood Sucking Freaks, “Burlesque of Blood” is the final Lucy solo tale here, as she deals with a killer using a burlesque club as a front. The collection ends with “The Terrible Fruitbats,” in which vampires are up to no good in the city, which leads into another ass-kicking, Halloween Man adventure.

There’s a lot of good material in this indie title. One of the greatest strengths is Drew Edward’s black comedic writing, which helps drive the B-movie setups into something a little more than the typical fodder we’d expect from such plot lines. Yes, the plots are straight forward, but he scripts with love, and enough homage nods and winks that when heightened by the funny dialogue, let his labor of love shine.

On the art side, Sergio Calvet does some nice work, too. His character designs lean more towards the cartoonish side of things, which somehow fits and makes the material’s presentation itself better and more fitting. Would one want to see hyper realism on this stuff? Nope, it’s better to see the Groovy Ghoulies have a blood fest. Calvet’s layouts are on the more traditional side, but again fit with the tone of the material itself, and in the modern world translates to guided-view on digital platforms better. Calvet also gives some Jack Kirby-styled homage in the first tale, again playing homage cards when correctly fitting; part of the book’s charm.

Halloween Man: Ray Gun Gothic is available mid-October, a fitting comic to read in the middle of this Halloween season, and recommended to cult comic geeks and fans of old school films.

You can purchase Halloween Man on comiXology.

Drew McCabe



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