I Luv Halloween
|I Luv Halloween|
Cover of I Luv Halloween vol. 2 (2006).
Art by Benjamin Roman.
|Original run||2005 – 2007|
I Luv Halloween is a horror-comedy original English-language (OEL) manga written by Keith Giffen and illustrated by Benjamin Roman. In North America, Tokyopop released the series in three volumes from October 2005 to September 2007 and re-released it as one volume in October 2008. Menford Electronic Art also adapted it into animated short episodes which premiered on My Space. Set on Halloween, the series focuses on a group of trick-or-treating children and their misadventures.
Roman envisioned the concept of the series and after he moved to Los Angeles, Tokyopop agreed to publish it with Giffen, who had adapted several Tokyopop manga, as the writer. Though positively received by readers, I Luv Halloween gained mixed-to-negative reviews from critics. The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, placed the first two volumes on its 2007 list of "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers".
Incorporating dark comedy, I Luv Halloween follows a group of children as they go trick-or-treating each Halloween: Finch, the leader of the bunch; Moochie, his homicidal younger sister; Devil Lad, who only appears on Halloween to join the group; Pig Pig, a simple-minded boy; the perverted Mr. Kitty; and his mostly silent younger brother Spike.
I Luv Halloween consists of three self-contained volumes. In the first volume, the children seek revenge after receiving apples, pennies, and candy which they dislike. Meanwhile, Moochie wanders away from Finch and kills the town bullies with a brassiere stolen from Nips, the town cheerleader. Obsessed with teeth, Moochie also extracts the molars of her victims. Finch and his group attempt to retrieve the brassiere from Moochie; however, after a series of deaths, they end up prematurely burying Nips. In the second volume, they learn that the townspeople have become zombies. Moochie embarks on a quest to drive out the "Chonkolit monkeys", and encounters a group of sisters: Vera, Vivian, and Vincent. Moochie takes Vera with her to hunt out the king of the monkeys. Meanwhile, Finch and Mr. Kitty escape from a Christian couple by severally burning the wife. Her husband chases after them, only to be killed by Moochie. She then has Vera exorcise the king of the monkeys from him. In the third volume, Finch and his group discover that the town is experiencing an alien invasion. Mr. Kitty sneaks into one of the aliens' spaceships when he sees them carrying off Nips. Finch and Pig Pig follow him onto the spaceship, only to discover that the aliens have sewn his head to Nips's body. Curious about abortions, Moochie sets out to revive a fetus whom she believes is her sister. Along the way, she tortures and kills the town doctor. His son, whom Moochie also tortures, sees this as a hate crime and sets off a biochemical targeting all the people of Caucasian descent. He and Devil Lad leave the town afterward.
Development and publication
Illustrator Benjamin Roman made his professional debut with the first volume of I Luv Halloween; he wanted to create "something that was offbeat and a little gory, but with a kind of humor and playfulness." Having spent years trying to get into the comic book industry, he moved to Los Angeles, California, in 2003, and worked at Kinko's in Hollywood; there, he met a Tokyopop employee, who passed along some of his "rejected proposals" to now-former editor Mark Paniccia. Keith Giffen, an American comic book illustrator and writer who had previously adapted the Tokyopop-licensed manga Battle Royale and Battle Vixens for an English-language audience, joined the project as the writer. Together, they spent three to four years working on the series. Although Roman did not draw the series with any particular influences in mind, he read Calvin and Hobbes and Marvel books as a child. Drawing inspiration from science-fiction and horror films in general, Roman acknowledged that "some of that same kitsch finds itself in I Luv Halloween." For the plot, Roman and Giffen were given "a lot of leeway creatively," and Roman commented: "I think that we were seeing how irresponsible we could go with that story and still get away with it. We were just trying to let loose with the characters, however violent that mentality m[a]y have turned at some points." As a way to celebrate the conclusion of the series, Roman gave away more than one hundred pages of I Luv Halloween artwork and five hundred replicas of Finch's mask at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con International.
The three I Luv Halloween volumes were published in North America by Tokyopop from October 11, 2005, to September 11, 2007. Tokyopop later re-released the series in a single volume, I Luv Halloween: Ultimate Twisted Edition (ISBN 978-1-4278-1072-4), with colored illustrations and a bonus story on October 1, 2008. The series is also published in Germany by Tokyopop Germany and in France by Akileos. However, in May 2011, Tokyopop shut down its North American branch, with the publishing status of original, OEL titles left unclear. I Luv Halloween also spawned an animated adaptation produced by Menfond Electronic Arts and released by Tokyopop in July 2007 as featured content on MySpace TV. Ben Chan wrote an original music score for the I Luv Halloween short episodes.
|01||October 11, 2005||ISBN 978-1-59532-831-1|
|02||March 7, 2006||ISBN 978-1-59532-832-8|
|03||September 11, 2007||ISBN 978-1-59532-833-5|
I Luv Halloween was positively received by English-language readers. The first volume debuted at the 49th spot on a list of the top 100 bestselling graphic novels and sold an estimated 1,650 copies. The second volume sold 1,403 copies and appeared at the 92nd spot. The third volume debuted at the 73rd spot with 1,440 copies sold. Daily Variety named I Luv Halloween one of Tokyopop's top ten biggest titles.
I Luv Halloween received mixed to negative reviews from critics. The art style drew criticism, and two critics compared the character designs to those of the Garbage Pail Kids. Conversely, KJB of IGN wrote that Roman's art style complimented Giffen's writing nicely. PopCultureShock's former senior manga editor Katherine Dacey thought that the colored illustrations in the re-release improved the art style. Another point of criticism was the use of dark comedy. Leroy Douresseaux of Coolstreak Cartoon compared the characters and tone of the series to "a lame version of the TV show “Jackass”". Dacey wrote that the inclusion of fan service and "truly tasteless jokes" prevented I Luv Halloween from becoming an enjoyable read. While writing that the series "isn't the best original manga to hit the shelves", KJB commented on the "wickedly perverse sense of humor at play here" that at times became "a little too broad", and enjoyed that the first volume did not end on a cliffhanger. Another reviewer for IGN, A.E. Sparrow put the series on his list of the ten best horror/thriller manga. The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, placed the first two volumes on its 2007 list of "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers".
- KJB (16 September 2005). "I Luv Halloween Vol 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Sparrow, A.E. (30 October 2007). "IGN: Top 10 Horror/Thriller Manga". IGN. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Giffen, Keith; Benjamin Roman (2005). "Finch". I Luv Halloween. 1. Los Angeles: Tokyopop. ISBN 978-1-59532-831-1.
- "Manga+Comics: I Luv Halloween Ultimate Twisted Edition". Tokyopop. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Dacey, Katherine (31 October 2008). "Hallowinis". PopCultureShock. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- Ong Pang Kean, Benjamin (9 October 2008). "Ben Roman on 'I Luv Halloween' Twisted Edition and More". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Parkin, JK (24 July 2007). "Blog@Q&A: Ben Roman". Newsarama. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Ong Pang Kean, Benjamin (24 June 2008). "Tokyopop's Changes: From the Creators's P.O.V.". Newsarama. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Parkin, JK (10 August 2007). "SDCC Aftermath: Ben Roman". Newsarama. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "I Luv Halloween, Volume 1". Amazon.com.
- "I Luv Halloween, Volume 3". Amazon.com.
- "Manga+Comics: I Luv Halloween-- Ultimate Twisted Edition--". Tokyopop. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Bücher: Manga: I Luv Halloween" [Books: Manga: I Luv Halloween] (in German). Tokyopop. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- "I luv Halloween, Tome 1". Amazon.com.
"I luv Halloween, Tome 2". Amazon.com.
"I luv Halloween, Tome 3". Amazon.com.
- "Tokyopop: Japanese Manga Licenses to Revert to Owners". Anime News Network. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- Luther, Katherine (30 July 2007). "Anime News - 7/30/07". About.com. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "Tokyopop Markets OEL Manga on My Space". ICv2. 17 July 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- "I Luv Halloween, Volume 2". Amazon.com.
- "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual --September 2005". ICv2. 25 October 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2006". ICv2. 17 April 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--September 2007". ICv2. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
- Lewis, David (25 October 2007). "Tokyopop top ten: the biggest titles from the imprint's first decade". Daily Variety. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- Johnson, Craig. "I Luv Halloween v1". Manga Life. Archived from the original on 14 May 2006. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
- Douresseaux, Leroy (11 March 2006). "I Luv Halloween". Coolstreak Cartoon. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- "2007 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". American Library Association. Retrieved 28 January 2010.