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".
Finch is the leader of the trick-or-treaters and the older brother of Moochie, a young homicidal girl. They have a dog named Mush, who is missing half his face. Devil Lad only appears every Halloween to join the group. The other children are the "slovenly, gross and borderline feral" Pig Pig, the perverted Mr. Kitty, and his mostly silent younger brother Spike, who was Benjamin Roman's favorite character to illustrate because of his "soup bowl hair cut and overalls".
Finch, Mr. Kitty, Pig Pig, and Devil Lad go trick-or-treating, but when they receive apples, pennies, and candy they do not like, they seek revenge. Meanwhile, Moochie wanders away from Finch and kills the town bullies with a brassiere stolen from Nips, the town cheerleader. Since she is obsessed with teeth, she also extracts their molars. Finch and his group attempt to retrieve the brassiere from Moochie; however, after a series of deaths, they end up prematurely burying Nips.
The next Halloween, Finch and his group go trick-or-treating and find out 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 killing the wife. Her husband chases after them, only to be killed by Moochie. She and Vera exorcise the king of the monkeys from the man.
The Halloween after, Finch and his group discover that aliens are invading the town. 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 Nip's body. Dressed as Lady Godiva, Moochie sets out to revive a fetus who she believes to be 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 to kill all the white people. He and Devil Lad leave the town afterwards.
Benjamin Roman does not "consider I Luv Halloween a manga, at least in the traditional sense." He has been a fan of Keith Giffen since his teenage years and commented that, "[i]t's still a bit surreal to speak with him on the phone." Roman tried for about a year to get a "simpler version" of I Luv Halloween published, but had no success. After he moved to Los Angeles, the story was picked up by Tokyopop and Giffen joined the project as a writer. Roman stated:
"Keith just made the characters come to life with his dialogue and story. The insanity that plays out in the book is all Keith’s warped idea of what's fun on Halloween. Hell, I wish my youth was as entertaining.”
Roman considered his experience creating the series was "great since they allowed me a lot of leeway creatively. I think that the most I was ever asked to change was probably one word in the three books that I did." However, he felt that "sometimes [Tokyopop doesn't] communicate with their creators as effectively as I think that a company should." Giffen and Roman ended the series at three volumes.
Written by Keith Giffen and illustrated by Benjamin Roman, 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 licensed in Germany by Tokyopop Germany.
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Animated short episodes
In July 2007, animated short episodes of I Luv Halloween, Riding Shotgun, Bizenghast, and A Midnight Opera were released by Tokyopop as featured content on MySpace TV. Menfond Electronic Arts produced the shorts and Ben Chan wrote the music score for the I Luv Halloween shorts.
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 reviews from critics. Chad Clayton of Anime Jump commented that the series "has the attitude and the look of a great comedy-horror title, yet it carries a fundamental flaw. Instead of toying with our emotions and expectations or creating an atmosphere conducive to either horror or comedy, it takes a glib "point and laugh" approach to things that are not in and of themselves funny-- things such as dismemberment and murder." Popculture Shock's Katherine Dacey stated: "The series might have been fun if Benjamin Roman and Keith Giffen weren’t so intent on pushing the envelope with truly tasteless jokes and crude fan service." Dacey also described the art as "just as lousy as the humor," but liked the color illustrations and extras of the Ultimate Twisted Edition. Manga Life's Craig Johnson rated the first volume a "C+", commenting it is "for those with a particularly warped imagination." While commenting that the series "isn't the best original manga to hit the shelves", KJB of IGN noted the "wickedly perverse sense of humor at play here that will appeal to anyone that felt even the mildest joy at seeing Giffen's Formerly Known As The Justice League hit the stands." Leroy Douresseaux criticized the characters as "reprehensible and disgusting, but not entertaining like a ghoul from a Tim Burton fantasy" and compared them and tone of the series to "a lame version of the TV show “Jackass”". Conversely, A.E. Sparrow of IGN put the series on his top 10 Horror/Thriller Manga list. 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".
- ↑ Giffen, Keith; Benjamin Roman (2005). "Finch". I Luv Halloween 1. Los Angeles: Tokyopop. ISBN 978-1-59532-831-1. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- ↑ "Manga+Comics: I Luv Halloween Ultimate Twisted Edition". Tokyopop. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
Slovenly, gross and borderline feral, Pig Pig epitomizes all things stomach churning...If it's in questionable taste, it's Mr. Kitty... Alleged to be Mr. Kitty's little brother, alleged because Mr. Kitty not only denies it, but spends an inordinate amount of time trying to kill Spike and make it look like an accident.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Ong Pang Kean, Benjamin (19 December 2007). "Ben Roman on The Cryptics, I Luv Halloween & More". Newsarama. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Ong Pang Kean, Benjamin (24 June 2008). "Tokyopop's Changes: From the Creators's P.O.V.". Newsarama. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- ↑ Ong Pang Kean, Benjamin (7 January 2005). "Trick or Threat: Giffen and Roman on I Luv Halloween". Newsarama. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Manga+Comics: Book Catalog". Tokyopop. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- ↑ "Manga+Comics: I Luv Halloween-- Ultimate Twisted Edition--". Tokyopop. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ "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.
- ↑ Clayton, Chad (13 October 2005). "I Luv Halloween". Anime Jump. Retrieved 20 November 2009.[dead link]
- ↑ Dacey, Katherine (31 October 2008). "Hallowinis". Popculture Shock. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- ↑ Johnson, Craig. "I Luv Halloween v1". Manga Life. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
- ↑ KJB (16 September 2005). "I Luv Halloween Vol 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- ↑ Douresseaux, Leroy (11 March 2006). "I Luv Halloween". Coolstreak Cartoon. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
- ↑ Sparrow, A.E. (30 October 2007). "IGN: Top 10 Horror/Thriller Manga". IGN. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- ↑ "2007 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers". American Library Association. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- I Luv Halloween at Tokyopop's website