Review: Our Final Halloween (Mike Garley Comics)

The latest offering from Samurai Slasher’s Mike Garley, Our Final Halloween seen him team up with his old Dead Roots buddy Michael Lee Graham to create as slice of video nasty inspired horror which is being Kickstarterd in time for a Halloween digital only release.

Publisher: Mike Garley Comics
Writer: Mike Garley
Artist: Michael Lee Graham, Mike Stock (Letters)
Price: Currently funding on Kickstarter

Our Final Halloween starts with a truly shocking opener as 5 teenagers come round in a spooky house, covered in blood, in a room with demonic markings on the floor. And so begins a race to find out how and why they are there, whose blood it is and what the creepy messages on the wall are all about?

It’s a phenomenal start point for a book and the kind of story that only works in a comic book or movie (it felt a bit Cabin In The Woods at times) as if you think too much into it, then it starts to stop making sense. However for an energetic horror thriller like this it works to perfection. Garley doesn’t hold back after this opener though and the pace of the book rattles along at a pace reminiscent of the Evil Dead. There is no time for the kids to think about what is going on, instead they are pursued from a variety of angles.

Although this fast pace action means there is no let up, it also means there is a bit of a lack of exposition and we would like to have seen more detail on the hows and whys of what the kids are up to and also a little more about why they got there and the meaning of the messages. But this may be a subjective opinion. The use of messages from the past reminded us of Josh Fialkov’s The Bunker and so perhaps we were looking for that level of analysis, but these are very different books.

Visually, Our Final Halloween looks incredible. Michael Lee Graham’s artwork has the expressive and slightly squashy faces of John Arcudi or even Michael Oeming, but it is the unconventional colour palette which really helps it to stand out from the horror crowd. While Graham uses a dominant red for the blood soaked opening scene he goes on to uses vintage greens and purples, or dirty Autumnal oranges and yellows in the various rooms of the house to give each one a unique feel and also break up the action. There is even a two page infographic style spread that shows the various rooms in the houses and how the colour schemes apply which is a very smart piece of visual design.

Our Final Halloween is a really smartly conceived book which makes the most of a knock out opener to deliver a really fast paced slice of action horror. It’s high energy pace and stunning visuals more than make up for any holes in the logic and drag you along for a terrifying demonic thrill ride that make this an essential Halloween read.