Halloween apparently originated with the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints’ Day. Irish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America during Ireland's Great Famine of 1846. And, each year, millions of children (and many adults) don their costumes and go out to trick or treat in their neighborhoods hoping to get some candy or goodies.
What better way to indoctrinate this new generation into comics and give them something to read while they rot their teeth?
But, you ask, “Aren’t comic books $3.99 each? Why should I spend so much on these rotten kids?” Don’t worry, the comics industry is here to help. Once again, several companies are offering Halloween Ashcans of their books. These Halloween Mini-Comics are available from the folks at Dark Horse Comics, Archie Comics,
Fantagraphics, and Tokyopop. The full color books are sold in bundles of 25 and are small in size (5 ½” by 8 ½”) so they fit perfectly in trick or treat bags and cost around five bucks or so. I remember one year a little kid came to my house dressed as spider-man. In previous years, Marvel used to have them as well. But, for some reason, they stopped making them. (There was also some Uncle Scrooge/Donald mini-comics by Gemstone, but I assume they were discontinued now that Boom! Studios have acquired the rights.)
These are great giveaways (remember to have candy too--you don't want to egged vy the illiterate.) Each year, the kids always comment that they love to come to our house for the books. I remember one year, a little boy came to the house dressed as Spider-Man and I gave him the Marvel mini-comic with Spider-Man in it. He was so excited. He turned to his mother and said, “Mom! Look at this! They made the Spider-Man movie into a comic book.”
Here is a description of this year’s books (After the jump):
Dark Horse Comics
(W/A) John Stanley (Lulu); (W/A) Unknown (Casper);
Trick or Treat with Little Lulu and Casper the Friendly Ghost, and fill your goody bag with four classic stories of Halloween hilarity! In the two headlining features, Lulu outsmarts Old Witch Hazel, and Casper looks for friends at a Halloween party, both told with wit and warmth, and featuring beautiful artwork — including some from legend John Stanley! Throw in a couple of hysterical one-pagers and that’s a whole lot of treats, no trick! 16pgs, FC (Bundle 25)
(W) Steve Niles; (A) Davidé Fabbri, Christian Dalla Vecchia; (C) Igor Kordey
This Halloween, you’re in for a really spooky treat from the Star Wars universe! Han Solo and his best pal, Chewbacca, stumble upon something frightening when they become stranded on a planet shrouded in a deep and mysterious fog... It’s a classic Star Wars adventure featuring your favorite Star Wars heroes — with a little Halloween twist! 16pgs, FC (Bundle 25)
(W/A) Dan Parent
In Betty Cooper Confidential, Betty is en route to the book binder to get her diary professionally bound when a stiff wind literally sends the pages of her life flying! Will her friends be able to resist taking a peek at the pages they recover? Just what has Betty written about everyone over the years? These answers and more await you in this suspenseful and poignant tale. It's perfect for Halloween Trick or Treat bags! 16pgs (Bundle 25)
(W/A) E.C. Segar
A classic strip from E.C. Segar's Thimble Theater finds the spinach-lovin' Sailor Man dukin' it out with "The Ghosk!" Is this phantom a real specter, or is there something less-than-spooky at work here? Find out in the classic sequence from the heyday of the Popeye comic strip by the legendary E.C. Segar, perfect for young and old swabs alike! 16pgs,
International celebrity Domo gets into all kinds of trouble in these full-color manga stories. First popularized in Japan as the mascot for the national television station, Domo has won the hearts of people the world over with his hilarious and unpredictable antics. In these stories, Domo and his friends figure out how cell phones work, while Domo decides to be whatever he sees on TV, including Tarzan, a samurai, and finally, a chef! 16pgs