What any self-respecting fan of Michael Myers wouldn’t want an official adaptation of the original John Carpenter’s 1978 classic, in illustrated children’s book form?
Welcome to the wonderfulness that is The Legend of Halloween…
Michael Myers has been a naughty little boy. On Halloween night, he took a knife and did some very bad things. Luckily, he was caught and locked away in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium. Dr. Loomis was determined to keep him institutionalized for the rest of his life. Dr. Loomis knew what was behind Michael’s vacant stare… it was evil… purely and simply evil. Years later, Michael escapes and makes his way back to Haddonfield–the night HE came home–for some mischief and mayhem. What is it about Halloween that drives this young man to kill? We might never know.
A few notes up front: I’ve been a big fan of the original 1978 Halloween for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t ever Jason or Freddy, never Pinhead, it was always Michael Myers for me. So when I saw this book announced, I was all about it! Just the concept alone of retelling the story of Michael Myers in a whimsical, illustrated children’s style book was just all sorts of intriguing to me.
Right out the gate on this: I wouldn’t consider this necessarily a “children’s book”. This isn’t one I’m going to be reading to H.G. anytime in the near (or probably distant) future. I wasn’t expecting anything different, being based on the original Halloween screenplay by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, but I realize some might be misguided from its playful appearance. (as playful as an illustration of a masked man welding a knife can be.) No, it’s fair to say that The Legend of Halloween is a PG-13 book, with such lines as: “He spent the whole day watching them, like some perverted creep. He played a game of peek-a-boo behind some air-dried sheets“. Plus, if you’re familiar with the original film at all; the book doesn’t shy away from Lynda and Bob having “some fun”, but that does lead to a Warhol line that I admit I love.
The book is a quick read and does not feel like the 64-pages that it is. When you approach it as you should, The Legend of Halloween is just highly enjoyable and entertaining. The rhythmic rhyming couplets, while not exact Seussical, are well done and keeps the book moving at an easy to fall into beat and pace. Reading the book, you can feel that co-authors David Gordon Green (co-writer and director of Halloween (2018) and upcoming sequels Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends) and Onur Tukel had fun retelling Michael Myers’ story in this way. The illustrations by Onur Tukel, while at a glace give a sense of innocence and childlike joy, capture the scenes of the film perfectly. The book retells the original film smoothly and fits it into that familiar mold of a children’s book. From the beginning, with 6-year old Michael in his clown costume, killing his sister Judith on Halloween, all the way to the last pages, asking where Michael has disappeared to and proclaiming “But there’s always….ALWAYS….next Halloween!”
The book is now available from Further Front Publishing and can be ordered at http://legendofhalloween.com. It can be debated on how much of a children’s book this really is, and the age of when it would be appropriate would be based more on the child and their maturity than anything else.
Like I said when the book was originally announced: this is 300% for me, so I have zero qualms about it. I love it!