If you’ve craved more All Hallows’ Eve adventures since the end credits rolled in Michael Dougherty's 2007 holiday horror anthology, then you're in for a big Halloween treat from Legendary Comics via their new graphic novel, Trick 'r Treat: Days of the Dead.

Set around October 31st throughout the centuries, Days of the Dead features four macabre tales in which the tricks can be treacherous, but the treats are sweeter than any king-sized candy bar. The stories are collectively penned by Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields, and Marc Andreyko, and they leave a mark almost as indelible as the tales told onscreen in the Trick 'r Treat film—offering a good number of initial scares and leaving plenty of frightful food for thought to dig into after the last page is turned.

Conjured on a front step in a small town by a grandpa trying to get his granddaughter into the Halloween spirit, the first two stories, “Seed” (art by Fiona Staples and colors by Jose Villarrubia) and “Corn Maiden” (art and colors by Stephen Byrne), take readers back in time to when misunderstandings and death were bedfellows. Respectively set in the 1600s and the 1800s, “Seed” and “Corn Maiden” superbly show how people look for the fault in others to hide from their own sins. Happy endings aren’t guaranteed when the wicked run rampant through the panels, and there are certainly more treacherous tricks than tasty treats to be found in these tales. It’s not all grim, though, as Tales of Halloween fans that dug Neil Marshall’s “The Bad Seed” segment will likely enjoy depictions of ghoulish gourds haunting the characters of the graphic novel’s first half.

After taking a brief intermission for another bowl of candy corn and a hot cider refill, the final two tales, “Echoes” (art by Stuart Sayger and colors by Guy Major) and “Monster Mash” (art and colors by Zid and additional colors by Riccardo Rullo) will throw a creepy curveball to those expecting anything ordinary within Days of the Dead’s covers. Draped in shadows and drawn in a raw manner that makes the humans look as marvelously monstrous as any creature, “Echoes” goes down the noir rabbit hole, taking the reader on a hunt for a serial killer while simultaneously traveling deeper into the depths of a P.I.'s damaged heart. This isn’t the Halloween story you’d expect, and some might find its nightmarish noir world to be too much of a contrast with the spirit of Halloween, but I found it to be a bold, ultimately frightful fever dream well worth experiencing.

Tasked with taking readers on the final journey of the anthology is “Monster Mash,” its heartfelt and adventurous narrative (containing a strong sense of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree) a fitting finish to the collection. Though it focuses on the characters less than its predecessors, “Monster Mash” entertains with infectiously fun visuals of creatures wreaking havoc on a small town and its stern residents. When a church lock-in is crashed by a Lovecraftian monster with a knack for disguising itself, you know you’re in good hands.

Sprinkled throughout each story is Sam, the enforcer of Halloween traditions from the original film. Though he doesn’t factor as directly into these storylines as he did in the movie, his presence makes for some fun cameos that do blend in nicely with each narrative. Seeing Sam on the printed page also helps ramp up anticipation for the eagerly awaited Trick 'r Treat 2.

It’s uncertain when that sequel will hit screens, but Trick 'r Treat: Days of the Dead definitely helps make the wait a little sweeter. A festive, solid anthology that stands on its own while still making a great companion piece to the film, this graphic novel is a must-read for anyone looking to please Sam and properly celebrate the season.


"About Trick 'r Treat: Days of the Dead

From the twisted imagination of Trick ’r Treat creator Michael Dougherty (director of the upcoming Krampus and Trick ’r Treat 2 and screenwriter of X-Men 2 andSuperman Returns) alongside a top-notch team of creators including writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields (Krampus), Marc Andreyko (Batwoman) and artists Fiona Staples (Saga), Stephen Byrne (Buffy/Angel), Stuart Sayger (Bram Stoker’s Death Ship) and Zid (Son of Merlin) comes this 4-part collection that paves the way for the Trick ’r Treat film sequel.

Days of the Dead takes readers on a journey through Halloween history with 4 chilling new Trick ’r Treat tales. Discover old-world lovers whose romance takes a chilling turn and Western pioneers who discover the dark side of the frontier. Travel to 1950s Los Angeles for a tale of pure horror noir and into the heart of small-town America to see some pranksters taught a lesson they'll never forget.

Across centuries of Halloween horror, wherever fear lies, Sam will be waiting…​"

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.