Just Finished: “The Long Halloween”

Yep, read it right after I finished my previous post.

Quick thoughts: Wow!

The twist ending of “The Long Halloween” is the very best kind of twist, and by far the hardest to pull off: The kind that makes perfect sense after you read it, but you are completely blindsided by when it actually occurs.

And, again – Wow. “The Long Halloween” went for that twist, and it nailed it. When the identity of the Holiday killer was revealed, I was floored.

That is extraordinarily hard to pull off, and it was masterfully executed.

I have nothing but praise for the whole thing. To me, at least, this was superior to Miller’s “Year One” – to which it is often called a sort of spiritual successor – in every way except for, arguably, the artwork.

Not that the art is worse, per se. Tim Sale is an extraordinarily talented artist with an instantly recognizable style absolutely perfect for noir. It’s just that Mazzucchelli is ALSO an extraordinarily talented artist with a gripping, ambitious, almost over the top style that was perfect for Frank Miller’s gripping, ambitious, almost over the top story and dialogue.

“The Long Halloween” is a book that works on just about every level. Characters, story, dialogue, artwork…it’s all damn close to flawless. I’m not a Batman aficionado, but it’s very hard for me to imagine something even COULD be better than “The Long Halloween”. I can’t recommend it enough to fans of mysteries, superheroes, or graphic novels.

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4 Responses to Just Finished: “The Long Halloween”

  1. mechanar says:

    read it myself not so long ago and it quickly became one of my favorite (maybe even the favorit) batman story

    • To me, this is the perfect portrayal of Batman. It strikes the balance between Miller’s borderline psychotic portrayal in “The Dark Knight Returns” and the more lighthearted Batman of the golden age.

      Also, Sale’s vision of Batman, art-wise, is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Wood says:

    Malcolm,

    I’ve never read a comic or graphic novel before. But through just a few things here and other places, I’ve really become fascinated by how much emotion, dramatic tension, etc is conveyed through the drawn still shots and “broken” dialogue of comics. There’s an intelligence behind it all, and the final product is very interesting. Anyway, thanks for these posts. It’s opened my eyes to something I had never considered before.

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