Trick r’ Pete is, as the title suggests, a story of suffering and revenge set during Hallowe'en. Armed with that description, it's reasonable to say that many readers will be able to predict the plot. With an inspiration that is obvious to anyone who has ever seen a horror film or read a ghost story, Trick r’ Pete captures the essence of the genre to ensure that what could have been a clichéd imitation is instead surprisingly unique, making Aaron Wood’s debut comic very special.
Wood – as writer, artist and letterer – tells his tale in simple black and white, with the addition of some well-placed greys to add depth. His characters are a quirky combination of Charlie Brown and South Park, drawn in such a way that they are imbued with life and personality; even an old cynic couldn't fail to laugh at the happiness that is seen on these faces, or fail to be concerned when events take a turn for the worst. It's an incredibly emotive work that draws in the reader right from the start and, despite an inevitable outcome, satisfies on every page.
If you're looking for faults, there are a handful of panels that look flat, and a couple of moments where the words blend too much into the background, but these do nothing to disrupt the narrative, nor spoil the enjoyment of a story that wears its heart on its sleeve and is all the more refreshing for it. Hats off to Nowhere Studios, the latest in a line of independent publishers allowing new talent to turn their visions into reality.
Anyone expecting a tired rehash of the usual Hallowe'en tales will be disappointed. Instead, this is something which has clearly been created with great love and care, which reflects not only in story and characters, but in the reader’s experience of it, making it a startling debut that will hopefully prove to be an inspiration to others. It's a joy to read, elegant in its simplicity, completely charming despite the macabre and twisted nature of it, and we look forward to seeing more from Aaron Wood in the future.
TRICK R’ TREAT #1 / WRITER & ARTIST: AARON WOOD / PUBLISHER: NOWHERE STUDIOS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW