Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror. (See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)
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4. Hollow Fields
There are a ton of OEL manga that have Halloween trappings, such as My Dead Girlfriend or I Luv Halloween. Weirdly enough, it’s a work by an Australian creator that really manages to capture the spirit of this very North American holiday. Madeline Rosca’s Hollow Fields doesn’t take place on Halloween, but the creepy setting and child protagonists still makes it a good manga to read in October.
Lucy Snow is nervous about going away to boarding school, especially when she accidently ends up at a school for young mad scientists. Instead of gym, math and English, at Hollow Fields the kids practice corpse robbing and building giant robots. This is all new to Lucy, who lacks not only the know-how but also the ruthlessness her fellow students posses. But she had better learn fast, as the every week the student with the lowest grade is sent off to the windmill, a lonely place where the teachers conduct their experiments and no student has ever returned.
Madeline Rosca’s art is a nice mix of cuteness and steampunk. Her character designs are fun and manage to be cute while still unsettling. The best example of this is the school faculty – the teachers no longer have human bodies but reside in giant wind-up dolls. The story also walks a fine line between sweet and scary, especially as the series progresses and it becomes clearer what exactly is going on at the school.
In the name of transparency, I want to note that I do freelance work for Seven Seas, the publisher behind Hollow Fields. I also want to note that Blood Alone omnibus comes out in April 2011, and is also good Halloween time reading!