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Do you know a child who loves Halloween? Do you remember that one haunting house where the fear was not worth the candy? Move over Great Pumpkin! Children will have fun trick-or-treating with the fearless, mysterious Captain Halloween!

Schoolchildren taunt and tease Peter “Pumpkinhead” because of his love of pumpkinseeds, which ultimately leads to a schoolyard dare: to trick-or-treat at the haunted house of the wicked witch on Halloween night. Peter never returns. For a generation, Halloween is all but banned. Until a brave schoolgirl named Clare takes the same Halloween dare Peter once took. In costume eerily similar to Peter Pumpkinhead long ago, a school-age Captain Halloween, along with a black cat named “Boo,” saves both Clare and Halloween from the wicked witch, forever!

 

Captain Halloween was a my first major project coming out of high school and entering college (we were advised to seek out real-world work in addition to our regular curriculum). Michael Spiroff, the author, had posted a contest to draw a hand, made of clouds, reaching down over a quite country town in which, I submitted this image to.

I ended up winning the contest because my image was “the only one that didn’t look like Scooby-Doo” and he liked the style. From there I worked with him and Scholastic Book Fairs to create the images and get them ready for print – eventually settling on a “floating frame” format for the story.

The book was a hit in the Author’s native town of St. Louis! The character of Captain Halloween became a staple in the city’s Halloween parade and the book received high reviews in several literary magazines. The book can be ordered in print here and in ebook format here.