Noel Freibert’s Halloween Confession

Review by Joe McMurray

People say print media is dying but the truth is it’s already dead. Especially anything that has to do with reading. Nobody reads anymore, mostly because, in comparison, scrolling through the trash heap of the decline of our way of life is more interesting. It’s not necessarily sad, but it is unequivocally terrifying. While it’s true that one could walk into a bookstore or anywhere else that sells printed material and find books and magazines and the like, arguably disproving my point, the fact is that all of that material is merely the corpse of what used to be an essential appendage of our culture, haunting both itself and anyone exposed to it like an angry spirit, rearranging the furniture of our consciousness and moaning in the damp basement of our souls. One might also say that the digital counterpart of physical material revitalizes the original form, offering it new life. But we all know that the screen copy by definition drains the blood of the original, reinforcing an overall spectral, vampiric effect.

Noel Freibert’s recent zine, Halloween Confession, is just one sample of this ghoulish new reality. Halloween Confession speaks to the comic nightmare that has escaped from the shadows of our dreams and devoured our waking lives. Case in point: Freibert’s short meditation on plot holes as they arise for writers trying to finish a story. Mind the Plot Holes, is a perfect metaphor not only for narrative gaps, but for all sorts of problems that take on a life of their own, and grow by feeding off of our crippling insecurities and the mundane terror of daily life. Freibert has a peculiar flair for pacing and the unexpected. He seems to have an innate understanding that most people won’t want to read his work, in the sense that they won’t really want to read anything, by virtue of the infected holes in their thinking brains. But like any good writing, Halloween Confession holds readers’ attention and delights with, in this case, bizarre and spooky surprises. Not to mention, Freibert’s talent as a visual artist – a cool ‘mark-making’ style, an intelligent sense of narrative, and a well-developed appreciation for the Frankenstein multimedia look we all love so well, among other things – makes the zine great for anyone who might just prefer to skip the words. As for the rare ‘reader’ who manages to handle both the words and the pictures, well they’re in for a succinct, scary, and all together enjoyable, if somewhat cursed, jaunt through the landscape of the living dead. Browse some pages of Freibert’s Halloween Confession below, and see his available projects here.