[Interview] Orlando “Mexifunk” Arocena Talks ‘Halloween Illustrated’ Novelization Art

Renowned artist Orlando “Mexifunk” Arocena joined us recently to talk about creating more than 100 original art pieces for Halloween Illustrated, the stunning new reprinting of the long out of print official movie novelization of John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween, his own passion for Michael Myers, his creative process of paying reverence to the source material of the film while also exploring his own unique visions of the story as told in the book, and more.

In our video conversation last week, we also of course discussed Halloween itself, as well as growing up in the Bronx, and hints of exciting future art projects.

On celebrating Halloween, Arocena tells HDN, “Halloween has always held a very special, honorable amount of energy to be devoted and invested upon. As a kid growing up in the Bronx, everything from bugging my mom, who worked in a seamstress underground sweatshop for the fashion industry, and showing her a drawing and saying, ‘Hey, can you do this? I want this costume.’ I actually ended up winning in fourth grade, out of the whole school, Best Costume for imitating the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I mean it hurt. After that day, I was hunched over thinking I don’t ever want to do that again. At the age of like 9, I had already made that commitment.” 

Arocena said he was actually encouraged to embrace exploring the many differences and additional material that is in the novel but not the movie. “I knew that there was a novel out there from ’78,” he said, “but I didn’t know that there was so much to the novel. When I finally got my hands on it, I was like, wow, I thought I knew this property. I thought I knew Michael Myers. Then you read the novel, and I was just taken aback by it.

“I remember having conversation and wanting know, ‘What are the guard rails?’, because this is a higher than holy property for some of us. I said, ‘Would you mind if I kept very true to the visual DNA of what’s been established with Carpenter and the first movie?’ They said, ‘Yeah, we have all the rights to all the likenesses… You make the call. And you make the call for everything that hasn’t been visually integrated from a cinematic point of view, and that was really exciting. It allowed me a lot of wiggle room to explore all this early upfront family history storytelling. It was enchanting, to tell you the truth.”

You can watch our full exclusive interview with Orlando “Mexifunk” Arocena, as well as our recent unboxing of the Halloween Illustrated book, below.

You can order your copy of Halloween Illustrated now at halloweenillustrated.com.

*Paid links: We may earn a commission from qualifying purchases made through affiliate links in this article, which helps to support the continued operation of Halloween Daily News. 

Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.