The GeeksverseLeaving Proof 152 | Halloween Eve one-shot review

Leaving Proof 152 | Halloween Eve one-shot review
Published on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by
Amy Reeder’s excellent art is the highlight of this full-color one-shot tale of Halloween cheer and supernatural adventure written by Brandon Montclare.

Key Review Points

Pros:

  • Wonderfully imaginative character and setting designs.
  • Entertaining, all-ages appropriate stand-alone holiday-themed story.
  • Eight pages of sketches and other “bonus” features.

Cons:

  • None of significant note.

Publication Details

  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Publication Date: October 2012
  • Written by: Brandon Montclare
  • Art by: Amy Reeder
  • Format: 40 page full-color one-shot.
  • List Price: $3.99 (digital review copy provided free-of-charge by the publisher)
  • Availability: On sale October 10, 2012

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Full Review

Teenager Eve despises Halloween and hates dressing-up in costume, which is a pretty big problem since she works in a costume shop. Things get worse when she is tabbed by her boss to work overtime on Halloween eve for her stated refusal to wear a costume to work on the holiday. Thus is laid out the beginning of Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder’s Halloween Eve, a full-color, all ages one-shot that started life as a Kickstarter project (Montclare and Reeder met their target funding goal within six days of the project launch).

Working alone late at night in the costume shop, Eve soon becomes witness to all manner of supernatural happenings as costumes and props come to life and she quickly finds herself falling into an interdimensional portal to Halloween Land, a realm where every day is Halloween and everyone wears masks and costumes. The story’s nods to children’s classics such Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol are plainly evident, but Montclare does more in Halloween Eve than just tackle timeless holiday and fantasy themes through modern colloquialisms and cultural sensibilities. At its core, Eve’s journey through Halloween Land and her ensuing growth in character is about the empowering nature of masks, both literal and figurative, and the somewhat ironic reality of how metaphor, symbolism, and stylization afford people the freedom to articulate truths and emotions that might otherwise be difficult or even impossible to express in plain language and strictly representational art.

For all the subtle strengths of the writing however, the primary highlight of the book is Amy Reeder’s excellently rendered and highly detailed art. The Eisner-nominated artist has an adept handle on facial expressions, gestures, contemporary fashions, and body types—the teenagers of Halloween Eve emote, gesticulate, dress, and are built like actual teenagers. When the story moves to Halloween Land, Reeder lets loose with her imagination and her pen, crafting a beautiful dream world peopled with all manner of fantastical folk and creatures and full of surreal landscapes and architecture. The book also features eight pages of alternate covers, sketches, uncolored line art, and character profiles, pleasantly surprising value-added features in a one-shot.

Reasonably priced, aesthetically well-executed, and an entertaining all-ages read, Halloween Eve should make for a great candy bag stuffer this Halloween and an ideal introduction for the trick-or-treat set to the world of comics beyond superheroes. Recommended.

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