I have always had a soft spot for anthology comics, especially horror anthologies. There is something special about being able to tell a story in just a few pages. Amassing a collection of stories from a variety of creators gives the readers a well-rounded view of different styles and techniques.
Today I want to discuss the PLB Comics 2019 Halloween Special. This anthology contains seven stories spread across forty-seven pages. The comics come from a combination of PLB Comics contributors.
Since this is a review of an anthology comic, the format is going to change a bit from my typical reviews. Instead of giving an overall review, I wanted to shine a light on each story. This article will be broken up into mini-reviews of each story in the PLB Comics Halloween Special.
Dawn of the Hayman!
Dawn of the Hayman is the first story found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written and drawn by Frank Dawson Jr. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
A construction crew is running behind on their job. They are tasked with cleaning up hundreds of mysterious scarecrows. Is this a prank, or is there more to the story?
Frank Dawson knocks it out of the park with this story. It is suspenseful and ends on a disturbing note. The artwork is great, I really love the inking on these pages. There is just something disturbing about scarecrows.
For I Have Sinned
For I Have Sinned is the second story found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written by David Spicer. The artwork is by Brandon Spicer. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
A little girl is kidnapped by cultists attempting to summon a demon. A masked vigilante is on the case. Will she be able to be saved?
This gritty noir story is nothing short of shocking. The dark tones are further enhanced by Spicer’s artwork. There is a lot of great hatch shading in this story. The story itself is very dark. However, it also has a satisfying ending, regardless of how traumatizing it may be.
Bound is the third comic found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written by Gabe Frumuth. The art is by Jeff Tolliver. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
Bound shows a stand off between two socererors. The two seemed to be embroiled in a battle of strength, magic, and love. How will this conflict be resolved?
I really enjoyed this short story. Not only does it have a great atmosphere of dark fantasy, it also parallels the relationships we have in real life. I would really love to see the back story of these characters.
The Cave is the fourth comic found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written by Josh Shockley. The art is by Kurt Krol. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
Two men are trapped in a cave and separated by rocks. The cave is also home to giant poisonous spiders. Will these men make it out alive?
One of my favorite aspects of horror comics is the bleakness of the setting. It doesn’t get more bleak than this. I felt myself getting anxious while reading this story. That is a testament to a truly immersive comic.
Black Butterfly is the fifth comic found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written and drawn by Josh Shockley. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
Two adventurers head into the woods to help a beautiful widow move a tree. However, it seems as though the maiden has more in store for our travelers. Will they be able to uncover the truth?
Fans of PLB Comics will feel right at home. This comic takes place in the same universe as John the Swamp Dude. He and Bobby also make an appearance! I love learning more about the lore of this series.
Light Up The Night
Light Up The Night is the sixth comic found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written and drawn by Josh Shockley. The art is by Russ Walton. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
‘Trick or Treat’ is a common phrase around the Halloween season. Luckily, our society only gives treats. However, what happens when a sentient Jack-o-lantern decides to take matters into his own hands?
This story really put me in the Halloween spirit. the innocence and imagination of childhood really brings the holidays to life. I thought this story did an excellent job of capturing that feeling.
The Reaper is the seventh comic found in the PLB Comics Halloween Special. It is written by Scott Markley. The art is by Frank Dawson Jr. The lettering is by James Dufendach.
The Reaper comes to visit a masked vigilante known as The Fall. The two discuss the balance of life and death. Is this the year where The Reaper finally takes this man away?
Fans of The Fall will already be acquainted with these characters. I absolutely love the gritty noir feel to this story. I thought this was a fun Halloween spin on the universe of The Fall.