Review - PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 (@PLBCOMICS)

"Today, Crowtown may have bitten off more than it could chew."

Halloween is a holiday that some worship and others write off. At PLB Comics, they do the former and PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 is a testament to their appreciation of the day. "Dawn of the Hayman!" is written and illustrated by Frank Dawson, Jr. and lettered by James Dufendach, "For I Have Sinned" is written by David Spicer, illustrated by Brandon Spicer and lettered by Dufendach, "Bound" is written by Gabe Fremuth, illustrated by Jeff Tolliver and lettered by Dufendach, "The Cave" is written by Josh Shockley, illustrated by Kurt Krol and lettered by Dufendach, "Black Butterfly" is written and illustrated by Shockley and lettered by Dufendach, "Light Up the Night" is written by Shockley, illustrated by Russ Walton and lettered by Dufendach and "The Reaper" is written by Scott Markley, illustrated by Dawson, Jr. and lettered by Dufendach.

Our (mostly) yearly Halloween Special is a chance for us to flex our creative muscle outside of the cannon PLB Universe. Here we present to you tales of the strange, the unexpected, and the frightening. 2019 will bring a new Halloween Special overflowing with guest artists, and more skin melting tales of fright.

There's a wide range of writers in the PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 who each bring with them their own takes on Halloween stories. FOr instance, "Dawn of the Hayman!" is a relatively familiar tale where Dawson, Jr., offers a word of caution to those who look to ignore tradition. "The Cave" gives Shockley a chance to tap into a fear of being buried alive (with spiders thrown in for good measure). And "The Reaper" is a look at one of the most famous characters in the Grim Reaper and his approach to an individual who doesn't seem to want to cooperate. All the tales are done in a way that taps into the Halloween spirit and all the eeriness that accompanies it.

The artwork throughout the issue is somewhat varied while still maintaining some consistency. This is largely because the entirety of the issue is in black and white which does add to the atmosphere quite a bit as it seeks to evoke spookiness. Spicer's illustrations in "For I Have Sinned" feels the most like a traditional comic book, in that the characters feel heroic and the panels are staggered/overlaid atop one another to great effect. "Black Butterfly" gives Shockley the chance to delve into some familiar PLB Comics characters to ground it somewhat in the publisher's wheelhouse.

Anthologies are always a good source of a variety of viewpoints and PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 is no exception. Each of the stories has its own brand of Halloween on display, although none are outright terrifying. The writers offer a range of takes on things like folktales and death, weaving them together with the threads of Halloween. The artwork throughout is effective at conveying to the reader the events that are occuring. PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 is a pretty low-key holiday affair that evokes feelings of eeriness.

PLB Comics Halloween Special 2019 is available now.