Alex Wilson writes for Bleeding Cool;
Halloween Eve, written by Brandon Montclare and art by Amy Reeder, follows the adventures of a costume store clerk the day before Halloween. This Image book starts out with our heroine completely disheartened by Halloween as she has no affection for the holiday but little does she know what the night has in store. After having a melt down in front of her boss and coworkers about how Halloween is worthless and she doesn’t want to wear a costume tomorrow, she is given over time duty to clean up the shop. Eve, the main character, starts to talk to the costumes and before you know it, the costumes start to talk back. She is then transported to the magical “Halloween Land” where she finds the true meaning of the holiday.
First off, this is a one shot and when I read one shots, I rarely look for very complex stories. Writers only have so many pages to tell a story in comics but with one shots you don’t have the added help of more issues to follow. This comic has only 32 pages of actual story telling, granted more than the average comic but still not much to pack a story into.
The story starts off slow, spending too much time in the day before Halloween. The first nine pages are just selling costumes, cleaning up, and fighting with co-workers. I didn’t get the sense that something was going to happen until Eve was finally left alone in the shop to take care of her clean up duties. If the first few pages had been around five or six instead of nine, the exciting part of the story that takes place in “Halloween Land” could feel less rushed.
Eventually, Eve starts hearing things once she tries on a witch costume and a mask starts talking to her. The mask is promptly silenced by the Devil but she is rescued by a mannequin dressed as one of her coworkers who have a crush on her. The mannequin, Jack, transports her to “Halloween Land” where it’s Halloween everyday, but everyday is not the same as the last.
At this point the story feels too fast paced and crammed in. This is a creative story that jumps from one point to another too quickly and instead of creative it comes off as slightly odd. Different Halloween monsters are introduced but they quickly fade into the next creature and I was left somewhat confused but, admittedly, entertained.
The story is a sort of “A Halloween Carol,” with Eve learning the true meaning of Halloween at the end and ultimately embracing the holiday. We also see the inclusion of a minor romantic story between the real life Jack and Eve. There is also a commentary about what Eve learns about herself and how she hides behind a mask to cover up her true self and how this is contrasted with the real life Jack that she works with who lives with his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t play games but is simply straight forward.
Overall, Halloween Eve is entertaining. It’s a nice little holiday themed one shot that may feel at times too packed in with too much going on but the ride it takes you on is still an enjoyable one. The dialog seems stilted and emotions seem to get out of hand too fast but, again, this is a one shot. This isn’t a book that’s going to win an Eisner but its something that will be fun to read around Halloween. If you have a few extra bucks at the comic book shop, and are looking for something to get you in the Halloween spirit, give it a try. Halloween Eve is also kid friendly, so feel free to show it to your young ones.