All Hallows’ Eve #1 #2 #3 #4
Written by Ty Thomas Luckman, Art by Dave Mims published by 215 Ink
The first two pages of the story in issue one look like someone tried to murder the paper by stabbing it with a giro then cover it up with a lot of word balloons that use the ‘n’ word a couple of times too many, but get passed them and you have an atmospheric, interesting horror comic that tells a story of the Devil coming out every Halloween to trick people into going to hell. That pretty much covers all four of the current issues with a subplot about a tribal man called ‘Jack’ from 200 BC…just roll with it… who seems to be working for the devil.
Other than Jack (who’s only in two issues), the devil and Halloween there doesn’t seem to be any connection between the stories, and it gets a bit repetitive. Four issues of some numpty getting conned into hell pretty much covers it. Ty Thomas Luckman aims for an historically authentic vocabulary and I’ve read enough Lovecraft to know it’s pretty close. While the dialogue gets a little thick now and again it flows well enough, a bit like a McShake, it’s hard work but worth it.
Dave Mimses art on those first two pages is an utter mess and almost soured the comic but when you get into it, the expressive scribbles become coherent panels. His style demands you look at it so its not for those who think the nineties was the zenith of comic art. This is also one of those occasions where minimalist backgrounds really help keep things clear.
The digital colouring is all done with gradient washes and it helps define objects and characters by filling the line work with blocks of colour, using the slight gradients for shading. It looks a bit cheap in places but works well and assists the reader in figuring out what’s on the page.
As an aside something that doesn’t work is the font used for the title on the front cover. It’s weirdly too small and the 3D bevelling just looks like the creative team were trying too hard, it looks completely out of place with Mimses line work.
I got into this series but after four issues there’s no real ongoing plot and the devil himself feels a bit hackneyed. Without any real direction or interesting lead it’s just a good looking diversion.
You can purchase copies of All Hallow’s Eve here