So it’s Halloween, and your parent has agreed to take you trick-o-treating, but then bails on you for a party. And since you’re only ten years old, you have to stay home and miss all the fun. And then your house is attacked by monsters. If your name is Mona, this is what happened to you.
Escaping the monsters, Mona runs into a fellow group of trick-or-treaters, who turn out to be a vampire, a ghoul, and a possessed voodoo doll. From them, she learns the barrier between the worlds has broken, and the monsters are now free to wreak havoc on the humans. The reason? The Phagocyte, the one person who can control the two worlds, has fallen. With little to go on, Mona and her new friends have to track down the Phagocyte’s heir and get him to create the new barrier. Only, there’s someone else trying to find the heir, the mysterious J.D., who never sleeps. To top it off, there’s three evil gods who have kidnapped a doctor, while holding a mysterious patient hostage. Between the monsters, panicked mobs, and the trio of evil gods watching the show, Mona has to move fast to save the human race.
Created by Abby Howard, The Last Halloween is a horror story that will please fans of the gruesome. Unlike many horror genre comics, Howard’s monsters are not assembly-line creatures. From blobs of flesh, living sacks of leather, and unnatural mash-ups of human and animal anatomy, these monsters do not fall into line with stereotypical or sexualized formats. Also unlike traditional horror stories, the main human characters are women, LGBTQ, and people of color. Written outside the stereotypes, these people are strong, determined in their goals, but also flawed and dealing with the consequences. Although a horror-genre story, action and adventure themes are present, with Mona and her new friends starting on a quest to find the heir. Howard makes excellent use of black humor, complementing the weirdness Mona is forced to accept.
Howard draws in strictly black and white for the comic, her character designs ranging from simple to intricate. In most cases, the monsters are the most elaborate, with the humans drawn in minimal detail and proportional scale, contrasting nicely with the unearthly monsters. The exception is Mona, with her childish features exaggerated to show her age. Mona’s comrades have slight exaggerations, landing them somewhere between the humans and the monsters. The most detailed are the backgrounds and world architecture, which at times resembles Jack Skellington’s Halloween Town, updated to modern times.
While Howard does not aesthetize violence, she does depict gore and carnage. Humans are attacked and torn apart by monsters in quite vivid detail. A NSFW rating is advised when reading.
The Last Halloween is the story of a little girl who landed in a big adventure, with monsters just around the corner. Read it at Last-Halloween.com.