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"The PLB Comics 2019 Halloween Special" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

PLB Comics

Plb 2019 Halloween Special Large

Written by Frank Dawson Jr, B. David Spicer, Gabe Fremuth, Josh Shockley, and Scott Markley
Illustrated by Frank Dawson Jr, Brandon Spicer, Jeff Toliver, Kurt Krol, Josh Shockley, and Russ Walton
Lettered by James Dufendach
2019, 48 pages

Review:

The horror comics anthology strikes again and what better time for one than Halloween? Welcome to the PLB Comics 2019 Halloween Special, collecting seven short stories from a variety of independent creators, all out to scare the crap out of you. There's a mix of tales included in this one-shot. Some give us a look at a new adventure from characters we already know, like John the Swamp Dude and others are entirely original, so there's something for everyone.

As with most anthologies, there are high and low points. One story that really stands out is “The Cave” from writer Josh Shockley, artist Kurt Krol, and letterer James Dufendach. A man wakes up in a cave with no knowledge of how he got there and little to no hope of escaping. Someone else is trapped unseen nearby, cheering him on. Is this a dark visitor? Or something more?

Plb 2019 Halloween Special 01
Click image to enlarge

Forgetting for a minute that no explanation is given as to why or how this guy made it into the cave, there's a pretty chilling sequence with some giant spiders and a solid twist ending. Krol does not mess around with these arachnids. They're huge. Now that I think about it, this guy was probably just stuck somewhere in Australia.

The ending is where a chunk of these stories fall short. Instead of wrapping things up, much is left up to interpretation, or it ends just as something big or interesting happens. It's tough to tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end in just a few pages, but when it doesn't really go anywhere, it's tough to take in.

Plb 2019 Halloween Special 02
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Indie horror comics anthologies like this are a nice showcase of new and up-and-coming creators. While some need a little polish, you can see the seeds of some real talent in this collection.

Grades:

Story: Threestars Plb 2019 Halloween Special Small
Art: Threestars
Overall: Threestars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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