I am a huge fan of artist Amy Reeder's art. Her work a few years ago on Vertigo Comics' Madame Xanadu series was some of the best (and best suited for that book's subject matter) sequential art I've ever run across. Later on, her work on Batwoman was just as compelling. Recently though, I've embarrassingly lost track of her work and what she's been drawing...but I still recognize it instantly, and when I saw the promo art for Halloween Eve published by Image Comics, I knew instantly what Amy had been up to recently...
Halloween Eve is penciled, inked, colored, and lettered by Reeder. It is visually, through and through, all her own, and like everything that Reeder draws, it is stunningly beautiful. Halloween Eve is the story of Eve, a girl who works in a costume shop that is about to have it's busiest day of the year: Halloween Eve. Having to stay late and clean up the shop before the big day, Eve, who is decidedly not a fan of Halloween Eve, ends up embarking on a magical, and somewhat Dickensian (with a touch of The Wizard of Oz thrown in) journey towards discovering who she is and will be, and not just for the mandatory costume dress up day at the shop she will (now) end up enjoying the next day.
Story wise, writer Brandon Montclare puts together a straightforward and positive narrative that revisits the age old theme of self-discovery. It's cute and fun. The real draw of Halloween Eve though, as already hinted at, is Amy Reeder's artwork. She really gets to cut loose and draw everything from grimy storefronts to crowded masquerade balls to talking jack o' lanterns to the devil himself. She doesn't miss a beat when bouncing from scene to scene and character to character. Her ability to draw some of the most attractive anatomy and visages ever, and bring to realistic life everything mentioned above is breathtaking. I really, really, miss seeing her work on a monthly basis. She really needs a regular gig on a high profile comic book so her fans can see more of her inspired work on a regular basis.
A fun read for this time of year, Halloween Eve is more than just that. It is an ultimate expression of one artist's talent. A talent that many of us would sorely love to see more of.