Somehow this comic manages to be cute, disturbing, gruesome, funny, relatable and beautiful simultaneously. “The Last Halloween” is a web comic by Abby Howard that is about a group of children, specifically Mona, who go on a quest and try to survive through the supposed last Halloween. A cursed doll, a vampire, a werepossum, a ghoul and a bodiless figure in wraps take Mona under their wing to help her with her current predicament. All of the monsters who used to hide in the shadows are now roaming the world, killing everything in their way because the king, Phagocyte, has been murdered. These monsters live in a parallel universe that use the shadows as portals. Each monster has a human counter part. If their human dies they perish as well, but if they are the one who killed their human then they are granted immortality. The purpose of the Phagocyte is to maintain the balance between the two worlds. Mona’s new friends are not considered monsters, but rather Anomalies. They are on a quest to find the Phagocyte’s son who can take his place to keep the worlds in balance again.
The art is very Burtonesque in a sense, I feel that it would adapt beautifully into a Tim Burton film. The comic itself is in black and white and is focused heavily on lines. The detail in the panels are mostly found in the creatures and the background, adding a sense of eeriness. The characters themselves look very cartoonish and simple, but are entirely unique in their own ways. Despite being a supernatural and serious comic the dialogue tends to have deadpan humor. What I love about the comic is that it isn’t restricted to actual pages. The panels seep into the black background of the site and creates a much larger scene. Every page and panel is set out differently but share the black backdrop of the site. Even the fonts in the dialogue of each character is different. It adds to their character and helps set a voice in your head for each one.
This comic is still being updated, and I can’t wait for the next chapter. I’m falling in love with every character. There is even a bit of social commentary in the comic. Mona’s parent is nonbinary and is called “parent” and uses “they/them” pronouns throughout the comic. Shirley always calls out Dr. Fugue on his misogynistic comments. It’s a fun read and the art is beautiful, I would recommend it to everyone. It’s pretty short too. After reading this its easy to say Mona and Ringley are definitely my favorites.
Author/Artist: Abby Howard
Where you can see her work: