It’s that time of the year again, when Life and Death comic swerves into its yearly multi-comic crossover for the Yearly Halloween Cameo Caper. While these crossovers have been happening for seven years now, I must admit I never really bothered getting into them. A good part of this lies with the difficulty of following the various storylines. Part of this lies with navigating the comic. If I have to click through a half dozen links to read a crossover, I’m not going to be that interested. That, and I must admit the Clan of the Cats/College Roomies from Hell Halloween Crossover back in 2000 spoiled me in that readers could read the entire crossover on either comic’s site, and thus negate the need to jump from site to site. It was this innovation which led me to start reading CRfH in the first place, rather than driving me from both comics (and likely webcomics as a whole).
Interestingly (and I don’t recall if this was done in previous Halloween Capers), the strips are being hosted not only at L.P. Hogan’s Webcomic Crossover & Cameo Archive, but at a central hub with each comic linked and in chronological order. This admittedly makes the crossover much easier to read, though it still suffers from the usual problems inherent with multi-comic crossovers… especially those that aren’t tightly scripted with a plot that weaves together the elements of each participating comic, which becomes increasingly difficult with each additional participant, due partly to update issues and with integrating the characters and existing plots to create a coherent whole. And I must be frank: the 2012 Halloween Cameo Caper is not a coherent crossover and will likely confuse readers who follow only one or two of the participating comics.
That said, I will admit I was mildly interested in some of the comics I saw; I’m not sure what was up with the giant with the princess in his pocket, but it seems odd enough to stir my interest. Likewise, I didn’t realize that Reinder had started up a new comic about one of his secondary faerie characters from his old Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan strip. As for the story, it seems those comics that update most frequently have dominated the storyline, with those strips that update less often (such as Life and Death) seem to exist only to cheerlead their more active brethren. And let’s face it; while the best crossovers have well-crafted stories that blend the best elements of the participating comics, ultimately crossovers are about introducing differing comics to new readerships, and the Halloween Capers don’t bother to hide their intent to do this.