Traditionally everyone thinks about Halloween as the time to watch creepy movies about our favorite zombies, werewolves, serial killers, vampires, and more. Outside of the Disney Channel movie classics I have always been a little bit a wuss when it comes to spooks. Despite that, I love horror comics. Horror comics are incredibly difficult to write since the medium cannot convey the same scares a movie can. Horror comics depend on the unsettling and creepy nature of their story to get their point across. Here are my top five from the genre in no particular order.
1. Wytches by Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, and Clem Robins
Wytches from Image Comics is an intelligent horror that follows the Rock family and their move to the remote town of Litchfield, NH in hopes to escape a personal trauma. The family quickly finds something odd and evil within the woods just beyond town. Wytches adds to the mythological of traditional witches making them more ancient, dark, and terrifying creatures. The story is crafted by the incredible Scott Snyder whose horror roots followed him into his work at Vertigo and DC Comics, particularly on Batman. Volumes one of Wytches are currently available. The comic was six-issue mini-series but a new Halloween special is out as well.
2. Vampironica by Greg Smallwood, Megan Smallwood, and Jack Morelli
Vampironica is a current comic part of the Archie Comics Horror line. Within the book, Veronica is bitten by a centuries-old vampire. Her bloodlust threatens to destroy all of Riverdale. Veronica must find a way to safely sedate her thirst for blood and track down the vampire turning people Riverdale before he destroys the whole town. Vampironica has become one of my favorite reads out right now. The book is campy but wildly fun.
It is far more violent than a traditional Archie Comic and leans heavily on horror tropes often seen in classic 1980s slasher films. Vampironica flips these tropes on his head and offers an incredibly fun Halloween read. Issues one through three are currently available with a first trade hitting shelves sometime in April 2019.
3. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, and Jack Morelli
Now an upcoming Netflix series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is an ongoing series within the Archie Comic Horror line. The book was created following the success of her solo one-shot in Afterlife with Archie. Similar to the premise of the upcoming show, the books follow Sabrina on the eve of her 16th birthday. The sorceress must choose between a witchy destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. However, when a foe from her family’s past arrives in Greendale, Madame Satan, Sabrina faces more challenges than she initially prepared for.
Bonus: Sabrina experiences a vision of the Afterlife with Archie versions of herself and Jughead Jones showing a connection between the two continuities. In Jughead #9, Sabrina and Jughead go on a date because initially, Jughead thought Sabrina was actually a burger. The arc with the two is super cute, campy Halloween fun.
4. Locke & Key by J
Locke & Key from IDW Publishing tells an intricate story of the creepy Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion. The mansion features doors that transform all who dare to walk through them and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all. Initially discovered during the American Revolution by rebels, the magic within the house continues to grow and change into something more dangerous as it gets older.
Included within the house’s evolution is a spell that causes occupants to forget about the keys and the magic of the house when they pass their 18th birthday. The comic is structured in three acts, with each act consisting of two six-issue storylines. Act One’s first story arc, Welcome to Lovecraft, was a six-issue limited series that was later expanded.
5. Long Lost by Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle
Previously reviewed by my fellow contributor CJ Pendragon, Long Lost is the story of two sisters, Francis and Piper, who get caught up in the mysterious of their hometown and the madding disappearance of their own mother. This psychological thriller is often slept on by fellow horror comic fans. Long Lost is deeply eery and emotional. The complicated relationship between the two sisters is one of my favorite parts of the entire series. The series is now set to become a TV show featuring producer, Jenny Klein, (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Cloak & Dagger). Currently, there are two volumes of Long Lost available with the conclusion coming soon.
Horror comics are a fantastic way to celebrate the spooky season but what are some of your favorites? Do you think we missed any? Leave a comment below or tell us at @ButWhyThoPC on twitter.