With Halloween just around the corner, this month is the perfect time to explore another exciting genre of graphic novels – horror. While I am the first to admit that this is not a genre I frequently focus on in my reading, my research for this month’s post introduced me to some great stories that I wouldn’t normally read and some authors and artists whose works I had not previously encountered. If you are a fan of scary stories or are simply looking for something to read on Halloween, this list will help you find the perfect horror story!
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll – This collection of creepy and twisted fairy tales will leave you thinking (and possibly sleeping with the lights on) long after you finish the final page of the book. For many of the stories Carroll takes traditional themes and creates stories that look at these themes from a different point of view. The stories are complemented by gorgeous artwork with rich colors and a general creepiness that fits perfectly with the stories themselves. This is a great book for both art fans and comic fans. If you want to check out her style, try her Eisner-award-winning short story, When the Darkness Presses, which is available for free online.
Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge with art by Inaki Miranda – Set in the fictional town of Coffin Hill, Massachusetts, this series follows Eve Coffin, heir to the Coffin legacy of magic and witchcraft, as she returns to her hometown just as an evil she encountered as a teen is rising again. This artwork and story manage to be truly creepy and an excellent example of the horror genre in comics. Definitely a great read for fans of gruesome tales, though it is worth noting that it is rated for mature readers for a reason.
Madame Frankenstein by Megan Levens and Jamie S. Rich – This book combines elements of the story of Frankenstein and the story of Pygmalion to great effect. Set in the U.S. in 1932, it follows Vincent Krall as he experiments with reanimation as a way of restoring life to a woman he loved. As the story progresses, readers learn more about each character’s backstory and true motivations. The tense story, which is perfectly complemented by beautiful black and white artwork, will keep you turning pages and will appeal to fans of the horror genre.
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson – In a small neighborhood called Burden Hill, paranormal events appear to be increasing all the time. While the humans of the neighborhood are seemingly oblivious, the same cannot be said of their pets. This series follows the dogs (and occasional cat) of Burden Hill has they discover and try to fight against the supernatural events that threaten their peaceful existence. This is a unique series with its almost complete focus on the group of pets, which I found very intriguing.
In the Dark: A Horror Anthology edited by Rachel Deering – If you’re a fan of short stories or want to find a volume that will offer a lot of diversity within the horror genre, look no further than this massive (literally, I was shocked by how heavy this book was!) anthology. Each entry offers a different take on a horror story, making this a great option for anyone who wants to try different styles within the genre. Though not all of the stories in this anthology are created by women, it does include several stories by female authors and artists.
Black Magick by Greg Rucka with art by Nicola Scott – Debuting this month, this book focuses on a police detective who also happens to come from a family of witches. This one looks like it will be somewhere between an urban fantasy series and a horror series, but given the focus on witches it feels like a good fit for this list. I, for one, am looking forward to checking it out.
Survivors’ Club by Lauren Beukes and Dave Halverson with art by Ryan Kelly – Another new title this month, this series sees a bunch of victims of what are basically horror movie plots banding together. Given that it is written by a horror novelist, it promises to be a great option for anyone who wants a good scary story. This looks like it will be a good one to recommend to horror movie fans as well.
I hope this list will help you find something to scare you silly for Halloween! Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations that I should add to my to-be-read list.