As y’all are probably aware, I peruse the occasional horror comic or two… or three… or seven. It depends on the week, really. Point is, it’s that time again to recommend a few for you to check out! Prepare to play with some killer puppets, solve mysteries with paranormal detectives, and travel from the isolated roads of 1920’s America to the snowy forests of Sweden. Fix yourself something hot to drink and keep your lights on, because we’re about to go in for a few good scares!
Related Article: Cursed Pages: Top 6 Horror Comics for Newbies
Related Article: More Cursed Pages: Another 6 Comics for Horror Fans
1. Puppet Master Vol. 1: The Offering
(Written by Shawn Gabborin; Art by Michela Da Sacco; Published by Action Lab/Danger Zone; 2015)
“Charles Band’s long-running cult classic horror film series makes its way to the comic page! When a group of friends set out to use the abandoned Bodega Bay Inn as a party spot, they find out first hand that the bizarre local folklore is more truth than fantasy…as an army of twisted autonomous Puppets have their way with the trespassing teens! The Puppets are back, and they’re out for blood!” – via comiXology.
Being a huge Puppet Master fan, I feel I have the qualifications to judge this series accordingly as a self-appointed authority. So, how does the comic fare in the grand scheme of the series? Pretty damn well! This first volume puts our lovable Puppets in a familiar place with a familiar story: teens are partying at the Bodega Bay Inn, and they need to be slaughtered for one reason or another. Nothing out of the ordinary, but devilishly fun nonetheless. What impresses me the most, though, is how the narrative not only connects to the films’ established lore, but tries to make sense of the inconsistencies that plague them. It’s more apparent in later volumes, but you can see several of the seeds being planted in these first issues. Overall, this arc has great kills, a plot that stays true to the franchise’s spirit, and all the Puppets we love causing mischief once again!
2. The Dylan Dog Case Files Vol. 1: Dawn of the Living Dead
(Written by Tiziano Sclavi; Art by Angelo Stano; Published by Bonelli Comics; 1986)
“What do you do when your husband shows up at your front door, dies, and then comes back to life and starts chasing you around? You call Dylan Dog – Nightmare Investigator! Join Dylan in this horrific, action-packed first issue as he battles zombies who are terrorizing a small Scottish town.” – via Goodreads.
As an avid lover of the magnificent horror/romance/drama/zombie flick Dellamorte Dellamore (aka Cemetery Man here in the States), I’ve been aware of the Dylan Dog comics for awhile now. However, I never actually had a chance to read the series due to it being a little hard to come by in my neck of the woods. Until now, that is, as I’ve managed to get my hands on the first volume! True to form, it starts with the living dead (a staple of Italian horror) showing up in Europe, prompting Dylan Dog and his faithful sidekick Groucho Marx… er, I mean, “Felix”… to investigate the undead phenomenon. What follows is a beautifully illustrated story filled with mystery, blood, monsters, romance, and pulp-style action that’s as engaging as it is weird. Kind of par the course when it comes to Italian horror, you know?
I’d love to tell you were to get it, but I can’t find it anywhere digitally or any place that sells physical copies consistently. You’re on your own this time, friends!
(Written by Scott Snyder & Scott Tuft; Art by Attila Futaki; Published by Image Comics; 2012)
“1916. A man haunts the roads; a man with sharp teeth and a hunger for flesh. When 12-year old Jack Garron runs away from home, he’ll see how quickly the American Dream becomes a nightmare.” – via comiXology.
While not the most unique story I’ve read, I’d be wrong to say that Severed wasn’t well-written and illustrated. But when you have Scott Snyder working on it, would you expect any less? The comic feels like a Tales from the Crypt story spread out over seven issues, and I mean that in the best way possible! It just has that classic horror atmosphere to it, and while it doesn’t quite rise above the rest, it definitely holds its own. The art by Attila Futaki is beautiful to look at when it’s supposed to be, and enormously creepy when it needs to be. There’s something about a thin old man with razor sharp teeth that looks as frightening as it does cool, and Futaki captures that perfectly. It’s spooky, it’s endearing, and it has some pretty good scenes of dismemberments for you gorehounds out there.
Also, shoutout to Zaq for recommending this to me! Thanks, man!
4. The Northern Dark: The Angel of Fear
(Written by Dennis Gustafsson; Art by Dennis Gustafsson; Published by Dennis Gustafsson)
“The inexperienced photo-lab assistant Viktor Kasparson is sent deep into the woods of central Sweden to field-test an experimental camera lens. Together with Emma, the fearless aviatrix hired to assist him, Viktor gets trapped in a supernatural tempest brought on by greed, fear and shadows from the past. As the new found friends find themselves caught in a downwards spiral of terrors, the fortune teller crone tracks their descent one tarot card at the time: The Fool, The Lovers, The Chariot, Judgement, The Devil, Death.” – via comiXology.
Let us take a voyage to the deep snowy wilderness of Sweden, which I hear is lovely this time of year! The Northern Dark: The Angel of Fear feels very much like a horror story from the period it takes place in. A very gothic (if not Lovecraftian) tale of two friends that find themselves in a situation involving some sort of Eldritch Abomination that they can never hope to fully understand, yet have to face regardless. Dennis Gustafsson does a fantastic job doing… well, everything… and has no qualms about showing gruesome scenes or giving scenarios that I can only react to with… “wow, that’s a bummer.” If you ever find yourself stuck at home during a dark and stormy night, bundle up next to the fireplace and give this a read.
It’s only available digitally, which you can get here.
Well, there you go! Four more horror comics to tide you over for a bit! Hopefully, I’ll be able to cover even more of them at some point soon. Until then, be safe out there and I’ll see you next time. Ciao, friends!