Painting of the comic book “Immortal Hulk”
Once upon a time, horror comic books were one of the backbones of the genre. That time may come again.
says Emily Day, who works for Bedrock City Comics on Washington Ave. “There were times in the past like the EC Comics and Marvel days in the ’70s, when it was pretty cool but this is a renaissance. Especially in terms of indie comics. As more publishers give creators ownership and freedom, it lets people go wild with their imaginations.”
Today sat down with us and recommended five great modern horror comic titles perfect for the Halloween season. The volumes of these storyboards are available in both physical and digital from Kodansha USA.
1. The “Immortal Hulk” of Ewing
For those who need to transition from traditional superhero comics to horror, Al Ewing’s 2018 reimagining of Hulk is the place to start.
It feels like a return to classic Marvel horror like ‘Tomb of Dracula. Today he says. “This has some great physical horror that goes beyond what they can get away with without becoming an adult. Bruce Banner was dead for some time and then came back, and the series explores where [Hulk] People go when they die. It turns out there is a level of hell just for them. It also restores the Hulk to its original position as it only appears at night.”
Ewing’s playback ended with the tenth volume, “From Hell and Death,” last year, all available as paperback.
Painting from the comic book “The Basket of Heads”
Photo: Joe Hill
2. “Basket of Heads” by Joe Hill
Modern horror master Joe Hill has plenty of scary comics under his belt, including the critically acclaimed “Locke and Key,” but “Basketful of Heads” may be his most disturbing. Put down by Hill House (a DC subsidiary), it follows a young woman named June Branch who searches for her missing cop boyfriend when she is attacked. Fortunately, I’ve found a magic ax that keeps severed heads alive once people’s heads are cut off. Now armed with a deadly weapon and a titular basket, she uses her gruesome prizes to continue her quest. The Limited Series was completed in 2020 and is available in commercial paperback.
Comic book cover “Ice Cream Man”
Photo: W Maxwell Prince
3. “The Ice Cream Man” by W. Maxwell Prince
“Ice Cream Man” is a monthly horror anthology parodying classic titles like “The Haunt of Fear” with the cheery and mysterious ice cream man, Rick, serving as the series’ host and sometimes catalyst.
“It’s ‘tales from the basement’ on an acid journey,” Day says. “It’s really colorful. It doesn’t always get full horror, but it’s always wild.”
Some of Day’s favorite issues include Kafka’s story where someone turns into a cockroach, and another where a child keeps his parents’ corpses for company. The book began appearing monthly in 2018, and a television adaptation is said to be in the works.
Comic book “Stray dogs”
Photo: Tony Flick
4. “Stray dogs” by Tony Flex
Another title from the image that will keep people awake at night is “Stray Dogs”. The five-issue series is told from the perspective of dogs owned by a brutal serial killer. The killer attacks women, steals their now ownerless young, and then uses dogs to lure his next victim into dog parks. Part “Silence of the Lambs” and part “Homeward Bound”, it’s a new game that tackles the serial killer genre by framing it from unrelated narrators who love pets. The original playback is available in merchandising paperback. Image has tried to capitalize on the book’s massive success with prequels about dogs, but it’s frankly not worth checking out.
Painting from the comic book “Blood on the Tracks”
Photo: Shuzo Osime
5. “Blood on the Tracks” by Shuzo Oshimi
Finally, for manga fans, there’s the incredibly annoying “Blood on the Tracks,” currently in its thirteenth volume. It is the story of a young boy who slowly realizes that his mother is deeply obsessed with him.
“The ‘big psychological’ feelings,” Day says. “It’s more uncomfortable than really frightening, and it dances the line between overprotection and emotional incest, but it’s unforgettable.”
Jeff Roner is a writer based in Houston.