I can’t remember where I got the copy of Detective Comics #455, but I was too young in January 1976 to have grabbed it, brand-new, off the spinner rack. It most likely came from a flea market or garage sale several years later, in a carboard box full of similarly well-read and well-worn comics.
All I know for sure is that cover, by Mike Grell, scared the bejeezus out of me. The story — Batman versus a vampire in a creepy old house — was thrilling, but that cover … I had trouble getting to sleep if it were left out in the open. It had to buried in the bottom of a crate, stored safely in a closed closet.
Only then I could turn out the lights.
Some three decades later, I’m not as creeped out by a good, scary cover; in fact, I like them. A lot. And most of the time I can even go to sleep with one of them left out in the open.
So for Halloween, I put together a gallery of 20 great creepy covers. These aren’t necessarily the Best Scary Covers Ever; they’re just unsettling, and well-done. You’ll notice a few prominently feature little kids. That’s because there are few things as unnerving as the soulless stare of a child. (Blame The Omen.)
Tomorrow, I’ll return with the regular weekly installment of “Comics, Covered.” But for today, enjoy these:
Hellblazer #92, by Sean Phillips; Black Hole #8, by Charles Burns
The Vault of Horror #36, by Johnny Craig; Twisted Tales #2, by Bernie Wrightson
Sea of Red #3, by Salgood Sam and Paul Harmon; 30 Days of Night collected edition, by Ben Templesmith
Uzumaki, Vol. 1, and Gyo, Vol. 2, by Junji Ito
The Books of Magick: Life During Wartime #4, by Frank Quitely; Fables #54, by James Jean
The House of Mystery #173, by Jack Sparling; 100 Bullets #49, by Dave Johnson
Klarion #2, by Frazier Irving; New X-Men #121, by Frank Quitely
Strange Tales #45, by Bill Everett; Hellboy: The Wolves of Saint August, by Mike Mignola
Mysterious Adventures #19 (I can’t find the cover artist); House of Secrets #87, by Neal Adams
Swamp Thing #107, by Ian Miller; Demo #6, by Becky Cloonan