In our second Halloween post of the day, my fellow Blog@ ghouls and I share some of the comics we found particularly scary …
Michael May: Hellboy
As much as I love horror comics, they don’t really scare me. I guess I enjoy them more for the fantasy elements than the feeling of actually being frightened. That said, there are two moments in comics that genuinely creeped me out. Both of which were — not at all coincidentally — written and drawn by Mike Mignola. And with pictures being worth lots of words and all… here they are.
Tom Bondurant: House of Mystery
There was one issue of House of Mystery (I’m pretty sure) that scared the living shit out of me. I haven’t read it in 30 years, and don’t plan to revisit it, so I might be misremembering some plot details.
If this catches anyone at lunch, you might want to skip the rest for a while.
Anyway, the upshot is, a guy is murdered in a bait shop, and the murderer buries the body in a big tub of dirt which is basically a night crawler farm. It ends up very EC-esque, with a giant worm crawling out of the murderer’s mouth, presumably choking him to death. I get a little queasy just thinking about it — that guy, writhing on the floor under the big worm, is burned into my brain.
Chris Mautner: Uzumaki
Junji Ito’s classic horror tale, about a town that slowly grows obsessed with spirals, is full of deliciously creepy images — I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to scrub the sight of the vampiric pregnant lady with the snaking, cactus-like tongue out of my brain. What’s perhaps most impressive about it is how Ito is able to consistently maintain a level of wry humor throughout the series — what with the love sick typhoons and hairstyles that literally battle it out for dominance — that never once threatens to overturn the scares or take the book into camp territory. It’s the rare sort of work that makes you chuckle, but ensures you’ll be checking under your bed at night for murderous would-be moms as well.
JK Parkin: Walking Dead
I chose Walking Dead as my favorite scary comic not because it startles me on every page (although it’s been known to on occasion) or because Charlie Aldard’s zombies are so gruesome (which they are) … no, what really gets to me is the stark reality of the situation the ragtag cast has found itself in. This isn’t so much about a takeover by zombies as it is about each character slowly going mad over the unexplainable situation that surrounds them, and how they deal with whatever level of madness happens to be hitting them in that particular issue. Hell, just staring at the zombies at the fence all day would be enough to drive me crazy.
Kirkman has struck a great balance between the horror, action and human elements in this book, but it’s the slow burn of lost hope that really makes this a scary comic in my eyes.
Carla Hewitt: X-Force
When thinking of the scariest comics I’ve seen in my six years of comics retail, the first bone-chilling title comes in as X-Force: Shatterstar mini-series from way back in 2005, books so frighteningly bad I dared not venture past the truly x-treme covers to see what lay inside. It was like the ghosts of the damned with clenched teeth and straining muscles warning me to stay away… stay AWAAAY!
Have a great Halloween, everyone!