Welp, Halloween’s over. We could wallow in our misery, but here at Puzzle Box, we like to look on the brighter– well, in our case — darker side of things: the nights are longer, the days are colder, and we still have plenty of graphic novels to go through. Today, we’re bringing you a list of the best supernatural focused graphic novels that are easily at the top of the sub-genre. We’ll see some overlap between last week’s “best of horror graphic novels,” but some newcomers will definitely leave you needing a little something extra to go to sleep.
- Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Morpheus, the titular Sandman, is the god of dreams. Set in the realm of the Dreaming, Morpheus faces many challenges: he has to rebuild his realm that fell apart while he was imprisoned–by an occult ritual, no less–and search for those who imprisoned him. This revenge tour follows Morpheus to the living world as well as magical worlds like Faerie, Asgard, and Hell. What more could you want from a supernatural graphic novel?
- Adamtine by Hannah Berry
I wouldn’t take the night train for a while after reading this one. That’s where you meet four strangers that are seemingly unconnected, but, as Berry slowly reveals, are all intricately linked to a dark secret that they’d all rather forget. Keeping a light on helps, not only to keep your fear at bay, but to illuminate the details hiding in those dark panels that may hold the keys to the entire mystery.
- Wytches by Scott Snyder
Perhaps the only thing more terrifying than these wytches in the woods are the people who submit to them. The Rooks come to town looking for a new start for their daughter, Sailor, but the rumors that drove them away from their old home have followed them to Litchfield, New Hampshire. And much darker things are waiting for them in the woods at the edge of town. Such is life in these old New England towns.
- Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia
Infidel follows two Muslim-American women living in an apartment building haunted by racism. After a recent bomb blast in their building, a specter starts to play an increasingly disturbing role in the women’s, Medina and Aisha, lives. It seems to feed on hate and as Medina and Aisha search for the cause and the cure, more and more of their neighbors fall prey to the specter’s violence and bigotry.
- My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris
This is one of the more unique graphic novels on this list and it’s a very interesting read. Our main character, Karen, is a middle school outcast who loves monsters. Shocking, I know, title be damned. The story, set in 1968, is told in incredible detail through Karen’s illustrations, where she draws herself as a werewolf and investigates the murder of one of her neighbors. Honestly, so many notes are hit by this graphic novel, from outcast angst to mystery, to a little history.
- Lovecraft Anthology by H.P. Lovecraft and Dan Lockwood
If we’re talking horror, we have to talk about HP, the pioneer of the horror genre. The Anthology series spans four illustrated volumes, featuring classics like “Call of Cthulu,” “Dagon,” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” For those new to horror, Lovecraft’s mind-bending and suspenseful stories built the genre and is the source of many tropes that we see today. It’s worth the time to read the works that defined the things that go bump in the night.
The woods hold a host of unknowns, and the darker the days gets, so too do the woods. Something Is Killing the Children, the second graphic novel on this list with a fearsome forest, is about the disappearing children of Archer’s Peak. The ones that are taken rarely return, but those who do are forever changed and forever traumatized. Their only hope is Eliza Slaughter–she kills monsters– but they soon discover she may not be able to protect anyone.
- American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King
Vampires, finally! Vampire lore is mixed with fanfiction, classic literature, and young adult novels, each with a unique take on the age-old fiends. This take sees the birth of the American Vampire, with unique abilities and unique weaknesses, a new branch in vampiric evolution. The vampire history weaved throughout builds a familiar world that contrasts well with the vampires fully influenced by the 1920s as well as the Wild West.
- Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton
The dead are rising in central Wisconsin, for reasons unknown. It falls on the shoulders of Officer Dana Cypress to keep the balance and the peace in a town living with the undead. Noisy media coverage, religious fanatics, and a grisly murder stands in his way, but the truth about the murder and the return of the dead will make peace nearly impossible.
- Promethea by Alan Moore
The horror and supernatural genres can blend other elements and themes into their dark stories that create truly captivating hues. Promethea gives New York a futuristic skin with more an updated retro vibe than a sleek, modernist one before it dives into the other-wordly. Our protagonist, Sophie Bangs, begins to research the ancient warrior, Promethea, before getting some subtle and not-so-subtle threats to stop. She escapes these and is chosen by Promethea to be her modern-day avatar. This superhero origin gets darker with demons and dark wizards, and the blend of elements from many genres makes this graphic novel shine.
So these are ten of our favorite supernatural graphic novels. It casts a pretty wide net and nabs a host of otherworldly creatures. What I love about these novels is that more often than not, the darkest elements are somewhat, if not exclusively, human. So, did we miss anything? Do some of our lower-ranked graphic novels deserve to be higher? Let us know in the comments below!