Comic books have been entertaining millions since 1933, and as the art has gotten better, illustrators have been able to create amazing panels with visceral and intense visuals. Combined with increasingly sharp storytelling, comics have only gotten better and better at giving readers those incredible, bone-chilling moments.Those are the moments we live for as horror enthusiasts, and these are the best comics that really bring the screams.
Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire
This story is split between an urban conspiracy and small town secrets that are lynchpinned by the Black Barn. This urban legend appears throughout human history as a harbinger of doom mind-bending doom. Our urban protagonist, Norton Sinclair, is searching for the truth in city dumpsters, and Father Wilfred, the country mouse, is arriving at yet another new parish in the mysterious town of Gideon Falls following the death of the previous pastor. Together, they’ll learn the truth about the Black Barn. Whether they learn it in time to escape it is another question. Available on Horror Hub here.
Babyteeth by Donny Cates
It’s been a troubling time, but there’s one thing we can all still agree on: Teen Pregnancy is the devil, hands down. But what’s extra devilish? I’ll cast a vote for giving birth to the Antichrist, which is exactly what happens to sixteen year old Sadie Ritter. It’s a sweet story, and that’s what makes the dark twists and turns that much sweeter. A lot of people would rather avert the apocalypse. Sadie just wants to raise a kid. Available on Horror Hub here.
The Beauty by Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley
Beauty standards are, often times, unattainable. Anything that could help people reach that would be in high demand. But what if it’s an STI that makes you sexy overnight? Even more intriguing is what if everyone wants it? Of course, tradeoffs are never simple, and a disease that makes you sexier by the day is just begging for consequences. The Beauty plays with this premise and takes a turn to the noir, as Detective Foster and Detective Vaughn inadvertently come closer and closer to the ugly truth. Available on Horror Hub here.
The Black Monday Murders by Johnathan Hickman
Great Depressions, Recessions, market crashes–these are the dynamic breaks and burst bubbles that come to define capitalism. But who defines capitalism? In Hickman’s black and white masterpiece, Lucifer is the one pulling the strings of the free market, and this comic feels like a strange hybrid between The Big Short and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. With incredible aesthetic, detailed runes and epic corporate memos, this comic will really make you question: is the really fiction? Available on Horror Hub here.
Hillbilly by Eric Powell
Pastoral literature has a history of using the imagery of the countryside to create a stunning and magical world, almost entirely separate from the city to busy and absorbed in its own mass. We can use that same magic to draft isolation and brew eye-twitching terror, no? That’s what Eric Powell does in Hillbilly, transforming Appalachia into a dark, unsleeping wilderness, with nightmarish whimsy and a mythology that grows with every installment. Available on Horror Hub here.
Bones of the Coast by Cloudscape Comics
I love anthologies. Let’s start there. Their strength, when done correctly, is their ability to weave strong themes between shorter stories that can be terrifying vignettes when compared to sometimes bloated full length stories. Bones accomplishes that in spades, with standouts like ‘Drag You Down’ and The ‘Cove,’ full of magic, doppelgangers, and a host of otherworldly influences. This anthology, set in the Pacific Northwest, uses its hauntingly beautiful environment to deliver an anthology that is equally so. Available on Amazon here.
BPRD by Mike Mignola
BPRD: The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Sound familiar? Any fans of Hellboy will be nodding their heads. Hellboy makes consistent appearances in BPRD and also has an a comic series “Hellboy and the BPRD.” The BPRD is tasked with defending humanity from the occult, supernatural, and the paranormal, working in conjunction with many national and international government organizations. Noir and action allows BPRD to set a dark tone perfect for fiendish creatures like frog monsters and real fiends like the CIA. Available on Amazon here.
Cat Eyed Boy by Kazuo Umezo
Another anthology series here and Kazuo’s second appearance here, Cat Eyed Boy tells stories that are all linked by the half demon with cat eyes. The rambunctious demon boy runs around with a vague moral system that leans very closely to chaotic neutral. The wicked are punished, but the innocent are hilariously ridiculed. Maybe that isn’t so strange. Available on Amazon here.
Delphine by Richard Sala
Richard Sala’s feverish take on “Snow White” is not Snow White, and that’s why I love it and why it’s on this list. Our primary protagonist is Sala’s Prince Charming, chasing after the beautiful Delphine. The sephia illustrations are perfect for creating those dark shadows, making the forest, the town, and the people that much creepier. This dark fairy tale slides into horror effortlessly, and is so inevitable, it’ll leave you screaming at the page. Available on Amazon here.
The Hound and Other Stories by H.P. Lovecraft and Gou Tanabe
We end this list with a classic: H.P. Lovecraft’s The Hound and Other Stories are faithfully rendered by Gou Tanabe, who provides stunning visuals to the stories that pioneered the horror genre. This comic is closer to reiteration than homage, which highlights Lovecraft’s use and appreciation of a slow, building fear and paranoia, as opposed to the sheer terror of his mythical Elder Gods. Available on Amazon here.
Thanks for reading our best horror comics list! We love giving you guys these recommendations and spotlighting a great genre. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout either! Tell us what deserves to be on this list and what doesn’t, and until next time, keep it spooky.