Comics

10 Horror Comics For the Halloween Season

It's time to cozy up and immerse yourself in some terrifying horror comics that are perfect for getting in the mood for this Halloween season.

Horror Comics Cover
Image: GONKBONK
By: Javier ReyesJan 25, 2024, 10:01 PM

What better way to get into the mood for the spooky season than reading a bunch of incredible and terrifying horror comics? As fun as it is to hide behind the covers while watching your favorite horror flick for this time of the year, the beauty of horror comics is that you can fully immerse yourself in some truly frightening artworks. For this list, I put together some of the best creator-owned horror comics perfect for giving you some much-needed Halloween cheer. Whether you love zombies, vampires, or horror that’s more psychological, there’s a comic here for you to sink your teeth into. Let’s check them out!

Afterlife with Archie

By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla

Afterlife with Archie Cover

While Archie Comics is known to be very playful with its universe, “Archie vs. Predator” is a thing after all, “Afterlife with Archie” introduced readers to a very dark side of its beloved characters. The horror comic is a twisted tale that begins because of Judhead’s ineffable love for his dog, Hot Dog. After Reggie accidentally kills Hot Dog with his car, Jughead begs Sabrina to cast a spell to bring his beloved pup back to life. While the spell works, Hot Dog returns as a zombie who eventually bites Jughead and spreads the disease. It’s from there that all hell breaks loose throughout Riverdale.

With its dark storyline featuring everyone’s favorite clique of high schoolers, the comic is hauntingly hysterical if you’re a long-time Archie fan. Where else will you see a zombified Jughead eating his classmates in a furious rage? The series was unlike anything fans had seen before and is a certified cult classic by now. Check this one out if you’re obsessed with clever zombie stories.

Black Hole

By Charles Burns

Black Hole Cover

There’s nothing more terrifying than teenagers with raging hormones. Now imagine scenes of intense body horror as a result of all that horniness. “Black Hole” by Charles Burns is the story of teenagers living with a mysterious sexually transmitted disease that transforms them into grotesque monsters. Reminiscent of another master of horror like Junji Ito, Burns beautifully crafts horrifying imagery in his stark black-and-white art style. But amidst all the nightmare fuel is a touching, human story about kids going through the scary change from adolescence to adulthood.

Something is Killing the Children

By James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'edera

Something is Killing the Children Cover

With a name as ominous as “Something is Killing the Children,” you can tell already you’re in for some messed up stuff to happen in the story. SiKtC follows the bloody and tortured life of Erica Slaughter. As a Black Mask of the Order of St. George, Erica hunts down vicious monsters not seen by ordinary adult eyes. Only children, with their wild imaginations, can see the monsters clear as day. That’s what makes kids the prime target for such horrifying monsters. It’s up to Erican and the powers given to her by the order to stop the monsters from amassing immeasurable body counts.

SiKtC is a horror comic that transcends its genre. With its cast of compelling characters and lore-rich world that’s ever-growing through spinoffs, the series is easily one of the most popular ongoing comics today. Tynion’s penchant for dark storytelling is complemented perfectly by Dell'edera’s eerie yet beautiful art style.

Ice Cream Man

By W. Maxwell Prince and Martin Morazzo

Ice Cream Man Cover

Who doesn’t love ice cream? How about having a little bit of horror mixed in with that ice cream? “Ice Cream Man” is like Tales from the Crypt but with a devilish twist. Presented as an anthology, the series follows a collection of horrific short stories connected by a mysterious Ice Cream Man named Rick. While he looks pleasant on the outside, he is unimaginably sinister on the inside. Each issue shows Rick using his inexplicable powers to torment people of all ages. These stories can be anything from macabre to tragic or even hilarious in a twisted kind of way.

Having just released its 36th issue, Ice Cream Man is beloved among horror comics fans for its unique and strange storylines that get better each time. Creators W. Maxwell Prince and Martin Morazzo continue to amaze readers with their knack for pushing just how twisted good ol’ Rick can be along with his trusty Ice Cream truck.

Gideon Falls

By Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

Gideon Falls Cover

As much as I adore Jeff Lemire for his writing of deeply human stories, I am just as amazed by his love for horror with strange and dark concepts. “Gideon Falls” is Lemire’s peak in the genre, with a story centered on the mystery behind an evil presence known as “The Black Barn.” The story’s main character, Norton Sinclair, is an anxiety-ridden conspiracy nut obsessed with uncovering the truth behind the Black Barn. According to artist Andrea Sorrentino, Norton’s sense of nihilism and obsession reflect the worst parts of himself and Lemire. It’s the personal connection with the characters that bring out the true horror of the story.

In true Jeff Lemire fashion, “Gideon Falls” is a horror story grounded by the human condition. Beyond the gore and surreal imagery, the comic deeply explores the darkness and evil inside of people waiting to come out.

Through the Woods

By Emily Carroll

Through the Woods Cover

“Through the Woods” is a collection of five haunting short stories that are both beautifully told and visually macabre. From just looking at its unassuming black, white, and red cover art, you wouldn’t think the comic has a frightening art style that looks like it came straight from your worst nightmares.

Carroll brings a unique voice to each ghoulish tale, with narratives that range from the eeriness of folklore to the dread of uncovering horrific secrets. Then, as terrifying as the visuals can be, there’s a whimsical nature to Carroll’s art that makes you feel like you’re reading twisted fairy tales. To this day, few horror comics can match the atmosphere of this gem of a book.

American Vampire

By Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque

American Vampire Comics

You’ve heard stories of cowboys and outlaws. “American Vampire” is the story of cowboys and, you guessed it, vampires. The horror comic follows the afterlives of Skinner Sweet, the first American vampire in the 19th century, and Pearl Jones, an aspiring silent film actress who hungers for vengeance against the man who turned her into the second American vampire. By blending Western and Gothic horror storytelling tropes, the comic explores the concept of vampires living in human society throughout American history.

American Vampire was the series that put Scott Snyder on the map for me as one of the best horror writers in the comic book industry. With a script as sharp as a vampire’s fangs, this comic takes you on a bloody journey throughout the Wild West and beyond. For you diehard horror enthusiasts, the first story arc also features a supplemental story written by Stephen King himself that explores more of the comic’s unique world.

Rain

By Joe Hill, David M. Booher, and Zoe Thorogood

Rain Cover

“Rain” is arguably one of the most unique stories on this list. It’s a post-apocalyptic story centered on a woman named Honeysuckle coming to grips with her entire world tearing apart in a matter of minutes. But in this story, the world doesn’t end because of zombies or an incurable disease. The cataclysmic event is crystalized nails raining from the sky and killing everything that is not safely under cover. After her girlfriend Yolanda is killed by the mysterious “rain,” Honeysuckle is forced to pick up the pieces of her lonely and tragic life in a world being ripped to shreds.

Adapted from Joe Hill’s original novella by writer David M. Booher and superstar artist Zoe Thorogood, “Rain” weaves a story that explores the beauty of human relationships, LGBTQ+ themes, and societal reflections. As played out as post-apocalypse stories can be, this one stands out because of its unique premise and passionate storytelling.

Hellboy

By Mike Mignola

Hellboy Cover

This one is a no-brainer. What’s a horror comics list without an appearance from Big Red himself? Created by Mike Mignola, Hellboy is arguably the quintessential horror comic ever made. Since debuting in 1993, a year when all anyone wanted from comics were capes and superheroes, Hellboy has stood the test of time compared to his more “extreme” contemporaries.

The series follows Hellboy’s exploits in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.R.P.D.), a secret agency devoted to combating occult threats against humanity. The series has the hero fight everything from Nazis to folklore creatures. Hellboy has captivated readers for over thirty years with its fascinating blend of superhero action and Lovecraftian storytelling. Even with so many story arcs, spinoffs, and side-stories already complete, Mike Mignola shows no signs of slowing down what he can create for the beloved character and his Right Hand of Doom.

W0rldtr33

By James Tynion IV, Fernando Blanco, and Jordie Bellaire

W0rldtr33 Cover

When done right, the techno-horror subgenre can take you on an insane ride. “W0rldtr33” has a simple yet terrifying premise: What if the Internet itself was haunted? The new series created by James Tynion IV and Fernando Blanco follows the story of a cursed website known as the Undernet. All it takes is one look at the strange website’s homepage to drive people into an insane, murderous rage. The story gives a new twisted meaning to “going viral” by showing intense acts of violence as the website’s influence spreads throughout the world.

Blanco’s visceral art throughout the series is a sight to behold, making the scenes with gore and demonic imagery all the more horrifying. While the Internet can already be such a scary place in real life, W0rldtr33 takes things to a new level. Having just wrapped up its first story arc, the horror comic will unravel more of its terrifying tale for years to come.

TAGGED: Image Comics, Fantagraphics, BOOM! Studios, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics
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