Everyone loves a good scare, right? There are so many classic movies, TV shows, and books out there that frighten people time and time again. But there is another medium that can offer people terrifying horrors along with unique stories — comic books.
Some people might think comic books are strictly for superheroes, but monsters also fill their pages. By merging stories of terror with horrifying art, comic books offer up chilling reads that will make for many sleepless nights. Below are seven comic series perfect for those craving a creepy tale.
Created by Alan Moore and Stephen Bissette in the pages of Swamp Thing, John Constantine made one hell of an entrance. With his trench coat, sarcastic attitude, chain-smoking habit, and knowledge of the supernatural, he quickly earned himself a solo series. The 300-plus issues of Hellblazer offers readers a variety of horrors, whether they are looking for a story involving ghosts, demons, or even serial killers.
Over the series’ long run, many talented writers and artists like Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Sean Murphy and many more have put John through countless nightmares. This pushes him into making dark decisions that often lead to all sorts of horrific consequences that come back to bite him — sometimes literally. Hellblazer uses horror as a way to explore literal demons and the ones inside us.
30 Days of Night
In Barrow, Alaska, the sun sets for 30 days every winter, plunging the town into darkness for 24 hours a day. This is the set up to one of the most genius and vicious vampire stories ever told. Written by Steve Niles with haunting art by Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night shows what happens when a group of vampires descends on the sleepy town.
The vampires in this story are terrifying, not because of their sharp teeth and claws, but because of how intelligent they are. They systematically cut off the town, making any means of escape or calling for help impossible, turning the town into their buffet. This blood-soaked story will make readers appreciate the sun rising in the morning.
Beware the red-horned demon whose hand of stone will bring about the end of everything. Wait? What do you mean he’s the good guy? Created by writer and artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy follows the terrifying and thrilling adventures of the titular character as he works for the B.P.R.D (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense).
Hellboy and his team of misfits travel the world fighting all sorts of creatures, from your typical vampires and werewolves to weirder ones like monstrous frogs, cyborg gorillas, and even the Baba Yaga. It’s not all monster fights though, as the stories also explore real-world history and folklore — which can get pretty dark at times. The series is an excellent place to start for anyone looking to get into horror comics. Plus, now’s a great time to catch up before the new movie hits theatres.
Werewolves don’t get as much credit for being scary as vampires and zombies. Wolf Moon by Cullen Bunn with art by Jeremy Haun spotlights vampires by putting a unique spin on the lore. Think demonic possession, but the host turns into a bloodthirsty werewolf. Even children aren’t off limits when it comes to being possessed by this hairy beast, as the curse of the wolf jumps from person to person, choosing its hosts at random.
Seeking vengeance for the gruesome death of his family, werewolf hunter Dillon Chase tries to find the body-hopping werewolf, but it’s no easy task. To make matters worse, even if he does catch the beast, the only way to stop it is to kill an innocent person. Fast-paced, gory, and full of action, this series is perfect for those needing a break from vampires and zombies.
How is it possible that 16 of the world’s most notorious serial killers have all come from the same small town, Buckaroo, Oregon? Nailbiter, the 30-issue series written by Joshua Williamson with art by Mike Henderson, explores this question. We follow NSA agent Nicholas Finch and sheriff Sharon Crane work together to solve the dark mystery plaguing this town.
But another person is added to their team, Edward “Nailbiter” Warren, the town’s most infamous killer — who earned his nickname by biting other people’s nails (gross!). This series is a mash-up of The Silence of the Lambs and True Detective with a splash of 80’s slasher flicks thrown in. For readers looking for a good mystery with killer twists and turns, Nailbiter will keep them hooked until the nail-biting conclusion.
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are the dream team known for their stories set in the gritty criminal underworld. But what happens when they branch out into the horror/supernatural category? The answer to that is Fatale. Jo, the femme fatale of this supernatural noir story suffers from the curse of immortality and the ability to hypnotize men.
This curse often leads to deadly outcomes for the men who become obsessed with her. If her life wasn’t bad enough, a crazy cult is hell-bent on capturing and sacrificing Jo to a monster straight out of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Fatale expertly combines crime and horror to create a perfectly balanced story full of real world and supernatural scares.
Father Fred and Norton have nothing in common, except for terrifying visions of a black barn that causes madness and death to whoever enters. Gideon Falls, written by Jeff Lemire with art by Andre Sorrento, follows these two characters as they seek to understand their mysterious connection to the black barn.
This series is a slow-burning nightmare of a story that dives into the mystery of what the black barn is and why it holds so many horrors inside. For readers looking for something a little more psychological than monsters and gore, then this series is for them. It’s also a new series, with only seven issues released so far, making it easy to for new readers to quickly catch up.