2015 has been a great year for horror comics, and limiting the list to a mere 15 has been a task that’s proved to be difficult for me. In fact, I imagine this is what it feels like for a parents who have to choose their favourite children at the expense of others, only much more heartbreaking since comics are better than kids. No matter how much I love my choices here, I’m going to regret not including the ones that didn’t make the list because they deserve to be recognised and honoured just the same. I’ve loved a lot of horror comics this year, and it breaks my heart not to be including some of them on this list. However, there have been some great titles that have been better than other greats, and they deserve to be celebrated for standing out in a year that’s been impressive for horror in the medium of comics.
What are your favourite horror comics of 2015? Do you have any recommendations for us? Let us know in the comments below.
10. HORRERE (MADIUS COMICS)
Madius Comics are a company on the rise, and with titles like HORRERE it’s easy to see why.
HORRERE is an anthology containing four hilarious spooky tales with relevant social commentary about issues that are even scarier than the monsters depicted in the stories. However, the commentary isn’t preachy, and entertainment is the priority and comes in abundance. Every story is unique, and the use of different artists for each one gives them all clear individuality.
HORRERE is a lot of fun, brimming with intelligence, witty writing and stunning artwork. Madius Comics will be a force to be reckoned with in the near future, so get on board now before they take off, as their work rate is so frequent you’ll find yourself playing catch-up if you don’t.
9. BLOOD & GOURD (DEAD PEASANT)
BLOOD & GOURD is the greatest 80’s B movie that was never made, but at least we have all of its insanity contained within the panels of a graphic novel. This is perfect reading for Halloween, as the story takes place on the evening during the annual pumpkin competition on a Washington farm. For awhile, the only problems of the event include bickering between the locals, but that all changes when the pumpkins come to life and start munching on them. It is all the doing of an evil corporation, who use science and Satanism to carry out their dastardly plans. Nature is turning on humanity, and nobody knows how to stop it.
This is the debut from Dead Peasant Comics, and with a sequel coming up in the New Year now would be a great time to check out BLOOD & GOURD. If Troma, Fred Dekker and ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES wrote a comic book together, then it would turn out something like this. However, it comes from the demented minds of Jenz Lund and D.H. Shultis, two men with bright futures in the game.
8. MEMETIC (BOOM! STUDIOS)
The internet is the greatest for communicating mankind has ever had at its disposal. However, for all the great things that it’s done, it has also helped spread dangerous information and messages that people have latched on to. MEMETIC explores these themes and amplifies them on an apocalyptic scale.
Imagine if one of the innocent animal memes that clog your social media news feeds everyday had the power to brainwash you, turning you into a homicidal maniac in the process. The above image of “Good Time Sloth” sends the world into an uproar in James Tynion IV’s (Batman Eternal, The Woods) grand scale, existence erasing masterpiece.
MEMETIC explores the power of cults and the internet, and tells it through a tale so twisted, disturbing and strange you’ll think twice before ever sharing a picture of an adorable rodent on Facebook ever again.
7. CITIZEN JACK (IMAGE)
CITIZEN JACK is this year’s funniest series, and it’s essential reading for those who appreciate a good ol’ fashioned political satire – especially ones that are absolutely scathing. Not only that, but it scarily reflects the current US Presidential Campaign, despite being in the works before it even started.
The story follows the buffoon Jack, a disgraced former Mayor now making a living out of selling snow blowers. He’s addicted to the booze, his name has been dragged through the mud because of scandals and he doesn’t have a lot of prospects in his future. However, that all changes when he sells his soul to a demon so he can run for President of the United States.
CITIZEN JACK is comedy gold, and its underlying commentary is bound to please the politically charged, but it’s light and entertaining enough to appeal to readers who just want to laugh.
6. REDDIN (DEAD CANARY COMICS)
REDDIN is a supernatural horror story set in the Old West that combines the classic revenge tale with the Faustian pact to create one of 2015’s most enjoyable hybrids. Unlike movies, horror and westerns have a history of blending well in comics and REDDIN is on par with the best of them.
The story follows a bounty hunter on the hunt for his old partner, who left him for dead following a botched mission where an occult ceremony was taking place. Now, under the influence of a demon, we see a conflicted vengeful man on the trail of his former best friend with intent to kill, and along the way he succumbs to the demons demands for him to commit unspeakable acts.
Dead Canary Comics are an independent publisher from the United Kingdom, and they’re definitely worth your attention. REDDIN is a masterpiece just waiting to be discovered.
5. WYTCHES (IMAGE)
If you want a horror comic that’s frightening, disturbing and unrelenting with its terror then look no further than Scott Snyder’s (Batman) WYTCHES, which is without a doubt the most terrifying entry on this list, even if it isn’t the most all-round engaging compared to the titles above it.
Set in the small rural town of Litchfield, New Hampshire, we meet the Root family who move there to escape a traumatic past and start over. However, in the woods that surround their town an ancient evil lurks in the trees. This series offers and unique take on witchcraft, and the horrors contained within these panels is as effective as it comes.
Scott Snyder is one of the most talented writers in the industry, but WYTCHES sees him at the very top of his game – which is a remarkable achievement considering his body of work has been flawless for the most part up until now.
4. MANIFEST DESTINY (IMAGE)
MANIFEST DESTINY revises American history – the Lewis and Clark Expedition, to be exact – with the fun inclusion of monsters. As the two men lead convicts across the American frontier, they must fight and survive against all kinds of strange, wondrous and deadly beasts – including, but not limited to, creatures from American and world folklore and nods to those from EC comics.
MANIFEST DESTINY is a wonderful adventure, laced with gruesome horror, man-on-a-mission adventure and fun plays on real American history. As a lifelong obsessed monster fan it’s tailor made for people just like me, but the sense of adventure, the lovable characters and the grandiose storytelling is what really makes it special.
Also, the artwork is some of the best around.
3. SONS OF THE DEVIL (IMAGE)
I’m a sucker for horror that involves Satanic cults. I’ve always found them to be fascinating: The thought of them being all around us without us even knowing has always been a terrifying thought I’ve gotten a kick out of, and horror which sees the main characters dragged into the belly of the beast with seemingly no escape is my favourite.
Travis Crowe is a twenty-something trying to get his life in order – he’s barely holding down his job and relationship; he has anger problems that keeping getting him into trouble with the law; he doesn’t know who his real father is and it’s the root of his problems. However, the reality of Travis’ birth is a dark story, and one that can be traced back 30 years to a cult compound. And now his past is coming back to haunt him, because it his sinister plans handed down from the Devil himself.
SONS OF SATAN feels like a bear trap; the terror is all around Travis, and it’s only a matter of time before it closes in on him.
2. HARROW COUNTY (DARK HORSE COMICS)
Cullen Bunn’s HARROW COUNTY is a horror fairytale about a teenage girl named Emmy, who lives in rural Carolina. Emmy has a dark past connected to magic, and on her 18th birthday she discovers that she’s the daughter of an ancient evil witch who can communicate with spirits and the other creatures that lurk in the shadows.
HARROW COUNTY is perfect. The coming-of-age themes are something everyone will be able to relate to in one way or another; the world building is rich and steeped in mythology; the horror is truly frightening, and, it defies the preconceptions of what horror is, by crafting a story that’s as human and beautiful as it is supernatural and scary.
This is just mesmerising storytelling and I can’t recommend it enough.
1. BIG MAN PLANS (IMAGE)
BIG MAN PLANS is the most intense experience I’ve ever had reading a comic book series. I’m a very jaded human being when it comes to horror, but this left me feeling speechless and disturbed, yet thoroughly entertained. Yes, it’s very messed up and brutal, but it’s also hysterically funny.
If you’re familiar with the work of Eric Powell, then it should come as no surprise to know that BIG MAN PLANS oscillates between tickling and gut punching. Sometimes, both feelings are simultaneous – it’s a melting pot of hilarity, disgust and sadness. A rare mix, but that’s Powell for you.
However, despite all of BIG MAN PLANS nihilism, gallows humour and gratuitous violence, there’s a heart beating at the centre of the depravity – a broken heart you can’t help but sympathise with. As you learn more about the backstory of this anti-social, ex-con dwarf, you’ll find yourself rooting for him as he exacts his retribution on those who have wronged him.
This is a tug-of-war of emotional pull and quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever had the pleasure/displeasure of reading.