Monday, October 19, 2009

Bookmonkey's Top Five Scary Comic books

As we get closer to Halloween I try to read or see some new scary stuff as much as I can. This is the one month of the year where you can proudly read all sorts of horrific titles on the bus and nobody minds. My biggest problem is actually selecting which stuff to read as there is so much of it out there. My solution - categories.

Two weeks ago I looked at the 5 horror novel classics I figure everyone should check out, today I'm going to look at comic books. So here goes, my five favourite horror titles in comic books:

5. Arkham Asylum, by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
This comic was actually the first graphic novel I ever purchased. Flipping through it on the shelf at the comic store, I was simply in awe of the artwork; Dave McKean's painted panels freaked the hell out of me, each character looked different than the standard comic book versions but way WAY scarier. The basic idea is that the inmates at Arkham have taken over the Asylum and will only see reason if Batman comes to play. This story is a little hard to read, as each characters word balloons are very different, but believe me, it is totally worth a visit (or revisit) for Halloween.

Really all I can say here (because if you haven't read it I am not going to wreck it) is issue 21 "The Anatomy Lesson." Go get Saga of the Swamp thing #1 (issues 20-27) and start reading. This is some of the freakiest, scariest stuff I have ever come across and for you first time readers I am completely envious of you, this stuff is simply comic gold.

3. Sandman, by Neil Gaiman
Like probably half of the comic book readers who started in the early '90s, this is were I started too. These books are so good I have difficultly trying to break it down into a synopsis. I think my friend Mike described it best as saying "In every issue there is at least one panel that I would classify as Nightmare batter." From Serial Killer conventions to the Cuckoos to the Devil himself, this comic has it all.

2. The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman
I started purchasing this series for my brother-in-law Jeff as he is a big fan of zombie stories, but while they were sitting in my house waiting for his birthday or Christmas to come around I would take a peak, and then another, and then I got hooked. Done entirely in Black and White, these comics go beyond the end of every zombie film you've ever seen and attempt to answer the question "What happens next?" I've been following the survivors of this zombie plague for the last five years and I don't want it to end!

1. Hellblazer, by Jamie Delano
This comic is one of my favourite titles over all, but with one simple rule. Read the comic issue by issue, rather than purchasing the graphic novels. I'm not exactly sure of what DC is trying to do here, each graphic novel is a collected story, but there isn't actually any attempt to label them vol. 1, 2, 3, etc. so if you want the whole story of this very broken, talented bastard, you will have to read them issue by issue. Frustrating, expensive, but totally worth it, as hands down Hellblazer is the scariest comic I've ever read.

So now that you have my top five, how about the rest of you? Any scary comics I should be reading? I'm always looking for more.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bookmonkey! You might remember me from LibraryThing. The only one of these I haven't read or already put on my list is The Walking Dead, but I'll keep an eye out for it now!

    If you liked Swamp Thing (I'm on Volume 3 now, going veeeery slowly to savor) you should definitely try to find some of the old Deadman collections from DC. I think they're out of print, but I bought Deadman: Lost Souls on ebay and it's deliciously creepy.