“Awww!” you think, as a tiny skeleton rushes by you, bag open as it begs for candy. “What an adorable little animated corpse!”
Yeah, Halloween has become all about the cute kids dressed like tiny monsters, but let us not forget that it was once Samhain – and people dressed up to ward away evil spirits, not procure pillow cases full of candy. There is some definitive terrifying undertones of Halloween, and that’s why it’s the best time of years to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and scare the everliving lights out of yourself as you read some truly horrifying comics and manga. Here are five that are sure to get your skin crawling.
Suburban high school venereal diseases that cause the infected to have gross deformities and serial killer tendencies – that’s basically the plot of Black Hole, a poignant and utterly chilling tale of coming of age, sexuality, and the pure real horrors of sexually transmitted diseases – with a dash of the fantastical thrown in for good measure. If you feel the need to scare yourself into purchasing a chastity belt, this beautifully drawn graphic novel is the way to go.
Alan Moore. Eddie Campbell. Jack the Ripper. ‘Nuff said.
30 Days of Night
Imagine a land where it’s dark for three months straight. Now imagine blood thirsty, murderous vampires come to kill your entire town. That’s the plot of 30 Days of Night, a grisly tale set in the city of Barrow, Alaska (where it really IS dark for three months out of the year!) With Steve Niles’ knack for writing truly panicked survival scenarios paired with Ben Templesmith’s gritty, atmospheric art work, this is a classic in modern day horror comics.
Panorama of Hell
This incredible relic of manga has two terrors within its pages: one, the almost comical gore (the main character lives across from a guillotine, there’s a bar where the dead eat pieces of themselves, the children of the neighborhood play with human body parts); and two, a revealing, honest, and uncomfortable reflection on Japan’s psyche after Hiroshima. This manga took me a week to read, because I had to keep putting it down to collect myself. If you detach yourself from the horrors it presents, it’s amusing. But if you realize the underlying symbols that this manga holds, it becomes intense – and scary.
By far the most twisted, gut wrenching, oh god I have to put this down and go outside and take a deep breath – manga I have ever read in my life. It spans three graphic novels and it’s from the grandfather of Japanese horror manga himself, Junji Ito. It ramps up with short stories, all based around “spirals” – eventually coming to an ultimate peak that will have you tearing through the pages but also wanting to cry. One of the most genuinely terrifying things you will ever subject yourself to in your life, I suggest reading this manga with the lights on and people around.
What about you, iFanbase? What horror comics or manga get your teeth a-chatterin’?