13 Great Horror Comics for Halloween, Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of my tour of 13 great horror comics for this Halloween. You don’t have much time before Samhain arrives, but you’ve got a few days and, since today is a Wednesday, you’re probably heading to the comics shop anyway. Why not pick up a good scary comic today?

Read part one of this series.


pixuPixu, by Gabriel Ba, Becky Cloonan, Fabio Moon, Vasilis Lolos

Not only a good horror comic, but also formally interesting. This self-contained story chronicles the dark, bloody events that taken place in a haunted apartment building. Each chapter focuses on a single character—with each creator handling all the writing and art for that chapter.

You’ll find some truly creepy scenes in Pixu—imagine someone staring vacantly out a window, absent-mindedly eating piles of their own hair—as well as some pleasing formal flourishes and strong understanding of what makes a scene, and a story, scary.

Taken in total, Pixu may be a little disjointed (hard to imagine that it wouldn’t be given that four different people worked on different parts of it), but if you can accept that, you won’t look at your apartment the same way again.

strange embraceStrange Embrace, by David Hine

Strange Embrace contains stories within stories—and every one of them is horrific.

The story is set in motion, and the nested layers of flashbacks reveal themselves, thanks to a homicidal psychic named Alex prying into the deepest, darkest secrets of an old man. In doing so, Alex loosens the patchwork of denial and defense that the man has used to cover over his past. And rightly so: his story is very twisted indeed.

It’s hard to explain too much about Strange Embrace without giving away its secrets and its pleasures. To avoid that, I’ll just say this: Strange Embrace has a number of Hellraiser overtones and Hine, who’s done a decent amount of work for Marvel over the last decade, masterfully handles the taut plot and delivers genuine surprises and shocks.





tomb of draculaThe Tomb of Dracula, by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, and many others

There haven’t been many horror comics out of the House of Ideas that deliver real scares. Marvel’s just too superhero-centric for pure horror.

Except in The Tomb of Dracula.

This sprawling saga, which features Dracula as the main character and perhaps the best work of Gene Colan’s career, is compelling, scary, thrilling, and lots of fun. As a ‘70s book created under the Comics Code, you’re not going to find too much blood or violence. Instead, the book is steeped in atmosphere.

There were many creative teams on the book at different times, but the stories with Wolfman writing, Colan penciling, and Tom Palmer inking are spectacular. Find those stories in the first few Essential volumes and you’ll enjoy the hell out of a Dracula story (which is hard to do these days).




ultra gash infernoUltra-Gash Inferno, by Suehiro Maruo

While it would be true to say that Maruo’s work is NSFW, it’s more accurate to say that it’s just NS: Not Safe. Maruo’s collections of short stories, done in a manga-esque style that defies traditional manga aesthetics, are truly disturbing. Don’t go anywhere near this—or Maruo’s other work, like Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show or Rose Colored Notebook—unless you can stomach extremely graphic sex and violence, generally at the same time.

Maruo’s work can be tough to take, but I can virtually guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. If you’re interested in having your boundaries pushed, your comics aesthetics challenged, and are willing to take the chance to be truly, honestly disturbed, Suehiro Maruo is for you.

Needless to say, I love him—but I don’t show his books to too many people.


uzumakiUzumaki & Museum of Terror, by Junji Ito

Junji Ito’s work is easier to understand than explain. That doesn’t strike me as a problem for horror comics, though. The strange is exactly what we want.

Ito’s masterwork, Uzumaki, is about a town haunted by a shape—a spiral. The shape begins showing up in all sorts of places (inner ears, pottery, car wheels, etc.) with terrible consequences. The initial short stories are scary, but as the larger story emerges, Uzumkai becomes both exiting and existentially despondent.

Museum of Terror, on the other hand, is an anthology of self-contained stories, prominently featuring Tomie, a pretty high school girl who regularly seduces men and boys into killing her and then shows her eternal love by returning from the grave. It sounds almost funny, I know, but it’s not.

There’s not a tremendous amount of Ito’s work available in the U.S., but pick up what there is. You’ll be glad you did.





split lip vol. 2Split Lip, by Sam Costello and Various Artists

Is this self-indulgent? Yeah, probably. Still, I’ve got a lot of comics to offer you—and they’re all free.

io9 once called Split Lip the “webcomics answer to … anthology series like The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.” That pretty much hits the nail on the head of what we’re trying to do.

Split Lip offers 33 self-contained short comics, totaling nearly 500 pages, written by me and drawn by artists from around the world. Each story follows different characters, in different situations, facing different horrors.

I don’t think Split Lip is the same caliber as the other works on this list, but I hope you’ll indulge me by clicking over to Split Lip and giving us a shot. It won’t cost you anything—and I think you’ll find some comics you’ll like.


Sam Costello is the creator and writer of Split Lip, a horror webcomics anthology that io9 has called “the webcomics answer … to the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.” It offers nearly 500 pages of free comics.

Coincidentally, Split Lip vol. 3 is now available from pre-order directly from Sam. iFanboy readers can also use the coupon code IFAN10 to save 15% off their order at the Split Lip store this October.


Other iFanboy Posts by Sam Costello

On My Own in Indie Comics Series:


Indie Comics Coming Attractions Series:


  1. I was a big fan of Templesmith’s Welcome to Hoxford. Very gory and werewolves are just part of Halloween! 

  2. Dude, no Cal McDonald? The Criminal Macabre series is great!

  3. Uzumaki is really fantastic, one of the best manga I’ve ever read.

    GYO, one of his major works available in English was terribly disappointing, but the unrelated short story at the end, was great and really makes me want to get Museum of Terror.

  4. Ultra-Gash Inferno.  That is an amazing title.

  5. Pixu was dark and creepy!  I read it a few times just sitting at the book store( admittedly, i never bought it), but I enjoyed it immensely.  I thought of it as an indy anthology based around a very loose central theme.  It was very conducive to multiple readings.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to read Strange Embrace for about two years now(originally found out about from an Elephantmen ad).  Still haven’t read it though.  If nothing else, this article will act as a reminder and help me move it to the top of my list!