It’s now week four of Shut In Theater here at Stately Beat Manor, and we’re starting to go a little stir-crazy! Fortunately, we’ve fallen back on our one of our most reliable defensive strategies: reading some shut in comics!

In these eight comics, the characters find themselves unable to leave and often encroaching on the nerves of anyone who might be trapped inside with them. If this situation sounds a little too familiar, consider taking a break with some of these shut in comics.

  1. House of Mystery: Room and Boredom by Lilah Sturges, Bill Willingham, Luca Rossi, Lee Loughridge, and Todd Klein

In this 2008 reboot of the DC Comics anthology that ran from 1951 to 1983, unsuspecting travelers who arrive at the House of Mystery are expected to share a story in exchange for their time in the house. This anthology of standalone supernatural horror tales also includes characters that will be familiar to readers of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman.

  1. House of Penance by Peter J. Tomasi, Ian Bertram, Dave Stewart, and Nate Piekos

Plagued by guilt over her husband’s bloody legacy, Sarah Winchester sets about constructing a house designed to confound the spirits who haunt her – but will the maze within the house prove to be inescapable to all who enter? This comic is based on the true story of the Winchester Mystery House, which you can learn more about on the official website (there are also some coloring pages of the historical site).

  1. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison, Dave McKean, and Gaspar Saladino

The inmates have taken control of the asylum in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, and it’s up to Batman to enter the building and ensure his rogues’ gallery is properly subdued. In addition to big-name villains like Two-Face and the Joker, this graphic novel also explores the history of the asylum, as a subplot follows Amadeus Arkham as he converts his ancestral family home into a psychiatric hospital in 1920s Gotham City. 

  1. Morning Glories by Nick Spencer, Joe Eisma, Alex Sollazzo, Johnny Lowe, and Rodin Esquejo

Morning Glories begins when six new students arrive at Morning Glory Academy, a prestigious boarding school. However, the troubled teenagers soon discover that all is not as it seems, and discover that they are trapped in the school with no hope of escape.

  1. Avengers Arena by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum, Kev Walker, Frank Martin Jr., and Joe Caramagna

In the 2012 comic Avengers Arena, Arcade kidnaps 16 young superheroes – including heavy hitters like Nico Minoru of the Runaways and Laura Kinney (a.k.a X-23 or Wolverine) – and traps them together on an island, where he forces them to battle one another to the death. 

  1. Locke & Key by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos, and Robbie Robbins


Although the Locke kids aren’t trapped inside Keyhouse, the malicious Dodge spends several decades imprisoned in the Wellhouse out back. Plus, Locke & Key earns a place on this list thanks to Rodriguez’s incredible depictions of the Locke ancestral home, which draw on his training as an architect to deliver some incredible results.

  1. Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz

In Archival Quality, Cel takes a job working as an archivist at the Logan Museum & Library, a spooky museum of medical history that is located in a large building that has a history as a hospital, an orphanage, and a sanatorium. While she isn’t trapped inside the building, Cel’s professional responsibilities require her to work overnight, and the job includes an on-site apartment where she must reside during her employment at the museum. 

  1. Johnny the Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez

While Johnny can technically leave his home (and occasionally does – usually for some fast food tacos or a trip to the local convenience store for a late-night slushie), he can’t go too far – because there’s a wall he needs to keep constantly coated in fresh blood in order to prevent the intrusion of an unimaginable horror from beyond into our dimension.


  1. The “snowbound” episode of The Spirit (Dec. 10, 1950) was the first Spirit story I remember reading (in a Kitchen Sink reprint) and remains one of my favorite short comic stories. Kudos to Jules Feiffer for a funny script.

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