If there’s two things we love here at Stately Beat Manor, it must be comics and Halloween! Fortunately, there is no shortage of spookiness on the shelves at your local comic shop or library. Unsure what comic will perfect for your seasonal spooky tastes? Here are 13 horror comics that are perfect for Halloween 2020.
In Winnebago Graveyard by Alison Sampson, Steve Niles, Stéphane Paitreau, and Jordie Bellaire, an American family whose Winnebago breaks down during a cross-United States road trip finds themselves stranded – but when the sun sets on the seemingly sleepy town, a much more sinister menace rears its ugly head. Come for the incredible art, stay for the Satanic Panic! Bonus: this comic’s superb back material includes insightful essays on a number of topics, including the horror movies that inspired the comic, as well as some truly incredibly pinup art.
While any of the comics (or animated shows) by Jhonen Vasquez could justify a place on this list, I’m including Squee because so much of the eponymous character’s life is based around fear. Plus, in this collection, he is abducted by extraterriestrials, befriends the son of Satan at school, and personally witnesses the apparent death of a classmate at the jaws of Nacho the scary Chihuahua.
The Walking Dead
In this obscure and underappreciated comic, humanity finds itself attempting to survive a plague of the undead! Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Tony Moore (issues 1 – 7) and Charlie Adlard, this comic has been adapted to the small screen (leading to multiple spinoff and tie-in shows).
While the original version of The Walking Dead was in black and white (just like Night of the Living Dead, the George A. Romero film that released the golem of the undead on American media), if you so desire, you can check out the colorized version of the series, which is currently being released.
Locke & Key
While the Netflix adaptation of Locke & Key was probably wise to lean into the fantasy elements of the comic by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos, and Robbie Robbins, the comics on which it is based lean more towards the elements of horror. While the comic includes plenty of blood, gore, and harsh language (all of which was largely omitted from the adaptation), it also includes the fantasy world-building elements that made the Netflix series so irresistible.
If you haven’t heard people talking about this spooky slow-burn thriller by Daniel Kraus, Chris Shehan, Jason Wordie, and Jim Campbell, you will soon! Between the autumnal vibe and the creeping tension in the first issue, now is the perfect season to pick up the first issue of this comic – doubly so since issue 2 is arriving in comic shops on October 28th, 2020, just in time for your socially-distanced Halloween festivities.
Misty and Scream 2020 Special
Horror anthology ahoy! In the 48-page Misty and Scream 2020 Special, there are six spooky tales, including three that have never before been published. Like any anthology, these comics vary in content and art style – but from the trio of theater kids who finds themselves on the ironic end of a revenge scheme to a witch who runs afoul of local villagers during a pilgrimage to honor her late mother, there’s no shortage of spooky thrills in this volume!
Since 2005, the Marvel Zombies series of comics has re-imagined the heroes of the Marvel Universe as horrific undead monsters. While the original series was written by TWD creator Kirkman (after spinning out of a few issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four), there are plenty of different incarnations of this series that may pique your interest. Which nightmarish Avenger delivers your favorite display of body horror? I’m rooting for Zombie Spider-Man using his veins and arteries the same way Regular Spider-Man uses his webbing. THWIP, THWIP, SPLAT!
Plus, between the allusion to the comic in Spider-Man: Far From Home and the impending episode of Disney+’s animated “What If” series that pays homage, this is the perfect Halloween to read the Marvel Zombies horror comics.
In American Vampire by Stephen King, Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque, Dave McCaig, and Steve Wands, readers get two storylines: one set in 1925 and one set in 1880. Constant Readers will be particularly interested in this comic thanks to the fact that some scenes in the 1880 storyline are set in Sidewinder, Colorado, the fictional mountain village that is also the nearest sign of civilization in King’s novel The Shining.
Now is the ideal time to check out the original run of the series, as a sequel series, American Vampire 1976, will be on its way soon.
Although The Wilds by Vita Ayala, Emily Pearson, Marissa Louise, and Natasha Alterici is not a conventional zombie apocalypse horror comic, it’s certainly spooky enough to qualify for a place on this list! In a world overrun by a mysterious plague, those who are uninfected join together to build fortress-like home bases so that they might escape the Abominations. There’s a lot to love in this comic, but one of the best parts is the way it approaches character, with a huge revelation about the protagonist at the conclusion that’s sure to leave the story turning over in your head (like the best horror stories tend to do).
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
While any of the Archie Horror comics would be suitable for Halloween, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, and Jack Morelli seems especially seasonal. Set during the 1960s and featuring Veronica and Betty in their best role outside of Archie vs. Predator 2, this comic is perfect for those long, crisp nights. Just remember: like Afterlife with Archie, you should not get into this series expecting a conclusion!
In this prequel to NOS4A2, readers get a glimpse of the origin of the villainous Charlie Manx and his spookifying domain, Christmasland. Don’t get fooled by that name – Christmasland is Halloween through and through! This horror comic by Hill, Charles Paul Wilson III, Fotos, Shawn Lee, and Robbins is the perfect seasonal treat (with a nightmare version of the Family Circus dotted-line gag providing a particularly excellent splash in chapter five).
In Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, Anya falls down a well, and at the bottom, she finds a new best friend! But is a ghost you met at the bottom of a well really best friend material? Dealing with family drama and self-consciousness is enough of a hassle without being haunted!
For those who are less interested in gore and more interested in atmosphere in their horror comics, Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz is a ghost story that fits the bill. Set in a medical museum, Archival Quality follows Cel as she uncovers the secrets that the shadowy board of directors had hoped would remain buried.