So I had to custom bind together a compilation of spooky Halloween themed faves to always have for the Fall season. This is the first of two volumes. Theres an awful lot of spooky or horror themed comics to choose from & in this post Im going to go through why all of these are my Twix Bar comfort food issues for the haunted time of the year. I made the cover for this bind before I was very good at Photoshop but I definitely wanted to use the old Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark covers but morph them into my comics needs. I think they came out fun. Now, on to the contents & why they matter to me & why I think you should check them out!
Garfield Alone was the first comic I had to add to this bind. As a kid, rather embarrassingly, Garfield was MY LIFE. Everything I did or thought about used to relate to Garfield. This infamous series of strips showing Garfield as a possibly hallucinating stray cat in an abandoned house slowly starving to death REALLY MESSED ME UP AS A KID!
Hector Plasm: De Mortuis & Hector Plasm: Totentaz: Hector Plasm by Benito Cereno & Nate Bellegarde is one of those unique genius characters in comics in the same vein as Hellboy or Wolverine who work in pretty much any story you throw them into. He is a Benandanti, a type of shaman or exorcist. A fun everyman whos been trained to wander the world handling any problems relating to the paranormal. Of all the comics I’ll be talking about here, I recommend these two issues the most. The first is a compilation of all the early Hector stories that the team did in various indie books or backups. You get a wide swathe of plots & tones. Totentaz is more of a Halloween special with a collection of stories & pages regarding the Dance of the Dead. I also printed out the Hector story Palamon’s Conundrum which isnt in these but was released in the Pop Gun vol. 1 anthology book. Easily found with a Google search
DC Infinite Halloween Special: One of those fun DC Halloween specials. Full of all types of different short stories. The highlight of this issue is the Blue Devil/Shadowpact one where not Charlie Brown & Linus summon The Pumpkin Sinister to attack the Blue Devil
DC Universe Halloween Special 2009: This is another of the multi tale DC Specials. A lot of fun stuff in here including a Green Lantern Corps Guy Gardner story that I absolutely LOVE by Adam Schlagman & Mark Bagley. Its a very charming story about Guy trying to throw a Halloween bash on Oa. Its a lot of fun and I think one of the best GL stories ever.
DC Universe Halloween Special 2010: This is probably the weakest of all the DC Specials, but it has a really fun Bryan Q. Miller / Trevor McCarthy Teen Titans & Klarion story in it that I really enjoy. Its worth it just for that one.
Betty & Veronica 261-262: Betty the Vampire Slayer vs Vampironica. A classic Archie 2 parter scripted & drawn by Dan Parent. Its exactly what it sounds like, before Archie started doing all its horror line stuff. Its extremely fun & well worth checking out. I love the more classic silly Archie comics, especially when they’d do wild parodies like this.
Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen 142-143: The Man from Transilvane! The classic Jack Kirby 2 parter about Jimmy Olsen & Superman battling the inhabitants of the miniature artificial planet Transilvane. Transilvane is a NASA experiment conducted by Cadmus mad scientist Dabney Donovan. Later Donovan just decides to use orbiting movie projectors to project horror films on the mini planet’s clouds. The miniature inhabitants then take the appearance and mannerisms of classic movie monsters. Donovan eventually unleashes a robotic Demon Dog to kill off the populace, so Count Dragorin & Lupek the Wolfman use a coffin shaped ship that alters their size to come to the real world and seek out Donovan. They encounter Superman & Jimmy, who eventually help defeat the Demon Dog & save the planet. Superman then decides to replace the horror films being beamed down to Transilvane with Oklahoma! -“a solid smash hit whenever its played” as Superman describes it. THESE COMICS RULE!! These are some of my alltime favorites & represent the unparalleled insanity and genius of King Kirby. You must read these
Halloween Eve by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder: An odd little 2013 Kickstarter comic that Image eventually put out. The official synopsis: “Eve has an imagination that’s more than active – it can be downright dangerous! Working late at the costume super-store Halloween Land, she gets lost in her own thoughts until something goes bump in the night. The rubber masks and plastic novelties are coming to life, and Eve must face ghosts, goblins, and gorilla suits made real. High fantasy and heartbreak in an oversized holiday one-shot.” Its a strange wild ride with some absolutely amazing Amy Reeder artwork that is just so gorgeous. Well worth checking out
Detective Comics 571: The ultimate Scarecrow story by Mike Barr & Alan Davis. One of the best Batman issues of all time. A great fun romp revolving around the fear gas.
Beasts of Burden 2: Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson bring us this haunted tale of our group of super sleuth dogs & a cat that conjure the spirits of lost animals to solve a neighborhood pet mystery. It is some chilling, powerful stuff.
Suicide Squad 50: The zombie issue! Koschei the Deathless, originally Jess Bright of the original Task Force X transformed into a hideous monster who could raise & control the dead, attacks the Squad. Its a big ol Squad vs a bunch of zombies story. A great issue
Hellboy – The Wolves of Saint August: This story. Oh my God, this story! This is by far the scariest, most powerful Hellboy story there is. Hellboy’s old confidant, Father Kelly wants to open a Church in Southern France. After 150 villagers and the Father are killed, Hellboy and the BPRD are called in. They uncover the tale of a noble family that had been slaughtered centuries ago and now was said to haunt the chapel. As Hellboy and BPRD researchers investigate they come across the stone etched words: Wolves of St. August. The noble family in question had actually been cursed to turn into werewolves for worshiping the Devil. When the villagers finally learn of this they kill the noble family, all save William the youngest. William has survived 800 years and is causing the trouble in town. Hellboy & Kate Corrigan come upon spirits, including this little girl:
who reveals herself to be cursed into a werewolf! This sequence still gives me chills!! Argh what a terrifying poignant moment. Hellboy eventually must do battle with William, who skins himself to reveal a giant werewolf man who Hellboy must put down. Oooooowhee! This one gives me the heebie jeebies bad!! Agh its such a great comic. Its a masterclass in panel setup & comic art and how well it can be used to shock & terrify a reader.
Hack/Slash New Reader Halloween Treat: A special Halloween edition reprint of Issue 1 with some extras. Your mileage may vary on Hack/Slash but when this series works, it works well. It is a consistent horror fest. I wanted to include this Halloween special as its a perfect bite sized sampler to toss into a spook compilation
Edge of Spider-Verse 4: The weird horror issue of Spider-Verse by Clay Mcleod Chapman & Elia Bonetti. This one is a twisted subversion on the usual Peter Parker story. Everything is a dark negative version as Patton Parnel is a true creep living with his abusive Uncle Ted. Patton is eventually turned into an unspeakable Spider monster, intent on laying eggs into whoever he bites. Ick, its gross!
Marvel Team-Up 36-37: Spider-Man & The Frankenstein Monster! Spider-Man & the Frankenstein Monster both captured by Ludwig von Shtupf, the Monster-Maker! In an attempt to escape his castle they along with a Shield Agent sent to stop von Shtpf run afoul of the Man-Wolf! Classic Balkan Castle Monster movie horror the Marvel Universe way!!
52 Week 25: The 52 series continues into the week of Halloween. Halloween parades & festivities surround our main cast.
Rom Spaceknight 47: The terrifying power of the Dire Wraiths. See how a lone Dire Wraith attacks, consumes & transforms into a new human guise. The chilling threat of Rom’s eternal enemies
Afterlife With Archie 1: The start to one of the absolute best comic ideas ever. Turning silly old Archie into a dark macabre horror book shouldnt work but god it just does so well. Id advise anyone who has never checked it out to try it immediately.
Swamp Thing 48: Part of Alan Moore’s legendary run. This may be the issue of Swampy that freaked me out the most. John Constantine & his team join up with Swamp Thing to enter the caves of the Brujeria, an evil sect of male witches intent on destroying Heaven. Along the way the team encounters the Brujeria’s guardian & secret assassin the Invunche. An Invunche is a kidnapped six-month old infant, to which the Brujeria raise & transform by disjointing the head, arms and legs, and imbuing it with certain mystical properties. THIS THING SCARED THE HOLY HELL OUT OF ME!
The rest of the issue involves John’s friend Judith revealing herself a traitor & transformed into a bird by the Brujeria in a rather disgusting horrifying ritual. This comic gets me to my core. Brrrr.
The Nocturnals – Troll Bridge: Dan Bereton’s Noctunrals is a great series about the supernatural exploits of Doc Horror and his daughter Eve in Pacific City, a fictional California town which seems to have more than its fair share of paranormal activity. Its a reall varied series with noir storytelling & a lot of spooky themed stuff. I put the Troll Bridge in here beacuse its a big huge one shot full of all types of artists that really showcases everything the franchise has to offer. I recommend all of the Nocturnals
Batman Brave & The Bold 12: By Sholly Fisch & Ethen Beavers. This cartoon tie in series was consistently one of the best books being published when it was coming out. Zatanna & Batman must team up against Klarion, who has taken over The House of Mystery. You get a great issue full of DC magical character cameos. Just look at this:
Oh man is this comic fun!! One of my favorite single issues of all time! Track this one down. Its really great
Masters of the Universe – Power Of Fear Halloween Special- A tie in to the 2002 He-Man cartoon: “What happens when your worst nightmares become reality? For He-Man and the Masters, their world turns upside down when a new face of evil brings their greatest fears to life! Plus: offered for the first time to the Direct Market, the 12-page ultra-rare 2002 Dream Halloween story “Hope”! ” A fun little Halloween themed package
Batman Gotham Adventures 32: A fun little Fall time Scarecrow issue where he unleashes a gas that turns all of Gotham’s citizens crazy. A really great fun issue. Fall leaves swirl around in the art in just about every page. Its a go to Halloween time issue.
Adventure Time: 2013 Spoooktacular: This fun oneshot features stories from Jen Bennett, Bryce Carlson, Ming Doyle, Jones Wiedle, Jay Hosler, Kevin Church, Frazer Irving, Ming Doyle and Jen Vaughn. This ones worth it just for Frazer Irving drawing Adventure Time
BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL #1,
BATMAN: MADNESS – A LEGEND OF THE DARK KNIGHT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL
BATMAN: GHOSTS – A LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT HALLOWEEN SPECIAL.
The Batman Haunted Knight trilogy by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale round out this volume. I think these are better than the maxiseries this team did together. Just weird, dark Halloween themed one shots with some great art. They specifically fit the Holiday & season really well. I really enjoy these ones for this time of year
And thats that!! All the spooky stories bound together in this haunted tome. Check back soon for the post for Volume 2: More Scary Comic Stories to Tell in the Dark!