Embarking on a journey into the realm of horror is an experience that taps into our innate fascination with the macabre, the eerie, and the unknown. Comics’ potent blend of art and storytelling provides a unique medium to explore this shadowy genre. In the last decade, several masterpieces have emerged, pushing boundaries and redefining our perception of fear. These modern horror classics have left an indelible mark on the genre with their chilling narratives, atmospheric artwork, and immersive worlds.
So prepare yourself, constant reader, for a chilling exploration of The Longbox of Darkness’ top five modern horror comics. In each entry, we’ll sound out the murky depths of their unique horror elements, their evocative visuals, and the compelling nature of their storytelling.
1. “Harrow County” by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook
Harrow County, penned by Cullen Bunn and masterfully illustrated by Tyler Crook, is a Southern Gothic horror tale that plunges readers into the heart of rural America. It follows the story of Emmy, a young woman who discovers her terrifying connection to the dark forces lurking in her town. Bunn’s storytelling prowess is unmistakable, weaving a rich tapestry of fear and suspense, while Crook’s evocative artwork brings the unnerving world of Harrow County to life in haunting detail. The painted pages create a beautiful and terrifying atmosphere, perfectly complementing the slow-burning horror narrative.
2. “Wytches” by Scott Snyder and Jock
Scott Snyder and Jock’s “Wytches” reimagines the traditional concept of witches in a horrifyingly modern and original way. The story revolves around the Rook family, who move to a new town to escape a haunting past, only to be confronted by an even darker threat. Snyder’s writing is sharp and suspenseful, with the ability to instill a creeping sense of dread that lingers long after the page is turned. Jock’s artwork, with its frenzied style and innovative use of color, adds another layer of unease, making “Wytches” a chilling must-read.
3. “Gideon Falls” by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino
“Gideon Falls,” a masterwork by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, blends psychological horror with cosmic terror. The narrative involves two seemingly unrelated protagonists—an urban recluse and a troubled Catholic priest—drawn together by a mysterious, sinister force centered on a rural town’s legend. Lemire’s narrative is complex and riveting, holding readers captive with its twists and turns. Sorrentino’s art, with its moody palette and fragmented panels, mirrors the fractured reality of the story, making “Gideon Falls” a breathtaking exploration of fear.
4. “Bitter Root” by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene
The story of “Bitter Root” is set during the Harlem Renaissance era of the 1920s. It follows the Sangerye family, a group of monster hunters specializing in curing people infected by a supernatural force called the Jinoo. The Sangeryes are a complex family with a rich history and each member brings unique skills and perspectives to the fight.
The series explores themes of family, legacy, racism, and identity and the consequences of using violence to solve problems. The art style is heavily influenced by the jazz and art deco aesthetics of the time period and is known for its dynamic action scenes and creative creature designs.
5. “Something is Killing the Children” by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera
“Something is Killing the Children” is a gruesome and intense horror comic by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera. The narrative centers on the town of Archer’s Peak, where children are mysteriously murdered. The story follows Erica Slaughter, a stranger with a hidden agenda and the ability to kill the monsters behind the horrors. Tynion IV’s storytelling is profoundly disturbing yet compelling, creating a sense of impending doom with each page turn. Dell’Edera’s artwork, with its striking use of shadows and minimalist color scheme, complements the narrative perfectly, enhancing the eerie, threatening atmosphere.
While our top five picks have certainly made their mark, there are other notable contributions to the horror comic genre in this period that deserve mention:
- “Infidel” by Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell is a horror tale set in a haunted apartment building that explores Islamophobia and xenophobia.
- “The Low, Low Woods” by Carmen Maria Machado and Dani: This series explores a mysterious plague causing memory loss and physical transformations in a small town.
- “Basketful of Heads” by Joe Hill and Leomacs: A suspenseful thriller involving a Viking axe that can decapitate victims in a single swing yet leave them conscious and able to speak.
Whether you’re a seasoned horror fan or a curious newcomer, these comics offer a blend of unique narratives, evocative art, and riveting storytelling that will turn your spine to moldy jelly. Each comic masterfully encapsulates the essence of modern horror and will provide you with a fright-filled study of humanity’s darkest, most unsettling obsessions.
So give these titles a look, and be sure to subscribe to the blog for more horror posts in the future.
Pleasant screams 😉
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