Spooky Comics for All Hallows Eve

With Halloween right around the corner, I figured every should get into the spirit of the season with some stellar reads. These descriptions and books are all for volume 1 stories or stand alones. Annnnnnd begin:

Coffin Hill is an ongoing series published by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint with a story by Caitlin Kittredge (Nocturne City) and pencils/ink by Inaki Miranda (Judge Dredd in 2000 A.D.). This creative duo works well to to give a disturbing and intricate story centered around Eve Coffin and the disastrous witchcraft she practiced with her friends as a teenager. Going back and forth between her teen years, where she was a selfish and indulgent girl, to her adult years, where she is a Boston cop who has a better understanding of the consequences of the dark arts and the evil that always accompany them, the character displays serious growth that continues throughout the whole story.

Eve returns to her hometown only to discover that the sinister forces in the local forest that took one of her friends and institutionalized another are once again at work. With the help of an ex-flame (of sorts) she tries to uncover why the evil has returned as well as how to stop it, while simultaneously spurning the contempt from the community, insisting she is a murderous witch (an accusation that is only half true). If you like eerie mysteries and twists on every turn of the page, then check this out. The first trade is only $9.99, so you have nothing to lose but a great story to gain.

Afterlife with Archie is a new twist on well known characters written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Dead of Night featuring Man-Thing)  with art by Francesco Francavilla (The Black Beetle, Zorro). Everyone knows of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and the gang, which makes this story cut even deeper. Familiar characters get put in terrifying situations and each issue (or the first volume which is currently out) leaves you wanting craving even more story. While having an infinitely more somber tone than the previous stories in the franchise, this story still gets the tone of the characters and their relationships. You don't need to know much more than the typical cast to understand the story. Even if you've never heard of the Archie gang before it's still a great zombie tale that brings some new concepts to the table.

I won't spoil this because one day I absolutely will podcast about it, but the gist what's going on: Jughead's dog was hit by a car, so he visits Sabrina the teenage witch (who some of you may not have known is an old Archie property) to see if she can help. That's all I'll say. For $17.99 you can get the first trade of this series. Also, if you like this story, the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1 was released this month. It is another dark retelling that will make you think twice about the character.

North 40 was put out by Widstorm, another DC imprint, with story by Aaron Williams (Diablo) and pincils/colors/ink by Fiona Staples (Done to Death, Saga). This story is basically a combination of Twin Peaks and an H.P. Lovecraft story. There is so much to look at and so much weight in every characters dialogue that it is hard not to read this in one go.

This is the story about two late teens/early twenties citizens of a small town who try to perform some dark magic. Soon, bizarre creatures are unleashed in the town and the citizens start to go through horrific changes. Though not the scariest of tales, this story definitely draws in readers with it's depictions of Lovecraftian creatures and the ways the townsfolk deal with them... or become them. There is only one volume of North 40, containing the 6 issues of the story that were printed, but I'm hopeful that one day more will happen with this intriguing tale.

The Nail was published by Dark Horse and written by Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Lot 13) and Rob Zombie (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects) with art by Jay Fotos ('68). It is an original B-Movie gore fest transformed into a book, and should definitely be read as such. If you are looking for something incredibly deep then look away, but for those looking for a violent and fun story, check it out. 

Here's the deal, there is a wrestler who goes by the stage name The Nail (because he fights with nails between his fingers) who is touring with his family, a fellow wrestler, and his manager. They start to hear weird noises and see Satanic bikers (with badass masks) only to discover that they are traveling over a burial site for a Satanist who is rumored to want the lives of virgins! And anyone else who is around, but mostly virgins. They SHOULD leave, but the bridge is blown (surprise) so it's up to The Nail to fight for their safety.

The story is silly and bloody, as I have already said. It's available in trade, however if you can I would get the issues (there are only 4) because the cover art really unique.

There are lots of other great horror comics out there. All of the ones I have listed are original works. If you would like some familiar territory, you can check out some some serialized properties such as the Deadspace comics, Alien comics, Silent Hill: Sinner's Reward or Silent Hill: Past Life, Trick 'r Treat, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Strain, and many more.

For some more eerie original stories, you can check out Crossed (just a warning, this is reeeeeeally graphic), The Final Girl (for more of that goofy B-movie feel), Bedlam, Cut, the list goes on and on.

I'll post again before the 31st, but just for kicks I'll say Happy Halloween!

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