For those who scoff: “A comic book could never scare me!” - there’s something about the way good writers and illustrators use the space on the page and in the frames that can make comics and graphic novels absolutely chilling. It’s the anticipation, the quietness, the occasional first-person perspective.
It’s the way your mind fills in the blanks, maybe by adding sound – the click of heels on an empty, dark street, the sound of something crawling across the attic floor - or allowing one scene to bleed into another.
Since Halloween is right around the corner, what better time to test your mettle than with these classic horror comics and graphic novels?
Last October, we released an eBook exclusive reprint (ePrint?) of Suburban Legends by Sam Stall. A collection of creepy TRUE short stories of horror in the suburbs, it was a fun book to work on. And to promote it, we posted a number of excerpts on our Scribd page.
Since Halloween is quickly approaching, I figured we should give these to you guys once again. So here you go, four true stories of horror from the suburbs.
After I read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, I wanted to put together a costume inspired by the book. This story was so original I thought, especially with it’s creepy old photographs. I knew I couldn’t just pick any character; it had to be the little girl on the cover, Olive. Everyone would recognize the sullen levitating girl.
Everything was easy except for the dress. I had a dress that I kind of settled for. I couldn’t find the perfect one. Then it was like all the stars aligned and THE dress appeared on eBay exactly five days before I had to pack my suitcase and fly out to San Diego Comic Con, where I wanted to debut the outfit. I could not believe it. The same dress Olive is wearing! I know because I kept looking at the book and my screen a hundred times.
Ransom Riggs had a scheduled autograph signing and it was my intention to surprise the author. Everything turned out perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier.
Horror, science fiction, fantasy, suspense—all these categories came from Gothic literature. I devour 18th and 19th-century Gothic literature, from Shelley and Bronte to Poe, Dickens to Lovecraft, and all the neo-Gothic works today like Susanna Clarke and Michael Cox and Diane Setterfield. Several YA authors are embracing neo-Gothic literature and sharing retellings of famous Gothic works or incorporating elements of Gothic literature—like terror, horror, transgression, and Byronic heroes—into their stories.
I could go on for ages, but then I’d just recap my graduate thesis.
This Halloween (this autumn and winter, really—let’s be honest, the dark months are the best months for horror!), curl up in your biggest, comfiest chair, turn out all the lights save for one, and immerse yourself in these chilling reads.