The horror genre has many different faces. One of the most prolific, imaginative, original and insane examples is the comic book — a medium limited only by its number of pages and editions — and allows for countless manifestations and shapes of evil, going as dark as the imagination of their writers and artists can reach.
These are some of the most outstanding titles released in the last five years. You can find all of them at ComiXology and probably at your local comic book store.
Number of Issues: 30 (Finished)
It is quite easy to point out who are the most remarkable serial killers of the fictional world: Hannibal Lecter, Dexter Morgan, Patrick Bateman, Norman Bates and Edward Charles Warren — the Nailbiter. In this indie series released by Image Comics — created by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson — the small town of Buckaroo, Oregon is put under the spotlight after the most notorious American serial killer of all time is arrested. People soon realize that not only him but 16 other serial killers have also come from that same place.
Nailbiter's pages drip blood and violence, constantly nodding its head to the cinematic #horror genre. Some of the panels drawn from a POV perspective, revealing only hands and a knife. Some have some giallo vibes, which are rarely seen in a comic. However, most of the time, it evokes a slasher style in the vein of Dexter and Hannibal. The last issue was published in March and it is easily one of the best issues of a horror comic to ever be released.
4. 'Black Monday Murders'
Number of Issues: 4 (Ongoing)
The newest one of the bunch is a true masterpiece of dread and mystery. The crypto-noir Black Monday Murders glorifies occultism and tries to convince us that the corporative and business world of Wall Street is ruled by pagans who practice dark, ancestral magick. One of the most unique traits of the series is the way the pages are often interspersed with excerpts of documents and secret files that work to build the universe, making it as realistic and gritty as possible.
Even though it is filled with the occult and the supernatural, BMM manages to provoke a sense of plausibility that works in its favor. The illustrations by Tomm Coker are always sober and down-to-Earth, and the writing by Jonathan Hickman is equally mind bending.
3. 'House Of Penance'
Number of Issues: 6 (Ongoing)
Written by Peter Tomasi and illustrated by Ian Bertram, House of Penance is a Lovecraftian tale of madness, sorrow and redemption, inspired by the true story of Mary Winchester, the heir of the Winchester empire who lost her mind after her daughter and husband passed away. Her insanity manifested itself in the shape of a never-ending desire for rebuilding her own house, which transformed it into one hell of a freakish architectural nightmare.
The character's shapes are intentionally ugly and grotesque in the most impressive way. Bertran never limits himself to the borders of the page and constantly manipulates the medium, creating panels that are equally disturbing and beautiful. The concept of redemption and the attempt to wash away the blood on their hands is executed with the majesty of a true genius.
Number of Issues: 6 (Finished)
Grant Morrison's name speaks for itself, but in the case there's any doubts, just believe that his horror sci-fi madness fest Nameless is simply one of the most mind-shattering comics out there. It's like watching Event Horizon without any budget limitations and studio interference.
Also borrowing a lot from Lovecraft and different mythos connected to occultism, Nameless shares great artwork with top-notch writing. Be prepared to be confused and messed up by the sheer insanity of this deep space mystery.
Number of Issues: 15 (Finished)
Dark Horse's Colder has had three different arcs so far: Colder, Colder: The Bad Seed and Colder: Toss the Bones. It's not an easy task to describe its plot, so I'll just leave the synopsis here and wish you good luck picturing what's going on:
Declan Thomas's body temperature is dropping. He never gets sick, never feels pain. An ex-inmate of an insane asylum that was destroyed in a fire, he has the strange ability to step inside a person's madness — and sometimes cure it. He hopes to one day cure his own, but time is running out, as a demonic predator pursues him through a nightmare version of Boston — and when Declan's temperature reaches zero...it's over!
So what should one expect from #Colder? Well, madness is most definitely the key word in this case. All sorts of crazy are illustrated by Juan Ferreyra's realistic and colorful style that looks like watercolor painting at times. Featuring an extra dimension, monsters with countless teeth and eyes inside their mouths, body manipulation and destruction, graphic violence and complex characters, Colder is a must-read.
Which one is your favorite horror comic book from the 2010s?