Graphic Novel Friday: Haunted Comics for Halloween

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky. They're all together ooky: comics for Halloween! Read below for four new comics that pair nicely with a tingling spine or a bump in the night.

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Head Lopper by Andrew MacLean: This year’s biggest jump-scare surprise comes from writer/illustrator Andrew MacLean in Head Lopper, the succinctly titled chronicle of Norgal, a head-chopping warrior with an outstanding beard and the decapitated head of a witch at his side. Artwork comparisons have been made to Mike Mignola and Mike Oeming (not a bad pair of Mikes for company!), but MacLean’s vision is all his own, blending magic, fantasy, and adventure with witchcraft, nightmare creatures, humor, and buckets of blood. Norgal’s epic world feels properly “lived in,” and I hope to see much more from that big beard and MacLean in the future.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack: You might remember Sabrina the Teenage Witch from cutesy comics read in your youth. This is not so cute. Here, Sabrina is reimagined in a 1960s horror setting, not unlike Rosemary’s Baby, just prior to her 16th birthday, where she must either commit to a blood ritual and become an immortal member of her family’s coven, or remain mortal and seek love. Sure, there are fun nods to previous Archie comics (Betty and Veronica make witchy cameos), but this is mostly played for creeps and not laughs. Expect blood-letting, incantations, and creatures from beyond this mortal plane!

George A. Romero’s Empire of the Dead by George A. Romero, Alex Maleev, Dalibor Talajic, and Andrea Mutti: When there is no room left in Hell, the dead will stalk comic books. Horror auteur George A. Romero takes a break from conjuring the greatest zombie films ever made to tell an original tale in three acts, each illustrated by a different artist and each shining a light darkly on Manhattan after the dead rise. From his gore masterpiece Day of the Dead film, Romero follows a similar thread of scientists and soldiers who believe zombies can gain awareness and learn. This is wonderful news for the fate of humanity, except for all the biting. If that weren’t enough, Manhattan has another undead problem: vampires rule the city’s wealth and militia and politics. This clashing and gnashing of nightstalkers will thrill gore hounds looking for more action than outright scares.

  Hellboy in Hell Vol. 2: The Death Card by Mike Mignola: What would any Halloween Spooktacular be without Mike Mignola, the maestro of horror comics? This year’s entry is bittersweet, because Mignola stated this is Hellboy’s finale (outside of spin-offs), for now. Over 20 years of supernatural fisticuffs culminate here, with Hellboy continuing his Dante-inspired travel through Hell as he faces his sister and, at last, the prophecy haunting him for years. Yes, Volume 1 is a must-read prior to this, but there is never enough Hellboy. Farewell, Right Hand of Doom!

Happy Halloween, ABR readers!

--Alex CarrARGH!

 

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