October is #WickedGoodReads Month here at Outlandish Lit and GXO. This is the final week!. Today's topic: scary graphic novels and comics (see the full list of discussion topics here).
BLACK HOLE BY CHARLES BURNS
Charles Burns' illustrations are so iconic, you have to read this if just to see them. His mind is also particularly peculiar. Black Hole is a bit dark and gruesome, but it's utterly fascinating.
Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the out-set that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.
As we inhabit the heads of several key characters — some kids who have it, some who don’t, some who are about to get it — what unfolds isn’t the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness to it , or even to treat it. What we become witness to instead is a fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high school alienation itself — the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape.
And then the murders start.
HARROW COUNTY BY CULLEN BUNN
This is a comic series that's still running; currently volume one is out. The art is super charming and so is the main character. The "country haints" are delightfully creepy and so is the story of the witch that rules them.
Emmy always knew that the woods surrounding her home crawled with ghosts and monsters. But on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, she learns that she is connected to these creatures--and to the land itself--in a way she never imagined.
A southern gothic fairy tale from the creator of smash hit The Sixth Gun, beautifully and hauntingly realized by B.P.R.D.'s Tyler Crook!
BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS BY FABIEN VEHLMANN
SO cute and SO creepy. Beautiful Darkness looks like a big illustrated storybook about fairies and little animals, but then it gets so so dark. I highly recommend it.
Kerascoët’s and Fabien Vehlmann’s unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale is a searing condemnation of our vast capacity for evil writ tiny. Join princess Aurora and her friends as they journey to civilization's heart of darkness in a bleak allegory about surviving the human experience. The sweet faces and bright leaves of Kerascoët’s delicate watercolors serve to highlight the evil that dwells beneath Vehlmann's story as pettiness, greed, and jealousy take over. Beautiful Darkness is a harrowing look behind the routine politeness and meaningless kindness of civilized society.
THROUGH THE WOODS BY EMILY CARROLL
Another one with bonkers good art. This is a collection of creepy short, fairy tale-like stories. I LOVED it. You can read one of the best ones online here. The online format works really well. Upon looking at her site, you might be able to see all the stories there, but if you love them, buy the book!!
'It came from the woods. Most strange things do.'
Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.
What are your favorite horror comics and graphic novels?
Sorry for the delay in this post. I just got a new laptop and scheduling got a little out of whack. Tomorrow is my last #wickedgoodreads post with scary short stories!