1. The Walking Dead (Oct 2003-July 2019)
Author: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Tony Moore (#1-6), Charlie Adlard (#7-193)
You may only know about the popular TV series, adapted and produced by AMC, but this is a wildly successful horror comic book, often dubbed one of the best horror comics of all time.
It focuses on Rick Grimes, a police officer who was shot in the line of duty. After waking from a coma, he discovers that he is in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. He becomes the leader of a couple of other survivors, forming a community that struggles to survive the zombie apocalypse.
2. Locke and Key (July 2008-December 2013)
Author: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Locke & Key follows the events surrounding a family (the Lockes), who, after being victims of a home invasion that resulted in the death of their father, move into the mysterious Keyhouse.
This 6 volume collection has everything from murder and violence to demonic possession and dimensional portals. It’s no wonder it has been hailed as one of the best modern horror comics ever!
3. Hellblazer (January 1988-February 2013; November 2019)
John Constantine is a detective specializing in the occult. He is the quintessential anti-hero and stops at nothing to get the job done, often blurring the lines between what is morally right and wrong.
Haunted by the ghosts of friends who have died while under his protection, the world of magic and the supernatural where he dwells is a dangerous one. A true pioneer in horror comic books, this was adapted into a 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves as the detective.
4. Tomb of Dracula (April 1972-August 1979)
Authors: Gerry Conway (#1*-2), Archie Goodwin (#3-4), Gardner Fox (#5-6), Marv Wolfman (#7-70)
*The plot for #1 was written by Roy Thomas and editor Stan Lee. Gerry Conway only had input when it was finished.
Artist: Gene Colan (#1-70)
Here we have the original horror comic book and a successful Marvel horror comic book, no doubt. The 70-issue series follows some vampire hunters who fight Count Dracula and other supernatural menaces.
On rare occasions, Dracula works with these vampire hunters against a common threat or battles other supernatural threats on his own. Perhaps more remembered nowadays as the comic book that introduced Blade, it should go down as one of the best horror comics of all time.
5. Hellboy (March 1994-present)
One of the most famous horror comic book characters of all time, Hellboy has been kicking ass for over 25 years now. Hellboy works for the B.P.R.D, defending the world against dark forces, some human and diabolical, like the Nazis, and some sinister and other-worldly, like witches and demons.
6. The Sandman (January 1989 – November 2015)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Artists: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Michael Zulli
Neil Gaiman’s epic masterpiece is often regarded as one of the best horror comic books of all time. The titular character, also known as Morpheus Lord of Dreams, or Dream, is captured by a coven of wizards.
These wizards, attempting to eradicate all death by taking its master captive, captured Dream instead. When Dream finally escapes, he must face the harsh changes that have occurred in his realm, as well as the changes within himself.
7. From Hell (1989-1996)
Author: Alan Moore
Artist: Eddie Campbell
Often regarded as one of the best horror graphic novels of all time, comic book writing maestro Alan Moore carved out a superb fictional tale set in a real Victorian world.
Set during the Jack the Ripper murders, Moore speculates upon the identity and motives of the serial killer. The novel is based on real events surrounding the murders. However, some parts are fictional, such as the identity of the killer, and the precise nature and circumstances of the killings.
8. Swamp Thing (November 1972-August 2016)
Swamp Thing is a horror comic book royalty, as far as I’m concerned. As an anthropomorphic monster, the protagonist is often depicted in different styles and using different themes.
Usually, he is something of a superhero in the DC universe, defending his home and the planet from evil. Other times, he is a hideous swamp-dwelling, nightmarish monster. A new streaming series has been released on Prime, which adds to this dark retelling of a classic horror comic book character.
9. Tales From The Crypt (1950 – present)
We all remember the HBO series from the early 90s, don’t we? But some of you may not realize that this scary horror comic almost paved the way for all horror comic books we have today. It is published as an anthology, with every issue containing numerous scary stories, each introduced by the dreaded Crypt-Keeper.
10. Fatale (2012-2014)
Author: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Josephine, or Jo, is an archetypal femme fatale who is immortal, having survived from the 1930s to the modern-day unaged. Through the decades, Jo struggles to understand and control her powers while being pursued by a violent cult. The cult worships cosmic gods, which are somehow tied to Jo.
Although some may classify this as a noir comic book, it still fits well into the excellent horror comic book category.
11. Preacher (1995-2000)
Author: Garth Ennis
Artist: Steve Dillon
Cover Artist: Glenn Fabry
Preacher, one of the best horror comics, tells the story of Jesse Custer, a preacher who becomes possessed by Genesis, a supernatural creature, the infant of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon.
He journeys across the USA, attempting to find God, who abandoned Heaven when Genesis was born. Custer starts discovering his new powers, which allow him to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words.
12. Wytches (2014-2015)
Author: Scott Snyder
When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, New Hampshire, to escape a traumatic haunting event, they’re hopeful about having a fresh start. But what they don’t know is that something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond the town — watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.
This is a genuinely terrifying read and one of the best horror comics of all time.
13. Afterlife With Archie (2013-present)
Author: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
In an alternate reality, Riverdale plays host to a zombie apocalypse, all starting with Hot-Dog, who is brought back to life by Sabrina, only to land the first undead bite on his distraught owner, Jughead.
This is the first horror comic book that Archie comics published, exploring darker themes and previously untrod ground. This paved the way for Archie horror, an offshoot of the Archie comics.
14. Outcast (2014-present)
Author: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Paul Azaceta
From the mind that brought you The Walking Dead comes a supernatural horror story following Kyle Barnes. The people he loves have been involved in demonic possession since he was a child. With the help of a man of the clergy, he tries to discover what lies behind the supernatural occurrences and why he carries unique peculiarities.
With Volume 7 released this year, there’s no doubt Outcast will be one of the best horror comics of 2019.
15. Harrow County (2015-2018)
Authors: Cullen Bunn, Tyler Crook
Artists: Tyler Crook, Carla Speed McNeil, Hannah Christenson, Naomi Franquiz
Cover Artists: Tyler Crook, Naomi Franquiz
This scary comic tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl named Emmy, whose tranquil life in a rural backwater town is destroyed upon hearing that her father, Isaac, together with the local townsfolk plan to kill her.
They believe she is the reincarnation of a witch called Hester Beck, who they burned and hung from a tree near Emmy’s house eighteen years prior. She keeps haunting them to this day, dead-set on getting her revenge.
Wow…I’m glad I wrote this in the daylight hours. Some of these horror comic books are just way too terrifying to read under the shadow of night.
My personal favorite from the list is Tales From The Crypt. Being a massive fan of The Twilight Zone, how could I not love its grandaddy?!
Which of the best horror comic books I’ve listed are your favorite? Are there any that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments, and as always, thanks for dropping by!
From Skywalkers to superheroes; from a Gunslinger to Gollum; From a time travelling police box to a time travelling delorean, my obsession with everything fantastical and geeky began when I was around 6, aboard the USS Enterprise, with Captain Jean-Luc Picard at the helm.
Now, being 6 seems like a lifetime ago, and a lot has changed in my life but my love for all things geeky remains a constant.
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