Top Ten Horror Releases of 2018
Written by James Ferguson
As we stand at the end of another year, we take the opportunity to look back on all the awesome comics that came out in 2018. Sure, other things happened to, but I'm here for the funny books. At the time of this writing, I've read 2,144 comics and graphic novels this year. While not all of those were horror-related, a good amount of them were and I've endeavored to read as much spooky stuff as I possibly could. As such, I've got a list of the best of the best the horror genre has to offer this year in the wonderful world of comics.
I've had the opportunity to speak to a number of the creators that are mentioned in this list on my horror comics podcast, Funny Book Splatter. If you haven't checked it out yet, please give it a listen. It's an interview show where I speak to writers, artists, colorists, and more about their comics, the horror genre, and whatever else comes up in conversation. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts. Now, let's get this show on the road.
10 - Cursed Comics Calvacade (DC Comics)
Writers: James Tynion IV, Bryan Hill, Tim Seeley, Riley Rossmo, Gary Dauberman, Vita Ayala, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Magdalene Visaggio, and Michael Moreci
DC Comics has been on a roll with its Halloween anthologies and I sincerely hope the publisher keeps this up. It allows a number of creators to explore the darker side of the DC Universe, which is more than just super scary characters like Swamp Thing and Clayface. Here we get everyone from Superman and Batman to Black Lightning and Zatanna tackling things that go bump in the night.
I feel The super hero genre is often looked over when it comes to horror, but the fact of the matter is these characters are facing untold terrors day in and day out. It's just masked under the guise of capes and spandex. Cursed Comics Calvacade digs into this in the best possible ways, showing that even someone like the Man of Steel can be shaken to his core.
Review: Cursed Comics Calvacade #1
8 – Gravetrancers (Black Mask Studios)
Writer: M.L. Miller
If you want a comic that's going to keep you on your toes, look no further than Gravetrancers. This book hits hard and fast with constant twists and turns, each more bizarre than the last. It follows a brother and sister as they visit their father's grave in an effort to get some closure only to find pure unbridled terror. The family that runs the cemetery is using corpses to make a new kind of highly addictive drug and things only get more bonkers from here.
Gravetrancers is very reminiscent of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This family is messed up in the darkest ways imaginable and no one is safe. Any one of these characters could be brutally murdered at a moment's notice. This is a frightening read from beginning to end.
7 – Harrow County (Dark Horse Comics)
Writer: Cullen Bunn
One of the best horror series in recent years came to a close in June. While it's devastating that we don't get any more Harrow County on the stands, it could not have had a better ending. Creators Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook stuck the landing so well, bringing Emmy's story to such a satisfying and terrifying conclusion.
We spent time with Emmy, seeing her grow as a person and fighting her own destiny. Since we were so invested in the character – and by extension, the people and monsters around her – it made the series mean so much more. The horrors this young girl faces feel real and cut deep. This, coupled with Crook's incredible artwork, makes for a powerful one-two punch. Crook conveys a ton of emotion in every panel with his characters, amplifying every moment with gorgeous landscapes that set the tone for each scene, from the most harrowing to the occasional glimmer of hope.
3 – Morte (Source Point Press)
Writer: Kevin Joseph
Out of all the comics I read this year, Morte hit the hardest. It's a somber and moving tale of the last man on earth as he works to put the corpses of everyone around him to rest. This is a silent comic with only a single, powerful word of dialogue in the entire thing. D.A. Bishop conveys so much emotion on every page, driving home the stark feeling of loneliness our protagonist is going through.
We don't know how or why everyone else has died or why he survived. That doesn't matter to the story one bit. What we do see is what this man has chosen to do with this time left on this planet. If I was in that position, I would be eating pizza every day and reading every book ever written. He's clearly a better man than I, doing some noble and thankless work that is emotionally trying. It's rare that a horror comic can move you, but this one will certainly do so.
2 – Infidel (Image Comics)
Writer: Pornsak Pichetshote
Few comics were as relevant as Infidel in 2018. This stunning book confronted the horrors of racism, manifesting them into real-life monsters that have been haunting a New York apartment building for years. They feed on the xenophobic tendencies of the residents, growing and morphing into hideous creatures that defy imagination. Artist Aaron Campbell makes these specters appear like they're from another dimension entirely. Your mind will struggle to understand what it's seeing as these things just should not exist.
Infidel definitely has a message mixed in, but it's blended well and not so blatant that you're seeing that “The More You Know” banner fly across the page. It's a comic that will not only scare the crap out of you, but will make you think.
1 – Come Into Me (Black Mask Studios)
Writers: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
If you ask anyone about their social media usage, they'll probably tell you that they use it too much and would like to cut down, but it's so hard. Well, read Come Into Me and you might be logging out of Facebook pretty quickly. This comic looks at what the next phase of social media could be. In an era where we're sharing more and more information about ourselves, the final frontier becomes your innermost thoughts. A company comes up with a technology that allows people to take a ride in someone else's head. See the world how they do and experience their every thought, whim, and memory.
Of course, this goes horribly wrong when two people get stuck in one body, each fighting for control. It results in some of the best body horror of the year as this man's entire being starts to revolt against him. It's horrifying to watch, but impossible to look away.
Setting this apart is how creative the artwork gets. It's one thing to say that two people are riding around together in one mind, but it's another to show it. The images blend together, like tracking on a VHS tape, flipping from one perspective to another. You find yourself questioning which one of these people deserves to live, which is a chilling thought. While all the comics on this list are scary in some shape or fashion, none of them scare me the way Come Into Me does.
So that does it for this year's best of the bloodiest in horror comics. What did you think? What does your list look like? Leave a comment below to share.