With the season of ghouls and goblins approaching, now is the perfect time for some terrifying tales of the macabre. Eclipsed by the superhero genre, horror comics have nevertheless been a staple in the shadowy corners of the newsstand since the medium’s inception. And while there are always the go-to scribes like Alan Moore (From Hell), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), and Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead), there are numerous others lurking within the shelves.
A Japanese manga may seem like an odd addition to the list, but there is more to manga than just One Piece and Dragonball. And if The Grudge and The Ring films are any indication, Japan is no stranger to horror. Junji Ito’s Uzumaki tells the story of a small coastal town and its descent into madness, marked by a spiral pattern left on everyone it touches.
Horror has never been a genre to shy away from biting social commentary, and Pornsak Pichetshote and Aaron Campbell’s truly modern spine-tingler is certainly no exception. One of NPR’s 100 Favorite Horror Stories, Infidel tells the story of an American Muslim woman and her multi-racial neighbors who are haunted by supernatural forces fueled by bigotry.
The list’s most unique entry, My Friend Dahmer is the real life account of the teenage years of the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper. Growing up with Dahmer, John "Derf" Backderf paints the portrait of an equally shy and goofy adolescent he simply referred to as “Jeff,” whose grisly urges were just beginning to bubble to the surface.