TEN HORROR COMICS THAT ARE ACTUALLY FRIGHTENING (PART TWO)
- Junji Ito (Itou Junji Kyoufu)’s The Enigma of Amigara Fault isn’t really a webcomic (it was originally a manga), but it earns a place here because it’s hands-down one of the most frightening comics you can find online.An earthquake has revealed thousands of human-shaped holes carved into the granite of a mountain. People from all over the region are drawn to the site, each one to an individual hole. What happens next is a masterpiece of body horror. Don’t forget: you’ll need to read from right to left.
- Deep Dark Fears by Fran Krause isn’t a serialized comic, but a series of individual one- to eight-panel strips. Each strip features a different nightmare, phobia, or fear. A few of the fears are the author’s:
but most are submitted by Krause’s fans. The comics are horrifying not because the fears are so gruesome (although many of them are) but because so many of them are mundane, everyday fears – the kind of quietly scary idea that curls up in the folds of your brain and is absorbed little by little until it begins to keep you up at night. A surprisingly large number of the fears are based on things the readers heard in childhood from trusted adults:The Deep Dark Fears book came out at the end of September (just in time for Halloween!) and is currently in the top 10 of the New York Times Best Sellers List.
- Demon Hunter Kain by Burrell Gill Jr. first began in 2011, which makes it one of the longest-running online horror comics out there.
In this comic, the world is full of demons and other supernatural entities, most of which can only be killed or banished by demon hunters. The ability to hunt demons is genetic and unfortunately the demon hunters are extremely rare. Kain is the youngest of just three to have been born in the past century.In the first chapter, Kain is on the scene when an especially vicious demon slaughters the other two hunters. The rest of the comic moves back and forth between Kain’s past and his present, showing us how he navigates his dangerous world; presumably, the story is leading us back to the day of his friends’ deaths. Demon Hunter Kain is half kick-ass fight scenes and half monster show, with a little bit of social anxiety thrown it. I highly recommend it to fans of fast-paced horror comics.
- Emily Carroll’s horrifying 2010 comic His Face All Red was an almost instant sensation, and every comic on her site adheres to the high standard set by that early piece. The interactive comic Margot’s Room puts a chilling spin on a popular bit of horror fare.
Out of Skin is a satisfying, gory tale of revenge. Her other horror pieces available on the site feature ghosts, evil toys, creepy kids, and bumps in the night. Ms. Carroll’s beautifully illustrated tales are unique and chilling. In each of her pieces, quite ordinary people meet up with extraordinary beings or stumble upon singular objects or situations which inevitably lead them astray. Her work is outstanding, and well worth the time it will take to explore her site.
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Dora Badger is a writer and comedian living in Detroit. She was the organizer of a Detroit-area writers’ group for several years, and served as one of the fiction editors for the (sadly) now-defunct Third Reader e-zine. She was also was one of the copyeditors for Sonar4 E-zine and has been published in Jennifer Miller’s Ladies and Gentlemen of Horror 2009, Feathertale Press, A cappella Zoo, Mirror Dance Magazine, and MicroHorror. You can find out more at her blog, Menace & Whimsy.