‘Tis the season to still have some scary reads handy if one likes such stuff and thankfully, Dark Horse Comics has been delivering the goods all year long. I tend to wait until assorted trade paperbacks drop over buying single issues due to cost and space reasons, plus it ends up smarter reading stories in collected form (for me, at least).
One of the better horror comics I’ve read is Harrow County, a nice southern gothic tale from writer Cullen Bunn and artist Tyler Crook. In the first collection, Harrow County – Countless Haints ($14.99), the pair have concocted up a terrifying tale that from the very first page of the very first issue will have you hooked in and turning pages with wider eyes and a growing sense of dread. The amazing thing is as great and chilling as the first issue is, the rest of the stories in this first volume only get better. If you’re prone to nightmares, don’t read the whole book in one shot unless you like sleeping with both eyeballs wide open looking for vengeful witches in the corners.
Another collected tale of terror on a few fronts is Richard Corben’s RAT GOD trade paperback ($19.99) a truly disturbing Lovecraftian riff that features the man’s unique artwork that’s not for all tastes yet shows a talented illustrator really stretching his style, mixing realism and caricature often in the same pages and panels.
When stubborn and love-struck Clark Elwood goes a-hunting for the pretty Native American lass he’d fallen hard for at his college, things get more than a bit complicated when he finally tracks her down in a most unwelcoming little village of doom. Elwood’s hard head (he takes quite a few knocks to it during the story) and flat out near fearlessness add much needed humor to the story as Corben guides readers through some creepy and downright gory moments. Thankfully, he also mines the atmosphere for additional laughs at just the right moments. That said, like Harrow County, this one’s not for the kiddies at all.
And finally, while not strictly “horror” related, George Lucas is back writing again. Okay, that may have scared SOME of you reading this, but fear not, he only wrote the introduction to Dark Horse’s latest must-own EC Comics reprint collection, EC Archives: Weird Science Volume 1 ($49.99).
This hardcover’s a must if you’re a fan of excellent comic art and plenty of well-written (for the era) sci-fi tales that inspired plenty of artists and writers to create their own works. Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Wally Wood, Jack Kamen, and Graham Ingels are well-represented here incompletely recolored issues 5, 6, and 12-15. This one’s a fun read if you want to see how the EC crew saw the future back then. Let’s just say their imaginations were clearly outstripping reality way back then:
There are also a ton of other Dark Horse Comics I need to recommend your way, but let me get back to updating my new PC and hit you on the head with those in a few days. Back in a bit.