The spookiest time of the year is here, which means everyone is lining up as much horror content as possible to keep them in the Halloween spirit all month long. That means plenty of scary movies and shows to binge watch, of course, but there's also scary reading to think of — and that means delving into the wide world of horror comics.
If you're looking to really dig into a backlog of horror reading, there are of course countless completed series to choose from, whether we're talking about the original run of Harrow County, old archives of The Vault of Fear, or any number of other spooky reads. But what if you want to catch up on what's currently scaring readers in the comics shop? We're here to help. From a terrifying lake getaway to a demon hunting adventure, here are nine comics on stands right now to keep you reading (and shaking) all month long.
We Have Demons
Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo spent a decade at DC Comics telling stories that included a lengthy run on Batman and bonkers event books like Dark Nights: Metal and Dark Nights: Death Metal. Now, at last, they're pouring that same energy into creator-owned comics, and the result is another face-melter of a book that's one of October's must-read new series. The story of a young girl who discovers that her legacy involves a millennia-old battle between good and evil, We Have Demons launches immediately into a supernatural epic that's as funny as it is brutal, and I can't wait to see where it goes next.
The Silver Coin
One of the most impressive horror comics efforts in recent memory, The Silver Coin is the brainchild of artist Michael Walsh and a still-growing team of writers that so far includes the likes of Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, and more. Each issue follows the journey of the title coin, a supernatural object that drives people to darkness wherever it goes, whether that means a band looking for superstardom in the 1970s rock scene or a girl just trying to survive a nasty year at summer camp. It's a genre-bending, deliciously gruesome trip every single time, and it's worth diving in as soon as possible.
The Nice House on the Lake
Even among previous successful horror launches like Something Is Killing the Children and The Department of Truth, The Nice House on the Lake stands out for writer James Tynion IV. Co-created with artist Alvaro Martinez Bueno and launched earlier this year, the book begins as an eerie slow burn story of a group of acquaintances arriving at the title for a weekend with their benefactor, a mutual friend with a dark secret. What happens next is one of the most chilling first-issue cliffhangers I've ever read, and it only gets stranger and creepier from there. Go in as blind as you can, and prepare to be shaken to your core.
Eat The Rich
I love stories that take what feel like a predictable premise and not only make it unpredictable, but insert such rich character work that you have to know what happens next no matter how clearly you can see the story taking shape. Eat The Rich, from writer Sarah Gailey and artist Pius Bak, is that kind of story. You can see some of the themes they're playing with early on and how they might unfold in future issues, but that doesn't stop them from being compelling. In fact, feeling those themes land with the help of exceptionally written characters and some wonderful tension compositions in the art only adds to the eerie effect.
The Swamp Thing
Every time discussion turns to the greatest horror comics of all time, Alan Moore's legendary run on Swamp Thing with artists like Steve Bissette and John Totleben is part of the discussion, because of its brilliant merging of horror elements with poetic, metaphysical meditations on the nature of humanity and existence itself. Well, if you love that, you definitely don't want to miss out on what writer Ram V and artist Mike Perkins are doing with The Swamp Thing. Featuring the rise of a new avatar of the Green, new supernatural threats, and some of the most stunning art you can find on the stands right now, The Swamp Thing lives up to the towering legacy of the character with a story full of beautiful darkness.
Writer Paul Tobin and artist Andrea Mutti, two of the brightest spots working in horror comics right now, team up for this story of the title monster, a primal being with a connection to a years-old murder case and a madman's quest to unearth her secrets. What makes Bunny Mask immediately effective is Tobin's ability to infuse the book with both unpredictability and a sense of foreboding destiny, as if all of this was fated to happen even if no one involved knows it. Throw in Mutti's wonderful creepy creature design work, and the title creature's often elusive motives, and it's a truly wild, scary ride.
The Last Book You'll Ever Read
Cullen Bunn is perhaps the writer most associated with horror comics at the moment, in part because he just keeps finding new concepts to riff on. The Last Book You'll Ever Read, a collaboration with artist Leila Leiz, is the latest such high-concept scary story, and fans of things like John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness should take note. The book follows a charismatic writer who's just written the most talked-about book of the year, but with that fame comes a terrible cost. Her book is apparently driving people to violence all around the world, which makes touring to promote the book more of a chore than usual. Atmospheric, ambitious, and packed with promise, The Last Book You'll Ever Read feels well on its way to something very special.
If you like your stories with a little less horror bite but still plenty of spooky atmosphere to go around, try out Black's Myth from writer Eric Palicki and artist Wendell Cavalcanti. There are definitely plenty of horror elements to go around -- it's about a werewolf private investigator and her djinn assistant -- but there's an added layer of hardboiled crime fun to the whole thing that evens the experience out. Plus, the deeper Janie "Strummer" Jones gets into her supernatural murder investigation, the more mythic the stakes get.
The Me You Love in the Dark
If you like spooky atmosphere more than outright scares, The Me You Love in the Dark from writer Skottie Young and artist Jorge Corona just might scratch that itch without terrifying you too much. The story of a painter named Ro who escapes the city and moves into a spooky old house hoping to find inspiration, the story takes a turn when she discovers she's not alone in the house, but is the mysterious presence she's communicating with another being, or the house itself? Only two issues have landed so far, but Young and Corona have already woven a beautiful dark fantasy journey with plenty of creepy elements for your Halloween reading.