Too late for Hallowe’en? See this as a post credit sequence final scare. Tragic Tales of Horrere is a new anthology of horror comics created by some fresh names to the comics scene. As the images in the gallery show, there is real promise here. It also made us pine for the days of IPC’s 1980s horror comic Scream (though if we’re honest we were always more partial to the girls’ comic Misty ourselves). But what comics do the creators of Horrere recall with queasy affection? We thought we’d ask them. How many of the following have you read then?


Alisdair Wood (Art: Grimoire)

Berni Wrightson's Frankenstein is not as much a comic, but an illustrated version of Mary Shelley's classic horror. Originally published by Marvel it still retains that classic Creepy and Tales from the Crypt style. But this is, arguably, artwork far beyond both those classic titles.


It contains 45 full-page and some double-page illustrations by Wrightson. In my opinion work that has been rarely equalled in any publication since. Pages full of stunning black and white pen work, packed full of detail, and guaranteed to make you spend as much time examining the artwork as reading the story.

This edition, initially published in 1983, still tops my horror list over 30 years later. Not bad for a novel that's almost 200 years old.

Neil Ford (Art: If You Go Down to the Woods Today …)

I've always admired issue 27 (1990) of Hellblazer. Hold Me was written by Neil Gaiman, with art by Dave McKean & Danny Vozzo and letters by Todd Klien. It was the first “horror” comic I’d read and wasn't entirely sure what to expect, so the haunting beauty of this book made a large impression on me. McKean’s art and Vozzo’s colours describe a loose, dreary, ethereal London town which forms the perfect background for Gaiman’s cast of ghosts, both living and dead.


Easily the finest single issue story I've read. I get it out of the loft every 5 years or so and have a read. It keeps getting better and better.

Michael Sambrook (Words: If You Go Down to the Woods Today …, The Aufhocker, You Are What You Eat & Grimoire)

A real stand-out piece from recent memory would have to be Breath of Bones by Steve Niles and Dave Wachter. A story set in the Second World War which follows a small Jewish town that's lost all of its men, and is now solely populated by women, children and the elderly. A pilot crashing just outside of town draws the attention of nearby German soldiers and we follow the conflict that arises from this incident. The real-life horror of this incredibly emotionally charged period of history mixed with excellent use of Jewish folklore combines to create a unique story that's well worth reading. Wachter's art is absolutely stunning and is perfect for selling the interpersonal interactions as well as the visceral violence that ensues towards the end. All in all, a highly recommended and captivating read.

Rob Jones (Words: If You Go Down to the Woods Today …, The Aufhocker, You Are What You Eat & Grimoire)

And Then Emily Was Gone from Comix Tribe. Created by the Scottish duo of John Lees and Iain Laurie, coloured by Megan Wilson and with letters by Colin Bell, it is a disturbing comic which plays on childhood fears of the Boogeyman and adult fears of failure and seeing the worst in the things which surround us. Laurie’s art genuinely disturbs, it’s warped and twisted forms leave you feeling uneasy, and Lees writing draws the reader in, grabs them by the shoulder and gloriously disembowels them, leaving your heart and soul on the page as all hope is twisted from your hands. A sterling horror story set in the Orkney islands, it maintains its sense of suspense, fear and intrigue throughout its five-issue run without a pause in its step.

Alastair McLauchlan (Art: The Aufhocker)

The Arrival, a graphic novel by Shaun Tan is such an inspiring piece of work. If Moebius and MC Escher were tasked do the “art of’ a German Expressionist film”, this book would be the result. The story charts experiences of immigrants risking all in the hope of making a better life. Hauntingly beautiful, what makes this piece remarkable is that there is not one word of dialogue in the book. Tan’s stunning artwork alone delivers all the storytelling. His smoky graphite drawings create wonderfully dark and oppressive atmospheres. Surreal metaphorical images such as gargantuan writhing limbs looming over cityscapes or masked giants wielding blunderbuss-like vacuum cleaners sucking up terrified victims gives some sense of the horrors these people faced in their homelands. It’s not all dark though. Exceptional artwork. Every page of The Arrival should be hanging in a gallery.

Gareth Sleightholme (Art: You Are What You Eat)

For me it has got to be Mignola's Hellboy, and though that might not sound like horror to some (if you've been brought up on Saw and Hostel etc), it's pre-King and Koontz classic horror, like Machen, James, WH Hodgson and Universal Pictures' black and white movies meets Lovecraft of course.


I'm a particular fan of the Strange Places collection. It’s just vast in scope; epic. Abandoned shipwrecks, giant tentacled monsters, mermaids’ curses, RE Howard-esque ancient world building origin tales, drunken ghosts, with uncaring alien monsters we mistake for partisan gods waiting in the dark; all the food groups. Mignola and Dave Stewart are an art team second to none. Perfect graphical page layouts with an amazing sense of pace. It's like a "how to" book on comics. Brooding menace and mythology-laden comics with real heart in the writing and amazing control and restraint in the art.


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