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CSBG Archive

The Scariest Comic Books of All-Time Archive

Based on YOUR suggestions, here are some of the scariest comic books of all-time! If you want to make a suggestion, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com (don’t post your suggestions in the comment section).

Click on the following comic titles for links to the pieces about each comic.

1. The Upturned Stone

2. Panorama of Hell

3. “A Frog is a Frog”

4. The Wolves of Saint August

5. His Face All Red

6. Pigeons From Hell

7. Brought to Light: Shadowplay – The Secret Team

8. “Amnesia”

9. “Blood Clot Boy”

10. “I Was Killing When Killing Wasn’t Cool”

11. “The Wallace Expedition”

12. “24 Hours Diner”

13. “Hopping Down the Bunny Trail”

14. “Cat and Mouse”

15. Domu: A Child’s Dream

16. “Terminated”

17. “The Braille Encyclopedia”

18. Three Shadows

19. “The Mirror”

20. “Over His Head”

21. Uzumaki Volume 1

22. “In the Deep”

23. “Shut-In”

24. “Mikey’s Friend”

25. Sin Titulo

26. Mermaid’s Scar

27. “Cottonmouth”

28. Drifting Classroom

29. “Foul Play”

30. Hellboy: The Crooked Man

31. “Jenifer”

38 Comments

Uzumaki by Junji Ito deserves to be on this list.

“From the Light, Darkness” by Chris Cooper and Joe Quesada in Midnight Sons Unlimited (one shot from 1993) has some really disturbing themes and imagery. If you ignore the whole Darkhold storyline, it’s a great example of the macabre and horror in mainstream comics in the 90’s.
Oh, and Hellblazer: Original Sins is just gloriously horrific. Insects creep me out because of it.

I think the story “Love doesn’t last Forever” in Epic Illustrated #34, ©1985 by Alan Moore and Rick Veitch is one of the scariest, things I’ve ever read.

http://www.jawscollector.com/unlicensed%20Jaws%20Items%20&%20Tie-ins/updatesJuly2009/7CreepyMagSept78.jpg

Warren’s CREEPY Magazine #101, Sept 1978.
Scared. The. Still. -Forming. Poo. Out. Of. Me.
It was the Jaws rip off issue and I was a kid when I read this. Hoo boyee was this macabre & gross & didn’t I keep going back and re-reading all the stories.
And the ads for Star Wars patches, pins & belt buckles. I wanted them all…

I later picked up a copy of this again after my 2nd Renaissance with comics. now in my adult life and it features art by Richard Corben. Damn. No wonder why it was sooo…spooky.

Seconding Dylomedra on that Midnight Sons Unlimited story. Very creepy, and it’s in B&W. I think it’s in issue 1, which also has a kinda creepy Klaus Janson GR/Blaze story.

I’ll have to think up some more.

Liefeld on the Heroes Reborn Avengers doesn’t count, does it? That was pretty scary… :)

As a horror writer and comic fan, I have always been partial to the EC books and “Twisted Tales.” There’s been a few Japanese comics I thought were especially good, as well, though titles escape me at the moment. “Twisted Tales,” in particular, had one story about a leper being run out of “town,” and the ending of it was brilliant. In fact, I think Eli Roth may have ripped it off for “Cabin Fever.”

What about the MAN-THING movie prequel comic?….that man-thing looks disturbing with dead rats hanging out of its body and all kinds of creepy stuff that compose him.
It’s fun to follow that insurance guy!

I agree with Doug regarding the “Twisted Tales”, “Creepy” etc…
Bruce Jones MUST be on this list.
But which one…

I agree with Uzumaki, or really anything by Junji Ito, needing to be on this list.
Salvador Sanz’s “Legion” (https://shop.idwpublishing.com/comics/one-shots/legion.html) is easily the most frightening comic I’ve ever read, though I can never find anyone else who has read it.

I second David. Uzumaki has to be on here or something by Junji Ito. If you need a best short story by him, Enigma of Amigara Fault

““Twisted Tales,” in particular, had one story about a leper being run out of “town,” and the ending of it was brilliant.”

“Terminated” from Richard Corben and Bruce Jones, ‘Twisted Tales’ #5.

Almost any Bruce Jones, really. I hope one day my work is thought as highly as his output.

Googam son of Goom

October 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Crooked Man by Mignola and Corben please.

Speaking of Bruce Jones, let’s not forget “Jenifer.”

The first 1/3 of Otomo’s Domu is a great horror comic; really well paced and excellently crafted. Unfortunately, the remaining 2/3 of the series dives into superhero-esque action.

Maybe not scary in the usual sense but disturbing, funny and grotesque: johnny the homicidal maniac by john vasquez

Batman: Gothic by far is one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever read.

I would have to highly recomend, the first issue of dells ghost stories, from 1962, reprinted in 1968. “The monster of dread end,” the door” “the black stallion”A real treat of fear and suspense it is.

Thomas Ott in the top-ten…

I would recommend the short stories “Lab Animal” and “Primal Self” from (believe it or not) Garfield: His 9 Lives. It was a graphic novel, consisting of 9 stories that were all written by Jim Davis, with a different artist for each story. Each short story tells the tale of one of Garfield’s past lives. Most of them are what you’d expect (Garfield as a saber-tooth tiger, a viking, a “film noir” detective, etc). However, two of these stories come COMPLETELY out of nowhere, and will genuinely scare you, especially if you’re a child. The scariest thing about them is that they aren’t mean to be funny…AT ALL, that’s why they’re so shocking. Both stories depict Garfield as a normal cat, not anthropomorphic, and they are both drawn in realistic styles. This make them especially disturbing since they depict real cats in horrific scenarios. Lab Animal is inspired to the novel and film Plague Dogs (the most depressing movie ever), and Primal Self has some hints of The Exorcist. Of the two, I would recommend Primal Self, the last page is terrifying. I lost my copy years ago, but I would love to read them again. Garfield: His 9 Lives was adapted into a television special in the 80’s, and Lab Animal was one of the segments. It is truly scary. I would also recommend watching the Diana’s Piano segment. It is, without a doubt, the most moving piece of animation I have ever seen. If you can, watch the whole thing, the ending is insane! Here are the links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkdvyc92_8w Lab Animal

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfu3hHuoovc&feature=related Diana’s Piano

Cool not familiar with a lot of these, I’ll have to go find them.

There was a comic story back in 1954 called “Doom in the Air”, which was drawn by a very young Steve Ditko, from The Thing! 14…

http://ditko.blogspot.com/2009/05/it-stalks-public-domain-doom-in-air.html

I don’t think it is necessarily as scary as some of the others on this list, but it does have an interesting twist to it. On the page there is a link to an article where Steve Bissette had noted comparisons between this story and a story in Swamp Thing (specifically, “The Nukeface Papers”), though he chalked it up to a coincidence.

Still some incredible art from an artist who, at the time was just starting out in the comics world.

What happened to the link for #7?

I put the wrong link in there. It’s fixed now. Thanks for the head’s up!

“Jennifer” by Bernie Wrightson creeped me out when I was a kid.

A few years ago, Dark Horse published the best haunted house comic I ever read, drawn by P. Craig Russell.

How about some Tales from the Crypt

No Spiral? that manga still makes me cringe.

hold up. just realised it was uzamaki. I just woke up so my brain isn’t in gear til the caffeine kicks in

Keep this in mind for next year-Scott Hampton’s Pigeons From Hell. Bo Hampton’s The Wurdalak, the Tapping the Vein series.

The issue of Alan Moore Swamp Thing where Abigail finds out her evil dead uncle has possessed her husband with the horrifying final page of the zombie reveal was the first comic book to scare me and it scared the HELL out of me.

Graeme Wilkinson

October 31, 2011 at 10:56 am

‘Jenifer’ by Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson from Warren’s Creepy or Eerie magazine in the mid 1970’s was a tour de force in horror. It was powerful back then and it remains equally powerful now.

I’ll second the comments regarding Liefeld’s ‘Heroes Reborn’ Avengers and add his ‘Heroes Reborn’ Captain America too. Both were very scary (and I was filled with horror when I read them!).

Don’t worry, Graeme, the archive was posted a LITTLE bit early, as the Halloween entry hasn’t been added.

[…] graphic novel called The Vessel of Terror, which you can read here.  Comic Book Resources ran a great feature last month chronicling some of the scariest comics ever written, and giving me a checklist of books […]

[…] graphic novel called The Vessel of Terror, which you can read here.  Comic Book Resources ran a great feature last month chronicling some of the scariest comics ever written, and giving me a checklist of books […]

Too late, but “Thrill Kill” by Jim Stenstrum and Neal Adams.

Darn, late but I would like to recommend the issue “24 Hours” from the first volume of The Sandman collection- Preludes and Nocturnes. Disturbing, gruesome, grotesque, and lingers on in your mind long after you have read it.

I’ll third Midnight Son’s Unlimited #1.

The Darkhold story was just creepy as hell. The Ghost Rider/Blaze story started as typical hero stops monster, but the twist of who the monster was, and the effects of the pennance stare still stick with me.

I liked the Nightstalkers story, but that was my favourite of the Midnight Sons books.

The Morbius story was the weakest one in the book.

Whoever mentioned the Alan Moore Swamp Things – you’re bang on. The one with Arcane possessing Matt Cable (yes, the guy who later became Sandman’s raven) freaked me out royally as a kid. A giant fly telling him “open your mouth as wide as it will go”, then crawling in and telling Cable that “this next bit will be the worst”?? Check please! Then the three-parter with Etrigan, where the Demon and Swamp Thing team up against the Monkey King, the escaped hell-creature. What the Monkey-King does to Paul’s parents…Check please!!!!!

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