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The Scariest Comic Books of All Time! – Jenifer

A reader named Chris S. suggested that I devote October to the scariest comic books of all-time, as suggested by you readers out there! Sounds like a plan to me! So all October-long, I featured 31 comic book tales. Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far!

We finish with a collaboration between two masters of horror, Bruce Jones and Bernie Wrightson, on “Jenifer” from Creepy #63. This spooky story will hopefully freak you out…

Enjoy!

Hell, what do you need me to explain why it is awesome? I’ll just show you the beginning of the tale…

With his family gone, things only get more and more effed up until the dark ending.

Really, this is a masterful tale by two horror creators at the top of their game.

Definitely worthy of the Halloween entry!

Apologies to Saga of Swamp Thing #29. There were definitely a couple of stories I could have featured Saga of Swamp Thing #29 instead of. Bad scheduling, I suppose! Ah well. Just pretend that Saga of Swamp Thing #29 was on the list.

16 Comments

This was adapted as an episode of Masters Of Horror by Dario Argento.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenifer_(Masters_of_Horror)

Nitzan Rotschild

October 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Haha, I saw that episode. Had no idea it was based on a comic.

Very creepy. In some ways, Jenifer reminds me of Sadako/Samara from The Ring. Born “wrong” (the details vary between versions) and ultimately killed for it, she takes revenge on the rest of the world wherever she can, while also looking for a way to imitate the normal life she was denied.

What’s that thing in the last three panels even supposed to be? I’ve read the whole comic and I still can’t decide.

What, in the tub? That’s definitely the family pet. I guess a dog, but I suppose it could be a cat.

The thing in the tub is the family cat. You can see it in the first panel of the last page of scans.

At the time, I didn’t know that the “Masters of Horror” episode was based on this comic, either — from what I’ve heard (never actually seen the episode), it sounds like this comic does it far, far better than said episode did.

And that ending? Brrrr. To steal from the new Battlestar Galactica;

“All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”

This was really, really chilling when I managed to track the story down.

Take it and run,

Brian, I was one of those recommending Jenifer. I’m just curious as to how many submissions you got promoting this story.

Thanks!

“from what I’ve heard (never actually seen the episode), it sounds like this comic does it far, far better than said episode did.”

You’ve heard bad things about the episode? Weird. It’s by far the best episode of ‘Masters of Horror’ that I saw, and blew away the two overrated John Carpenter ones.

You’ve heard bad things about the episode? Weird. It’s by far the best episode of ‘Masters of Horror’ that I saw, and blew away the two overrated John Carpenter ones.

I have never seen the episode, but I read about it after DrunkJack mentioned it, and yeah, I did come across a bunch of negative reviews of the issue (from notable sources). Again, without having seen the actual episode, I can see how it would be a bit difficult to translate this comic to the screen.

Brian, I was one of those recommending Jenifer. I’m just curious as to how many submissions you got promoting this story.

Thanks!

About five or six, I’d say. Only “24 Hours” by Neil Gaiman got more recommendations, I believe.

Ah! I missed the cat in the earlier panel. I still think it’s too vaguely drawn later, though. Wrightson’s grotesque art style really sells this story, but it does make some things hard to recognize. Even looking at the poor creature now, knowing what it is, the most I can say is, “Yeah, I see how that could be a cat.”

Speaking of creepy art, get a load of that tree on the first page!

I was sure I remembered a color reprint of this story somewhere. I assumed it must have been in Jones’ Twisted Tales from Pacific Comics, but I just looked it up on Wikipedia and it’s not listed.

Anybody know if this was ever reprinted, or am I just remembering the Creepy story in color?

Brian – I don’t really know the comic, and it’s been a while since I saw it, so I can’t speak to it as an adaptation. It’s just incredibly creepy. I guess people who actually liked the show didn’t like that one, because it’s really different from the others, and that’s why I liked it even though I didn’t like most of the other eps (the Lansdale one is pretty good, and the Joe Dante one is funny but heavy-handed). But ‘Jenifer’ achieved a really disturbing atmosphere, one that I remember a lot of the episodes (like the Stuart Gordon one or the Lucky McKee one) tried for and didn’t achieve. It’s definitely worth a look, I think.

re James Baker; I recall that it was indeed reprinted in a re-colored series of comics, but I believe it was Bernie Wrightson: Master of the Macabre.

I distinctly remember Jenifer, his adaptation of Poe’s The Black Cat and a humorous one called “Egg In Your Beer” as being in those collections.

Ooh, I read this this year. It was reprinted in the new Creepy that Dark Horse is putting out. I think issue 8. Very good stuff.

As to not recognizing the cat in the tub, well, that’s part of the horror, innit, that you can’t even tell for sure it’s still a cat….

The story is by far better than the Masters of Horror episode. That episode was nothing but gratuitous, in-your-face sex and gore. It was MUCH different from the story, which is indeed one of the most horrifying, haunting comic book tales of all time.

Absolutely loved this! I’d love to hear your views on my new horror supernatural comic – aimed to make it as ‘unnerving’ as possible http://www.malevolents.co.uk

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