As everyone readies their lightest reads for their first weekends by the pool or long days at the beach, I glare out at the sun from my heavily air-conditioned home and clutch the latest horror comics to my ample bosom.
The bosom that suffers from extreme underboob sweat whenever I venture out for a summer barbecue or a brief walk around the block.
Sure, I could be persuaded to take a quick trip to the beach, dip my toes into the water, and spend the rest of the time reading in my beach chair, as long as you promised we could leave for home two hours later — three hours, max. But I’m much happier sitting in my easy chair, the one by the living room bow windows, close enough for me to put my feet up on the sill, place a coffee cup close by, snuggle in a blanket, and read about human sacrifice and body snatchers and creepy cults and monsters by the light of the summer sun.
Luckily, after a reading slump that has dragged on for months, I suddenly have a ton of horror comics to keep me company. Here are the new(ish) series that’ll be carrying me through this long, hot summer.
Horror Comics for Summer Reading
Specter Inspectors by Bowen McCurdy, Kaitlyn Musto, and Jim Campbell
I’m going to start with the lightest of these horror series and progress from there until we get to the ones that’ll keep you up at night. Which means starting with this all-ages comic that follows a group of young ghost hunters, one of whom manages to get possessed by a demon while out on the job. Can queer romance still bloom under these circumstances, as they race against time to solve an ages-old mystery that will set their friend free? I’m loving this mix of sweet and spoopy and, though I’m already four issues in, there’s still time for you to catch up before the final issue comes out at the end of June!
Eve by Victor LaValle, Jo Mi-Gyeong, and Brittany Peer
This new comic series by Victor LaValle — whom I would follow to the ends of the earth — is more dystopian sci-fi than full-on horror, but who doesn’t want a good dystopian tale while the world continues to fall apart around them? In it, a young girl awakens from an idyllic virtual reality into a world she’s unfamiliar with. The only one there to guide her? A robot teddy bear who’s not actually a robot teddy bear. They embark on a quest across the country to save her father…and restore life to her dying planet.
Abbott 1973 by Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä, Mattia Iacono, and Jim Campbell
The original Abbott series from 2018 was a ton of fun, so I’m glad we get to revisit its main characters. In the original, we meet Elena Abbott, a female reporter hot on the trail of a case no one else wants to cover. Abbott is used to being the only reporter willing to bring attention to incidents affecting her Black community. But her latest case ends up having roots in the occult. In this new series, Abbott is back, tackling corruption in Detroit…and the supernatural forces that may be behind it. Along the way, she develops the powers she discovered within herself in the first series as the Lightbringer.
Basilisk by Cullen Bunn, Jonas Scharf, and Alex Guimarães
This horror comic is brand new, so it’ll take you through the summer and beyond. The first issue reveals just enough to hook its claws into you. Basically, we learn about the Chimera, a group of five individuals connected by a hivemind. They happen to have supernatural powers, and they leave death and destruction in their wake thanks to their boundless hunger. Then a victim from their past comes after them, seeking vengeance. I am IN.
Proctor Valley Road by Grant Morrison, Alex Child, Naomi Franquiz, Tamra Bonvillain, and Jim Campbell
This series initially caught my eye because Franquiz was attached to it. I really dug her work on Misfit City. But where that earlier series had Goonies-esque scares, this new series pumps up the horror with a vengeful ghost in the middle of the desert who dooms her victims to eternity as grotesque, gory monsters. She uses these monsters to claim her newest victims: anyone who happens to drive through her stretch of desert along Proctor Valley Road. Can four high school misfits stop her while still finding the time to save money for a Janis Joplin concert?
The Nice House on the Lake by James Tynion IV, Álvaro Martínez Bueno, and Jordie Bellaire
I’m a fan of Tynion’s work on titles like The Backstagers, Something is Killing the Children, and The Department of Truth. So I was excited to see he had a new horror series coming out. The first issue doesn’t disappoint. In it, a group of friends and acquaintances are gathered together at a beautiful lake house. What they don’t realize is that they may never be able to leave. I don’t want to reveal too much more, but I am so looking forward to the next issue.
Dark Blood by LaToya Morgan and Walt Barna
The last series on this list kicks off in July and all I know is what the press release tells me: A young man must forge a brave new future for himself and his family while also dealing with the past. The protagonist is a World War II–era veteran and a family man who wakes up one day with strange new abilities. How will he navigate this new existence in a world that never wanted him to have any power at all? Between the glowing eyes and the lightning bolts in this image, I’m intrigued.