Some people love horror and scary comics and I am one of those people. While I might not watch a lot of horror movies or shows, I rarely pass up the opportunity to read something scary.
Whether it’s scary dreams, werewolves, vampires, or zombies threatening to eat the entire human population, I enjoy reading how the undead survives under these circumstances. I’ve compiled a list of the best scary comics, graphic novels, manga and webtoons to scare and creep you out.
Best Scary Comics and Graphic Novels
Killadelphia Volume 1: Sins of the Father by Rodney Barnes (Author), Jason Shawn Alexander (Artist), Luis NCT (Artist)
I was instantly drawn by the art but the story is interesting as well. Rodney Barnes takes us on a horror journey with a cop who is still battling his tumultuous relationship with his now-deceased father who was also a cop. He discovers his father’s secrets and learns that there are secrets, horrible secrets that are plaguing Philadelphia. As he discovers the truth, he finds himself resurrecting his father who hasn’t turn into a complete zombie yet.
Bitter Root Volume 1: Family Business by by David F. Walker (Author), Chuck Brown (Author), Sanford Greene (Artist)
Set during the Harlem Renaissance, the Sangerye family, despite their own family drama, are still tasked with killing monsters. But these aren’t just any monsters; these monsters are everyday people who allow racism and hatred to consume their hearts. Walker and Brown bring Black southern gothic to the forefront in this graphic novel that’s full of scary monsters and even scarier politics.
After the Rain by Nnedi Okorafor, David Brame (Illustrations), John Jennings (Adapted by)
This scary tale is a short story based on the Kabu Kabu collection by Okorafor. In this vivid graphic novel that is set to debut in January 2021, you are taken to a small Nigerian town where a violent storm has swept through the town and a boy who should be dead has a terrible injury and when a woman tries to help him touches him, she burns and becomes haunted.
Ice Witch #1 By Regine Sawyer
Chenoa D’Ken is known to scare people and they even hesitate to say her name. But when the deadly assassin decides to build a new normal life outside of killing she finds herself being sucked back in to her old life by the people she used to trust the most. Now with a dead husband and a baby on the run, she has to find a ways for her and her daughter to survive and it’s not a pretty journey.
Madame Frankenstein by Jamie S. Rich (Author), Megan Levens (Artist), Joelle Jones (Artist)
During the Great Depression, a man loses the love of this life in a car accident. Instead of mourning her and letting her go, he decides to bring her back to life by using other corpses to make a complete version of his dead girlfriend. It doesn’t help that he’s addicted to drugs and seems to think that this newer version of his girlfriend is a sign of his genius. Unfortunately, he bites off more than he can chew and finds his living dead girlfriend has a mind of her own and her undead decisions causes more issues than he’s willing to deal with.
Coffin Hill Vol. 1: Forest of the Night by by Caitlin Kittredge (Author), Inaki Miranda (Illustrator)
A rookie cop named Eve finally gets her hands on a serial killer and is praised for taking him down. But this cop also has a lot of demons to face as she reflects her own life. She’s reminisces of a time where her and her friends we goofing off in a dark forest where they encountered a monster that ate their friend while changing their lives forever. Now Eve has a weird eye, but she’s from a long line of witches and she uses that power to do rituals and transformations.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Author), Tony Moore (Illustrator)
You’ve seen the show, now you can read the comics. It’s about zombies, but more so about the community of people who have to live with zombies and try to survive. You will enjoy the gore of zombies being blasted but the story surrounding the undead is worth a read, too.
Dracula, Motherf**ker! by Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson
I absolutely love the art of this book! It’s set in the 1970s so the art has an exploitation feel to it. And there’s a very art house vibe to it, as you to see Dracula juggle multiple wives as a curious photographer catches the evil in action.
Zombies Calling! by Faith Erin Hicks
If you are one of those people who have watched and read so many zombie films and books and you are confident you will know what to do during a zombie invasion, this is for you. While Joss’s friends thinks she’s just under pressure from exams and student loans, she’s actually planning her survival using techniques she’s seen in her favorite zombie movies.
Vampironica Vol. 1 by Megan Smallwood (Author) and Greg Smallwood (Author, Illustrator)
Fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer will love this enjoyable tale of Veronica turning into a vampire while living in Riverdale. Veronica is somewhat minding her business as she discovers a dark and unexplored section in her father’s mansion. Suddenly she’s bitten by a vampire and in order to save her beloved Riverdale she must find the main vampire and kill them.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This is probably one of the most scariest books on this list. It doesn’t have a lot of gore but it will test your nerves. It’s a compilation of short stories that are retellings of classic stories that leaves the readers delightfully frightened.
Diary of a Mad, Black Werewolf by Micheline Hess
In this socio-political horror graphic novel, a Black werewolf is set on getting retribution on an evil, racist system that continues to harm Black people in America. We don’t usually root for werewolves, but this horror graphic novel is the exception.
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (Adapter), Octavia Butler (Author), John Jennings (Illustrator)
If you still haven’t read any of Butler’s works yet, here is your chance to correct your wrongs. Butler remains one of the leading voices in sci-fi and speculative fiction even after her death. Kindred is a scary and startling historical sci-fi tale of a woman who time travels and encounters her slave owning ancestor.
Tres Fabulae Horrificae: With English Translation: Ghouls, Ghosts and Gruesome Deeds in Graphic Format by Jocelyn Demuth (Author), Robert Rath (Illustrator), Suzanna Komza (Illustrator), AtelierEdge (Illustrator)
I’ve been expanding my library to include more Latin horror folklore and I am quite happy with my decision to do so. Suited for educators who want to introduce diversity readings, this compilation of Latin horror comics gives a real authentic Latin horror experience that allows the writers to embrace their own individual prose style and culture. It’s educational and scary.
Scary Manga and Webtoons
Undead Messiah Manga Volume 1 by Gin Zarbo
Tim is a gamer and he loves zombie video games and he also loves The Walking Dead. When he isn’t killing zombies for fun, he starts to notice things around him outside of his console that points to the possibility that zombies are real. Tim’s paranoia takes over as he realizes he can’t use his controller to kill zombies outside of his video game. The art is great and this makes for a quick, horror read.
Mantis Woman by Senno Knife
This is a compilation of Japanese urban myths accompanied by creepy art. This manga is different because it takes every day chores like getting mail and looking out of your windows and turn them into unexpected horror plots. You won’t be fetching your mail the same after reading this.
I am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1 by Kengo Hanazawa
As the only armed person in Tokyo in the middle of a zombie outbreak, this manga artist just knows he will be the hero. However, this isn’t just your typical zombie or horror story. A big part of the plot is the protagonist’s struggle as an artist who is often ignored by society. He represents the idea that the most forgotten people are the real heroes in our community.
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
This webtoon is based off the novel by the same author. You are introduced to Nita, who has a dark career or being a sort of mortician for supernatural beings. She works with her mother who does the dirty work of selling those body parts on the black market. However, Nita experiences something that draws her deeper into this ghoulish lifestyle and she risks turning herself into a monster. This webtoon has approximately 54 episodes so far.
Wolfsbane by Ryan Cady and Morgan Beem
This webtoon has concluded its season already, so you can marathon it. You’ll meet Quinn, a generational werewolf slaying who enjoys what she does. But her life changes when she encounters a young victim and comes to the realization that the silver bullets that she uses to kill werewolves are running low. Unfortunately for her, her bullets are running low at the worse possible time as the werewolves are not just growing in number but strength and power, too.
Beetle Hands by herhumanist
This webtoon is more metaphorical than other horror tales. It takes you on a daunting adventure of a horror house that is part of a scary night realm where creepy children and dark shadows are prevalent. This webtoon is more visual than anything, so not much of a written story is provided. However, the art is astounding and the mood it creates will leave you shook.