Some Horror Comics From My Youth

Since it’s our Horror Celebration, I thought I’d showcase some of the horror themed comic books I’ve picked up over the years. Most of these are from my teen years (and before) since I’ve been mostly collecting toys the past 15 years or so, but I’ve gotten back into comics a bit and wanted to share what I loved about these comics from my youth.


horror1_495Starting off are the anthology styled books. The most famous being Tales from the Crypt which spawned a movie, a TV series and then two more movies based on the TV series. In all of those shows and movies you typically had some greedy people who commit murder or some other crime then get a twist comeuppance by the end of the story. Well, that’s how most of the stories in these comics are written also.

Horror Comics Anthology 02In some cases the criminal gets caught due to some supernatural twist and sometimes it’s dumb luck. Sometimes the stories don’t involve a criminal dying either, but the stories typically have some twist ending to them. The thing most of the stories never have? Whatever monster is on the cover. The Weird Mystery book above is about the only one that shows what happens IN the book. Weird War Tales has no Skeleton Soldiers with Skeleton Dogs, nor any roaming Egyptian guards in Vault of Evil. Though the books do have stories that involve Egyptian Archaeologists dealing with curses and Soldiers escaping certain death respectively, the cover is slightly misleading. In most cases, the reason I love these old books are the covers themselves. The artwork is always striking and interesting. The better, I assume, to get readers to buy the book.

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Horror Comics Swamp Thing 02Swamp Thing, while not exactly horror (many times, more Sci-Fi than anything) has a ton of horror elements in it. Like the anthology books, the covers grabbed me at first with similarly striking artwork, unlike most of those same anthology books, Swamp Thing would sometimes have actual monsters in the stories. This was the first Swamp Thing book I ever got and for many years this was the only one I had. I only recently started picking up other issues from this series and have found I enjoy the story-line and should have been picking them up a lot sooner.

Around the late 80’s/early 90’s a lot of comics were coming out based on movie tie ins. The next 4 titles fall into that category, First up is the classic….Night of the Living Dead!

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The series, released by FantaCo, was 6 issues long. Numbers 1-4 were the original black & white movie that started the living dead genre. The comics were all black and white water color paintings that conveyed the feel of watching the original movie.

There was also a #0 Prelude issue and an Aftermath issue. The aftermath issue is painted just like the movie books, the story picks up right from the end of the movie where the sheriffs and locals are out cleaning up zombies and burning bodies. The book follows someone who’s been attacked and gets on an airplane, which then leads into the next series Night of the Living Dead: London.

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Continuing the painted comic book movie theme, we have the second Aliens series from Dark Horse Comics. The series, titled “Nightmare Asylum” (Collected as “Book Two”) is a continuation of the first Aliens comic storyline (“Outbreak” Collected as “Book One”) where a grown up Newt and older Hicks are out in space, fighting the Xenomorphs and military leaders who think the aliens are controllable weapons. Since this series came out before the Aliens 3 movie, there are some obvious plot changes to official cannon here. The artwork throughout the series is all beautifully airbrushed and ranks right up there with later painted books like Marvels and Ruins.


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Next up is another of Dark Horse Comics’ signature titles…Predator! This is the first Predator comic series Dark Horse made, it’s set after the first movie and follows Dutch’s brother who’s a NYC Detective. (The series has a lot of similarities to the second Predator movie, but as far as I know, neither the movie nor the comic inspired each other as both were made near the same time) The story is really good and as much as I loved Danny Glover and Predator 2, I would have liked to see this comic made as the sequel instead. Not only do you have Predators hunting in the concrete jungle like in the movie, but it’s on a grander scale in the comic and you get to see some of the aftermath of the first movie as well!


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The cult horror movie, Re-Animator not only got a comic adaptation, but it also received a prequel series called Dawn of the Re-Animator! The covers to the movie series are very nicely painted while the inner pages are your standard color comics. The prequel comics are black and white. I loved this movie as a teen, but it wasn’t until after seeing it that I realized I had already read the comics years ago when an aunt’s boyfriend had gotten them new and let me read them. It’s a definite read for fans of the movie.

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As a teenager, one of my absolute favorite comics was Evil Ernie. The story of the undead psychopath who just wanted to kill everything to free his beloved Lady Death spans 12 different series/story arcs and multitudes of offshoot stories. I started reading it around the mid 90’s during the Straight to Hell series and stuck with it til the end of Chaos Comics in the early 2000’s (Evil Ernie has since popped up in a few different series from both Devils’ Due and Dynamite. I haven’t picked any of these up yet) Since it was the 90’s there were of course a few different cover gimmicks like Chromium and Gatefold covers and such. My favorite, though were the glow in the dark covers. Revenge #1 featured, both my favorite artwork on the cover and it was glow in the dark, best of both worlds for me.

Evil Ernie was obviously my favorite comic back then, why else would I have  painted a lifesize reproduction of one of the panels from the comic on my bedroom wall?

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walkingdead19 walking_dead_65 Horror Comics Walking Dead 01

The Walking Dead, while not from my youth, has been with me for close to 10 years (It’s been out for 10 years, I was a year or so late in picking it up) It’s zombies and human drama (sometimes more drama than zombies) and it is an emotional roller coaster if ever a comic was one.



Horror Comics Deadworld 02Speaking of zombie comics there is one title where I usually get blank stares from people when I mention it…Deadworld. Deadworld is a late 80’s/early 90’s comic that, like Evil Ernie, has been off and on, had a few different series/volumes and has been at a couple of different publishers. Many of the covers are painted while the insides are black and white. Many of the issues throughout the entire series were done by artist Vincent Locke, death metal fans will recognize him as the artist that does all of Cannibal Corpse’s album covers. Unlike most zombie books, this series had a few twists, such as the zombie plague came from another dimension where undead demons lived. Three of these “demons” are talking zombies that can think, hunt and strategize. The main one of these three is called King Zombie and is the Deadworld comic icon.

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One of the Deadworld spinoffs was a novel style story written by Del Stone Jr with artwork by David Dorman. The story features a zombie named Hitch who is similar to the Deadworld character King Zombie in that he can think and talk, but other than that he is a typical human who died and came back to life. There is a comic sized book called Roadkill, an insert called December and a hardcover book called Dead Heat that contains the previous two books and the conclusion of the story.

Horror Comics Werewolf By Night 01This brings me to the last of our list, my favorite comic series……Werewolf by Night!

Werewolf by Night is Marvel’s main werewolf character. He’s been around since the 70’s and has been showing up in other Marvel character’s books as recently as last year. The original series started out as your typical werewolf style story. The series’ hero, Jack Russell is your typical teenager living with a family curse passed on from his father, which causes him to become a mindless beast during the 3 nights of the full moon. By the end of the series, Jack could cause the transformation at will and kept full mental control while as the wolf. Just like the other horror comics of the 70’s, the artwork really grabs your attention.

This title has a large nostalgia factor for me, when I was a kid, me and my dad would hit the $1 boxes at our local comic shop. While I was grabbing comics like GI Joe #2, he was fishing out every Werewolf by Night he could. He used to read the comic before I was born and this title became a common bond we shared as I grew up.

For comic fans who might need a better reason to look up this title than my own memories of my dad, I’d point out that Werewolf by Night spawned at least two items most Marvel fans know about today. The first one is the character Moon Knight!

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Moon Knight was a mercenary hired by a group called the Committee who wanted Jack Russell captured. The Committee supplied Marc Spector with the Moon Knight name and costume implementing many silver based weapons that would work against a werewolf. This origin was later revealed to be a ruse set up by Moon Knight’s partner so they could take down the Committee, but for many years my only exposure to Moon Knight was within the pages of Werewolf by Night, where I believed him to be a villain type character.

The next Marvel item that originated with my favorite werewolf is Marvel’s own version of the Necronomicon, The Darkhold!

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The Darkhold is a tome full of black magic knowledge that has created vampires, werewolves and summoned demons. The book has also been seen in the pages of Doctor Strange, Conan, Marvel Zombies and it’s own comic in the 90’s, Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins.

If that wasn’t enough Marvel crossover, Jack Russell himself has teamed up with or fought many Marvel characters over the years including Spiderwoman, Both Ghost Riders, Johnny Blaze & Dan Ketch, Man Thing, Morbius, Dracula, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Punisher & Daredevil to name a few. Basically anytime Marvel needed a werewolf in a story, Jack Russell would be there.

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Thus ends our trip through some of the horror comics in my collection. There are definitely tons more out there, both older and more recent titles so what are some Horror comics you like? What ones should everyone be reading? Leave a comment to let us know.