Wolf Cops, Swamp Monsters, and BLOOD: This Week in Comics
The best horror comics, just in time for Halloween.
Panel selection from Wolfcop #1. Cover illustrated by Arcana Studios. Screencap by the author
Horror and comics have a long and strenuous history together, from the graphic and brutal days of "weird menace" comics in the 1930s and 40s, to the blossoming of EC Comics before the crackdown from the Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, to the eventual resurgence of the genre in the rough-and-tumble late 1970s/early 1980s thanks to titles like Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing. Today horror comics run the gamut of taste and quality, with creators like Mike Mignola infusing epic, long-form storytelling with classically horror themes like devils, spirits, and things that go bump in the night. And though the comics reviewed this week all vary in tone and commitment to the horror genre, they’re all touched by the creepy, eerie, or haunted.
Wolfcop #1 is based on the 2014 Canadian horror comedy movie of the same name. It star Lou Garou as a cop who’s also a werewolf, but continues to fight crime once he turns into his monstrous form. This bloody, nasty, foul-mouthed comic is absolutely for adults only, but it’s got the same break-neck pace, good-over-evil mentality of the film it’s based on. Limbs fly, cops become wolves, and everyone drinks a little too much. It’s splashy halloween fun, and recommended for fans of pulp flicks (and pulp revival).
Witchfinder, written by Mike Mignola and Chris Roberson, tells the story of Sir Edward Grey, a 19th century occult investigator currently on the trail of a nasty vampire trying to destroy 1882 London. While a lot of this comic is exposition, which can sometimes sink a good book, in Witchfinder the plot is so intricate, and the nuances of character so well-crafted, that it works. Consider Witchfinder more like a gothic horror novel with a lot of pictures, and fall into the swirling story of land deeds, sites of power, and the tower of London.
This massive 400-page, $20 digital vintage reprint collection won’t be released in paperback for another few weeks (and it’ll cost more), and but it's a must-read for fans of when late-silver age/early-bronze age Marvel got weird and thought outside the box. Man-Thing is a lumbering, slow swamp creature who goes on adventures with Howard the Duck and other off-beat characters. This is classic horror-comic stuff, with screaming devils, ghosts, and other oddities. In one of the issues contained within, Man-Thing spends much of his time carrying an unconscious friend through the swamp while a ghostly apparition of the friend’s wife attacks them along the way. It’s weird, oddly mundane, and the color work is amazing throughout.
Over the Garden Wall, based on the Cartoon Network series of the same name, follows the adventures of Wirt and Gregory, two brothers lost in a strange, spooky world. Because the comic and show follow both pre-teen Wirt and young kid Gregory, the tone slides and shifts between age groups. This issue finds the brothers separated, and the first part follows young Greg in a goofy adventure in a town full of pigeons. The second part, which follows older Wirt, sees him following a river, and eventually coming to a head with a rather scary ghost (see below). This story hearkens back to a time when it was okay to scare kids a little bit, when a good bump or fright went a long way, and stories for children didn’t have to be told in bright, primary colors.
What were your favorite pulls of the week? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @CreatorsProject.