Even though we’re less than halfway through 2017, there have already been some stellar horror comics. When horror movies, spooky, disturbing television shows, and Stephen King novels aren’t enough for you, you can always turn to the perfect combination of visuals and written word for your favorite frights: comics.
Below is a list of six of the best horror comics (so far) of 2017. Not everything made this list, even though there are plenty of good ones out there. But variety is necessary for a list such as this. We couldn’t have six horror comics about just vampires or six horror comics about just cults. Both are fun subjects, but variety is always nice, both in subject and in length. Most of these recommendations are ongoing series. One is a superb one-shot. And a couple are small or large enough to fit into anyone’s schedule or needs.
Here are the six best horror comics of 2017 so far. Inverse will update this list regularly as more creepy comics debut.
6. Anno Dracula
Anno Dracula is a horror comic in that it’s got plenty of blood and it focuses on vampire lore, but it’s not necessarily scary. It’s fun. A steampunk Thomas Edison makes an appearance in the first issue and Dracula is the prince of 1895 England. Based on Kim Newman‘s Anno Dracula novels, it tells the story of a world where Count Dracula was never defeated and, instead, turned Queen Victoria. This comic series is a prequel to Newman’s novels, which (mostly) begin during World War I, and it delves into an often humorous and genuinely fun take on this alternate world.
5. The Belfry
This one-shot from comics creator Gabriel Hardman is dark and simple, combining a crashed plane with vampire-esque creatures and humans cursed to live as monsters or slaves. It’s short, yes, but it’s chilling and raw in the best way possible. Talking about it too much more would result in the comic being ruined, so we’ll leave it at that.
4. Blood Blister
Brandon Hull, Blood Blister’s main character, is not a good dude. He sees morality as a “crutch for the weak” and laws as mere suggestions. But his corruption begins sneaking up on his eventually, manifesting itself on his once-handsome face and body and turning him into just as much a monster on the outside as he is on the inside. Not only does this series delve into ideas of morality and what it truly means to be a good (or bad) person, but it’s also got some beautifully horrifying visuals to go along with it, such as Hull’s rotting, blistered body (casual).
3. Darkness Visible
Set in London, Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David’s Darkness Visible tells the story of an alternate Earth where humans have been forced to co-exist with demons after an invasion. The first issue introduces police detective Daniel Aston, who’s forced to share his soul with a demon. The writers use human hatred for the ademons as a pretty obvious stand-in for racism and xenophobia, but it’s still wonderfully entertaining, and it’ll be interesting to see where this series goes.
2. Dead Inside
Okay, so Dead Inside technically started in December 2016, but we’re going to ignore that for now because this is a comic series for people who love true crime. Detective Linda Caruso is a part of the Crimes Division of the Sheriff’s Office in Mariposa County and investigates crimes committed in county jails. They’re usually easy to solve, but not the one that starts out in issue #1. Linda goes out to find out “uncomfortable truths about her friends, her job, and herself.”
This psychosexual thriller from the makers of the popular The End of the Fcking World* is for those who like a little blood mixed with the good times. Christine is a data-entry specialist exploring her sexuality and her sudden bloodlust. In the first issue, Christine is introduced to Joshua, a dude with similar interests. Naturally, things are bound to go downhill from here.