All Hallows’ Eve approaches, and comics are well into the spirit. You can choose from disturbing with a funny undercurrent or just damn disturbing; make your heart stout and fear the darkness as little as you can manage.
- First up, Strip Search runner-up Abby Howard will be giving us Halloween all year long with the ongoing, longform The Last Halloween, but today’s fourth installment is where things get seriously spooky. The world is coming apart, respected author/punter/pundit Chris Kluwe meets his end, and Mona must deal with crappy candy and no TV. It’s a perfect treading of the line between seriously scary and hilarious, and it’s only going to get scarier and hilariouser¹ from here.
- Nextly, Emily Carroll may have actually met the Devil at a crossroads and asked for the ability to see into souls to discover what is more than terrifying, but disturbing on an existential level, and then to portray those disturbances in moody, atmospheric, fuzzy visuals. Not fuzzy in sense of low resolution², but fuzzy in the sense of a dream half-remembered, or a dream so real that as it fades it feels like something you know is true is fading away and taking a part of you with it. She taps deep into the primitive part of the brain, the part that knows that there are men of bad intent and worse in the dark, the part that knows that in the places away from the purifying sun, other laws hold, will you or no.
Carroll’s latest is possibly her most disturbing yet, a slow descent into possibly madness (or possibly perfect clarity) tinged with body horror. Somewhere, around the corner from a crossroads, the Devil is carefully reading his copy of a contract looking for an exit clause and hoping against hope that Carroll never decides to portray what would scare the ruler of Hell.
- Lastly, Randy Milholland’s series The Last Trick-or-Treaters (found in the Rhymes With Witch archives) has seen nearly 30 watercolor paintings presented at Halloweentime each year since 2011. Some are … I don’t know if I want to say lighthearted, but at least the menace was inverted or muted, or carried a sense of deserved comeuppance. Some have highlighted bravery and loyalty in the face of the unspeakable. But the latest set have ramped up the sense of innocents seduced into malevolence, and they are his best so far. Milholland’s made some mention of plans to collect TLT-o-T in print so keep your eyes open for that.
¹ Shut up, it is too a word.
² And certainly not in the sense of the adorable little kitties and puppies with their fuzzy ears and OMG SO ADORBS. Those kitties and puppies still rule, though.