It’s too bad my fellow Funnybooks co-host Tim doesn’t like horror, because 2011 has already proven itself to be a pretty good year for fans of the macabre when it comes to our weekly floppies. Three comics have come out in recent weeks that have all been pretty solid horror entries, and that’s certainly not the easiest thing to do.
Horror in comics typically doesn’t work. It’s hard to build tension, or get the shock that typically comes from horror movies. Every once in a while, a horror anthology gets released, but the tales are usually stifled by poor art, bad writing, or cliched storytelling.
Still, in recent weeks, I’ve seen some good horror comics come our way, and I wanted to take a moment to recognize them for our horror fans out there!
Don’t let the T&A fool you. Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths and Legends is a pretty serious horror book. A spin-off of Zenescope’s popular Grimm Fairy Tales ongoing, this new series (first issue on stands now) seems to be following a different formula, taking some of the threads from the other series and creating longer story arcs. The first finds a rehab facility being stalked by a werewolf. Sure, there’s a little T&A, but writer Raven Gregory (Zenescope’s Wonderland trilogy and The Waking) does a pretty damn good job of keeping the storyline focused on the characters and the horror. Everyone in the story has troubles, and all of the characters get a moment in the first issue that make them instantly recognizable from there on out.
It seems like there’s definitely a set-up for a more fantasy-based element in the first issue that may come into play later on, and I’m a little behind on my Grimmy Fairy Tales issues to know if it ties into something there. Still, this is a good first issue and a perfect place to enter the Zenescope universe. Highly recommended.
We talked about Top Cow’s Echoes #1 recently on an episode of Funnybooks. In it, a young man is told by his dying father to hide “the bodies” under his house. Investigating to see what his father was talking about, he finds out that his dad may have been a serious child serial killer…and possibly worse. The first issue of Echoes is on the stands now, with issue 2 due in the next week or two. Whereas Grimm Fairy Tales Myths and Legends may be going for a more straight out monster horror feel, Echoes is more of a psychological horror – things streak by in the background, and the lead may be losing his mind…or are the things he’s seeing actually real?
Where Echoes succeeds most is in its mood. The book is genuinely creepy and sure to leave you with the heeby-jeebies. The art works with the writing to create a ton of atmosphere, some actual jump scares, and an ending that will leave you dying for the next issue. Definitely pick this one up.
Memoir #1 from Image Comics is also in stores now, and tells the story of an investigative reporter who ventures into a small town where everyone has lost their memory overnight. What follows is a very Twin Peaks-esque series of events where he tries to discover the town’s secrets, and meets its many weird residents. Near the end of the first issue is a genuine shocker that will leave you wondering just what the hell is going on.
While the writing in Memoir, from Ben McCool (Choker) is solid, the art leaves a little bit to be desired. It’s not bad, but it’s not stellar. Still, it’s effective enough to get the point across, and I’m on board for this mini. A solid read for fans of weird horror, like the aforementioned Twin Peaks.
It’s nice to see some new horror on the stands, from new faces in the business and veterans alike … here’s hoping 2011 brings us even more horror down the road!