Austin’s Horror Picks!

Afterlife with Archie • Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Francesco Francavilla • 2014

I’ll start this off by saying this is definitely one of the most unique horror stories I’ve ever read, and I absolutely love it because of that. From one of my favorite artists, Francesco Francavilla comes Afterlife With Archie. The title gives you everything you really need to know about this book, it’s the world of Archie meets the undead. A horrific accident sets off a series of grim events and Sabrina the Teenage Witch must try to repair the unspeakable evil her spell has unleashed. It could be easy to dismiss the idea of this book as a gimmick to cash in on the zombie genre, but the zombie craze (thankfully) isn’t what it used to be. Instead, Afterlife With Archie gives you a fascinating meshing of these two worlds and, as horror stories should, it will make you feel completely uneasy in the pit of the stomach. If you’re even slightly familiar with Archie and the gang, or you just enjoy a good horror story, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Outcast • Robert Kirkman & Paul Azaceta • 2013

From writer Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) artist Paul Azaceta, and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser, comes one of the most hauntigly beautiful books on the shelf right now. I will preface this by telling you this book is a slow, slow burn. If you’re looking for the immediate payoff you get with some issues of Walking Dead, this is not that kind of story, but man it has an amazing payoff if you stick with it. Outcast is an exorcism story whose simplicity, along with the humanity of the characters and gripping storytelling make it a must-read for any horror fan. Characters are imperfect, vulnerable, and haunted, in more ways than one. Outcast is one scary story with the horror of both the corporal and psychological terror kind. You know, possessed kids, murder…the good stuff. Plus, Outcast is set to premiere on Cinemax in 2016, so be the cool kid on your block and get in on the action before it hits screens.

Trick ‘r’ Treat: Days of the Dead • Michael Dougherty & various • 2015

I could not wait to get this book in my hands after I saw it in previews a couple months back. Trick ‘r Treat is one of my top 5 Halloween movies, and this new graphic novel is the perfect complement to the Trick ‘r Treat lore. Days of the Dead follows right along with its predecessor, presenting four short stories about the spirit of Halloween. While Days of the Dead is not the first Trick ‘r Treat graphic novel, it’s the first to showcase original stories within director, and creator, Michael Dougherty’s universe. The contributors to the new book are as diverse as the stories themselves. Michael Dougherty handpicked the team himself, starting with bringing back the original contributors to the first graphic novel, Fiona Staples (Saga) and Marc Andreyko. These two share the pages with several other talents such as Todd Casey, Stephen Byrne, and Stuart Sayger, who together fashion an amazing book of Halloween madness.

If you don’t want Sam knocking on your doorstep this Halloween, remember the rules. Wear a costume, pass out treats, never blow out a jack-o-lantern, and always check your candy…

Harrow County • Cullen Bunn & Tyler Crook • 2015

From the creative team of Cullen Bunn, and Tyler Crook, comes one of my favorite books on the shelf right now, Harrow County. I feel like this is one of those books where if I tell you too much about the story it won’t have the same effect, but I’ll try and set it up as spoiler free as possible. Harrow County is a masterful story about small town characters that lingers on the small moments of terror. It builds tension by adding a supernatural layer, and then hits you with an amazing climax that’ll have you dying to see what comes next. This has truly been one of my favorite stories Cullen Bunn has ever put together.

October Faction • Steve Niles & Damien Worm • 2014

The October Faction centers on a oddball family made up of a former monster hunter, a witch, a warlock, and an certifiably insane lunatic. Writer Steve Niles puts together a story that sucks readers into an insane world where man must combat the evils of a world that most are blind to. Along with Damien Worm’s artwork, who creates some mesmerizing artwork very reminiscent of Ben Templesmith’s style, these two have put together a book that’s sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.