The Horror Honeys: Top 5 Underrated Horror Themed Comics

Top 5 Underrated Horror Themed Comics

A Guest Honey Collection

I’ve been a fan of comics since I was a kid and as of recently been really getting into Horror comics and their history. However, I have been finding myself pretty tired of the same re-hashes of Zombies, Evil Dead, Slashers and many comic adaptations of horror franchises that are around now. So I came up with 5 underrated Horror Comics that could use some more love. (I know some of you folks have suggestions of your own- so please feel free to add them in the comments below!)

1. Mercy Sparx

Devil’s Due Entertainment (Previously Arcana Comics)
Created by Josh Baylock and Matt Herhoff

Demon from Hell has been sent to do Heaven’s dirty work.

Mercy Sparx was a comic I spied at the Arcana booth at Vancouver Fan Expo and the concept seemed interesting. Mercy Sparx is a demon woman who is hired by the big shots in Heaven to secretly take down Angels gone rogue, hoping that if she does enough missions, she herself will get into heaven.

Pretty much what we can expect from a demon, Mercy is an ass-kicking, tattooed, foul-mouthed, whiskey shot-gunning, leather jacket toting lady who really doesn’t live up to her name. The Angels she fights against are not fragile flowers either, as they and Mercy get into some really brutal fight sequences (as it should, have you ever seen women when they fight? They don’t think twice about stripping the flesh off your bones!)
As the book goes on, Mercy starts finding out about a conspiracy going on between some of the staff of Heaven and Hell in which she has been made into their puppet.

After the first volume, Mercy Sparx went into haitus for 4 years, until 2013 with a successful kickstarter campaign they are now producing more books. The story is fun, the art is pretty good, the action is great and I hope to check out the later volumes of this series.



2. Angora Napkin
IDW Publishing (2009)
Created by Troy Little and Nick Cross.

These girls will rock you…to the end of the world!

Angora Napkin is a story about a travelling girl rock band that accidentally sets off the zombie apocalypse.  Beatrice, Molly and Mallory are the three musicians of “Angora Napkin” and they are late for their big Halloween gig.
While Beatrice and Molly are taking a shortcut to their destination (as well as trying to resuscitate Mallory from her drunken stupor) they hit someone on the road.
The girls upon investigating find out that the man, Randy McCarville is part of the living dead. To show no hard feelings, Randy invites the girls to a party in the underworld. When they arrive, they meet a depressed zombie boy named Dennis who wants to end his unlife, by coming back to life.
…yes, I know it is confusing but bear with me.
The girls upon trying to convince Dennis not to kill himself by eating a salad (Don’t ask. I don’t know either.), they unwittingly convince him that life is so horrible and that in order to help humanity, he has to destroy it!
The comic was created by Troy Little and Nick Cross, two animators who formerly worked under Spumco Inc. on shows like Ren and Stimpy and Ripping Friends. Those familiar with Spumco will see the influence in Troy Little’s art style with twisted cartoony faces, rubber tube limbs and no consistency what so ever!
Unlike present day of comics produced almost entirely on computer- it is nice to see comics that are drawn, inked and lettered by hand. It has a very organic feel to it with the three-tone colours (black, white and blue) fountain pen lines and creative use of speech bubbles and sound effects. I’ve seen Troy’s original pages hung up in a coffee shop back in Charlottetown and they look exactly like the book -minus the blue tones.
If you are looking for a comic that combines twisted cartoony fun with zombies and perverted female characters (despite the art style, this comic can get very diiiirty.) Check out Angora Napkin and its recently released sequel, Angora Napkin:  Harvest of Revenge!

BUY Angora Napkin (Amazon)
Meanwhile Studios
IDW Publishing
SUPER DUPER BONUS!
 Troy Little and Nick Cross made an animated pilot for Angora Napkin in 2010 for Teletoon’s Detour Pilot Project. Sadly, it wasn’t selected but the pilot is still online, so check it out below!




3. The Maxx
IDW Publishing (Originally under DC - Wildstorm)
Created by Sam Keith
Stuck between two worlds…which is the dream and which is reality?
Those of you who grew up in the 1990’s with MTV (and their amazing Liquid Television block at the time) or sometime later in Canada, watching Teletoon late at night, you might have remembered a strange animated series called “The Maxx”.
The Maxx is based on a comic by the same name, written and illustrated by Sam Keith. The story is about Maxx, who lives in between two worlds. One in New York city where he is a homeless bum, and “The Outback” a fantastical version of Australia, where he is a warrior and a hero to the Leopard Queen.
The Leopard Queen is an alternative identity of Julie Winters, a freelance social worker and a friend to Maxx in the real world. A woman who despite her job, tends to lack empathy for the people she is hired to help. They are tied together to Mr. Gone, another Dream traveller who holds the secrets that could destroy them and their worlds.
Now I know some will think it’s a little far-fetched to consider this under the Horror theme, but the comic is really dark and it touches on some real life horrors such as rape, child abuse, suicide and mental illness- how we wish to get away from the terrible things of everyday life and escape to a fantasy world where you are King. This is expressed through Sam Keith’s artwork with very stylized character designs, bold lines, unconventional panel layouts and saturated colours.
At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, IDW Publishing announced plans to re-release The Maxx for its 20th anniversary featuring new colours and covers by Sam Keith (Interview at Comic Book Resources) If you like your horror comics with a flavor of LSD, I would recommend The Maxx.

Sam Keith @ Blogspot
The Maxx Animated Series – MTV.com


4. Grim Leaper
Image Comics (Shadowline Production)
Created by: Kurtis J. Weibe and Aluisio C. Santos
A Love Story to Die For
Take the concepts of “Quantum Leap” and “Groundhog Day” and place them in a Horror setting with a love story mixed in. This is where you get “Grim Leaper” a reincarnation love story about two people trying to find each other through dying, coming back in different bodies…and dying again through horrific gory deaths.
You follow the story of Lou Collins as he is trying to figure out why he is caught in this cyclic curse, during which he meets Ella, a woman who is also cursed with living life over and over again. When Ella dies in a rather unconventional (but very painful fashion) Lou tries to find Ella as he dies and he brought back to life into other people’s bodies; living through their often strange and twisted lives before their time is up.
Believe me, the deaths that Lou experiences are over the top, gory and hilarious.

The twisted story is written by Kurtis J. Weibe and I couldn’t think of anyone else to illustrate this comic than his co-creator, Aluisio C. Santos. Santo’s work is very graphic and stylized without coming off as too cartoonish, creating this surreal look. Even his colour palettes are interesting, from the uses of yellows and greens, to blues, purples and an abundance of pinks.

So if you are into the weird and fantastical horror like Beetlejuice; Grim Leaper is the story I would recommend for the romantics at heart.

BUY Grim Leaper (Amazon)
@kurtisjweibe
@AluisioCSantos

5. Witch Doctor
Image Comics (Skybound Production)
Created by: Brandon Seifert and Lukas Ketner

The Doctor will see you now…

When I was home for the summer on PEI, I went to my local comic shop in Charlottetown and found issue #1 of their 4 part mini-series. I never saw anything like it. I was curious, purchased it and was glad I did.
The concept is humorous and original for a lot of horror comics as of late. You follow Dr. Vincent Morrow, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating supernatural maladies.

That’s right. Supernatural detectives are a dime a dozen in literature and comics …a Supernatural Doctor? Now you’ve got my attention!

The comic is an interesting mix of Medical Drama and Horror genre with a nice balance of biology and the occult. Doctor Morrow is pretty much Dr. House in a supernatural setting (in fact it was one of the inspirations referenced by writer Brandon Seifert) along with his partners: Eric Gast, his paramedic support and Penny Dreadful, a monster girl who is also Dr. Morrow’s anesthesiologist and well, after seeing her, you would want to be asleep too!

As I had mentioned, Brandon Seifert is the writer behind this fun supernatural romp, the creatures that they encounter are often based on ancient mythology and folklore (First issue had a human baby replaced with a Changeling) so for anyone like me who is into it, you will be tickled pink.

His words are accompanied by the art of Lukas Ketner. Ketner’s art is fitting for a horror comic: rough lines with some horror and medical colour pallettes like red, green, blues and whites accompanied with awesome character designs for the main characters and the monsters. (Dr. Morrow and Penny Dreadful make wonderful cosplay material!)

So if you have been feeling a little lethargic from the zombie comics as of late, take a dose of Witch Doctor and tweet me in the morning.

BUY Witch Doctor (Image Comics)
Official Website
@BrandonTSeifert  (Twitter)

About the Author

Shannon LeClerc is an independent comic artist and animator from the East Coast, who lives and works on the West Coast. Shannon is a fan of Horror, Action and Sci-fi movies, a comic book addict (Seriously, she needs help! There’s no more room!) As well as entertaining her inner child with cartoons and sugary junk food. You can find her work at http://bbunnystudios.com and http://animationdungeon.com