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The Monster Librarian Presents:

Reviews of Horror Related Graphic Novels and Comics


There aren't a large number of horror graphic novels out there but those that there are make for excellent additions to any library's graphic novel collection and are wonderful for reaching out to reluctant readers.


List of Graphic Novels by subgenre





Forever Evil #1+2 by Geoff Johns and illustrated by David Finch*New Review

DC Comics, 2013

Asin: B00EULC5XA

Available: Comic book and digital

        Villains: the yin to the super hero's yang. While sometimes they are nothing more than fodder for a storyline, there have also been times where a talented writer has created a multidimensional character with complex motivations, who at times may even be sympathetic.  In Forever Evil, a seven issue miniseries, all the major prisons and asylums holding Earth’s various supervillains have been destroyed, freeing villains both major and minor, while the power systems of major cities go out with all the various screens showing one message "This World Is Ours". While this is happening, a helicopter containing Lex Luthor crashes, leaving a shaken Luthor to determine what has happened.   In the meantime, the various villians are collected together to form a new secret society at the behest a group of powerful supervillians from another realm, who declare that the Justice League is dead.

        The Forever Evil concept has great appeal. For the most part, the narrative of the hero in a comic is predictable. The villains, on the other hand, don't have that same narrative and when  the superhero is out of the equation, there are a wide number of avenues that a writer can explore. This is especially true in Forever Evil, where nearly all the villains have been released, from the mega-powerful to the weaker second-tier villains. 

        Monster Librarian is focused on horror and related genres. If you are a reader of comics and get lost in the world they offer, there is nothing scarier than having massive numbesr of superpowered psychopaths let loose, with no superhero to stop them.   I highly recommend Forever Evil, and can't wait to see where DC is going to go with this.

Reviewed by The Monster Librarian



The Wake by Scott Snyder and Illustrated by Sean Murphy*New Review

Vertigo Comics, 2013


Available:Kindle and comic


        The Wake is a 10 issue series penned by Scott Snyder of American Vampire fame.  Marine biologist Lee Archer is recruited by Agent Astor Cruz of the Department of Homeland Security, to travel to a secret underwater base. There he joins an eclectic group of individuals gathered together to make sense of a horrific find; a captured merman. The creature has clawed, webbed arms, and a mouth full of sharp, predatory teeth. In the second issue it appears that, in addition to these terrifying physical capabilities, it has other powers as well. The Wake floods the reader with wave after wave of terror, and will fully sate any horror genre lover.  The artwork and atmosphere of the story are impressive; the undersea station has a claustrophobic feel , and the creature looks deadly. The first few issues provide a good setup without giving away where the story is going to go.  Suggested media tie-ins include Deep Star Six, Leviathan.


Review by The Monster Librarian



Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times by Rocky Wood , Lisa Morton  and illustrated by Greg Chapman*New Review

McFarland, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0786466559

Available: New

Witch Hunts is an extremely well-done graphic novel laying out the history of witchcraft as a crime, though not one always punishable by death.  It runs through the rise of witchcraft in medieval Europe and its use by the Inquisition.  It also explains the blatant use of witchcraft as a crime for purposes of greed, scapegoating, and the furtherance of careers.

Wood and Morton did a lot of research for Witch Hunts, and it shows.  The novel is succinct yet informative, and the accompanying artwork brings the history to life.  The misogyny of those involved in the promotion and use of witchcraft as a crime is glaringly evident and shameful, as well as frightening.  If you want a quick history lesson on a crime with many innocent victims, Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times is definitely an entertaining and enlightening way to go. Highly recommended.

Contains: depictions of violence

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund



The Annotated Sandman Vol. 1 by Neil Gaiman, edited by Leslie S. Klinger*New Review

Vertigo, 2012

ISBN:  97814012333327

Available: Hard Cover


The Annotated Sandman Vol. 1 is the first in a collection of 3 volumes devoted to The Sandman. The Sandman is a comic book series created by Neil Gaiman, now available as graphic novels.  10 volumes in length, The Sandman is an award winning tale of Dream, the entity who supervises our dreams.


In Gaiman’s story, we learn that as life was brought forth in the universe, seven beings were created who represent the seven things life forms talk about: Destiny, Death, Dream, Desire, Depair, Delirium and Destruction. Each of these beings represents the forces that make up our daily lives. After all, we each think about our destiny, what will we do in the future? Everyone is obsessed with death, hoping not to die before their time, and everyone definitely has dreams.


When we meet Dream, he has been captured by the historic Satanist Roderick Burgess; the self-styled ‘Daemon King’. A plunderer of the British Museum, Roderick sought to trap Death, but instead got Dream. Dream eventually escapes 87 years later, and must rebuild the dream world. It’s been in a bit of a shambles, which would certainly be one way to explain the chaos of the Twentieth Century.

Before we go any further, how do you think I knew those facts? I can promise you, unlike legendary writer Neil Gaiman, I didn’t read every book in the library. (Would have loved to, though). I read the footnotes provided by The Annotated Sandman. In his foreword, Neil Gaiman explains that he finally relented and commissioned a scholar to prepare the annotated version of his master work – The Sandman is hands down the best comic book you will ever read – because he was starting to forget these details himself. Chock full of nuggets of trivia, fiction, and other historical details, without footnotes, many of us wouldn’t get the full desired effect of reading The Sandman.


Along comes Leslie Klinger. He’s a gifted annotator, and a friend of Neil Gaiman. He has prepared an amazing and daunting work, preparing annotations and thorough but concise explanations of everything hidden in the pages of The Sandman.  Libraries would benefit greatly from acquiring these books, because this is the ‘Rosetta stone’ for all very cool facts and details buried like Easter eggs in The Sandman. This work is HIGHLY recommended for all fans of Gaiman, Graphic Novels, and very deep and cool dark fantasy stories.


Contains: Violence, profanity, adult situations.

Review by Benjamin Franz



The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Volume One by Denise Mina, illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti

DC/Vertigo, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1401235574

Available: New



        I came into this graphic novel with very little knowledge of the source material. I hadn't read Stieg Larsson's novel or seen either film version. As I read Vertigo's adaptation, I was floored by the stunning artwork and spartan prose. The pace was electric and engrossing. By the time I'd finished this first volume I was hooked. Within 48 hours I had read the novel and watched both film adaptations. This is a spectacular creation, and now armed with an insight into these various forms I was even more impressed by the work Denise Mina did in bringing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to the comic medium. Giving the art team plenty of space, her streamlining of Larsson's weighty text is brilliantly captured by its subtlety and respectful portrayal. This is a truly inspiring work that is a worthy tribute to what has become a worldwide phenomenon.


        Definitely for mature audiences, the artwork is visceral and adult in every way. There are no punches pulled, to be sure. It is certainly not for the squeamish, as the depiction of very adult and disturbing scenes are played out in four colors.


        The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Volume One, is a masterpiece of comics literature,  and one I most highly recommend to all collectors and literary enthusiasts.


Contains:  Explicit gore  and adult situations

Reviewed by: Bob Freeman




Ghosts #1 by Geoff Johns et al.

DC/Vertigo, 2012


Available: New


        Vertigo comes out swinging in this spectacular anthology from some of the biggest names in comics. Yes, it's sporting a whopping $7.99 cover price, but you're getting more than a bang for each buck with more than 70 pages of roller coaster action and suspense from the likes of Joe Kubert, Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, Phil Jimenez, and a host of others. Not only do you get the late, great Joe Kubert's masterfully rendered final work (worth the price of admission alone), but there's also the return of Neil Gaiman's Dead Boy Detectives to entice you. Believe me when I say that this anthology is a real page-turner, without a weak story in the lot. You'll find quality prose and some of the best artwork this side of the veil. I loved it, through and through, and eagerly invite you to dig into this monstrous collection of ghostly tales. Just be sure to read it in a well lit room. You never know what might be creeping up behind you.


Reviewed by:  Bob Freeman



Frankenstein – Agent of S.H.A.D.E. / Volume 1: War of the Monsters by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Alberto Ponticelli

DC Comics, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4012-3471-3

Available: New


In what was arguably the stand-out title from DC Comics' New 52 Relaunch, Frankenstein – Agent of S.H.A.D.E. is a wild and wooly thrillfest, accentuated by pulse-pounding action and a riveting storyline that is a must-read for comic and horror fans. With crisp dialogue and well-wrought characters, Lemire pulls no punches, while Ponticelli's artwork is mind-numbingly awesome in every way. This really is as good as monster comics get.


Yes, there are instant comparisons to Mike Mignola's monstrously popular Hellboy and B.P.R.D. Series, but Lemire and Ponticelli take the conceit and make it their own, tapping into their versions of classic monsterdom by joining Frankenstein with his ex-wife, a vampire, mummy, and werewolf as they tackle an extradimensional rift that threatens to unleash a horde of hideous beasts into our world.


War of the Monsters is spectacular from cover to cover and I recommend it for readers of all-ages looking for intelligently written, adrenaline pumping escapism that is made up of wall to wall pretty (gruesome) pictures.


Reviewed by: Bob Freeman


Animal Man #0 by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Steve Pugh

DC Comics, 2012

ISBN:  7-61941-30496-0-00011

Available: New


Honestly, I'm not much of a fan of Steve Pugh's artwork on this title. There are moments, particularly when dealing with the more horrific aspects of Jeff Lemire's story, but in the quiet moments the artwork seems stiff and lifeless. That is my personal taste showing through, however, and I do acknowledge there are people out there who may prefer this style. I'm just not one of them.


Lemire paints an interesting picture, using this issue to acknowledge and explain the changes he made to the lead character's origin. The dialogue is compelling and consistent and the pacing is exactly what modern audiences seem to be clamoring for.


Even though I'm not a fan of the book, I can see why some people would be. It's disturbing, and that should garner some positive points with horror fans.


Reviewed by: Bob Freeman


Swamp Thing #0 by Scott Snyder, illustrated by Kano

DC Comics, 2012


Available: New


        Scott Snyder has delivered a truly gripping and horrific tale, re-imagining Alec Holland's transformation into Swamp Thing for DC Comics' New 52.  Swamp Thing is not for the squeamish, that's for sure. The artist, Kano, is at the top of his game and perfectly sets the mood with some spectacular illustrations that match Snyder's insane and driven prose. It's a beautiful book, perfectly balanced between words and pictures, telling a complete tale that will leave you on the edge of your seat. I particularly love the way Kano enhances the gutters by utilizing thematic devices, such as snowflakes and vines, to separate the panels, a bold step that truly makes this a complete work of art. Highly recommended to readers mid-teens and up.


Review by Bob Freeman



Criminal Macabre: The Iron Spirit by Steve Niles, illustrated by Scott Morse

Dark Horse, 2012

ISBN: 978-1595829757



Not familiar with Criminal Macabre? Well, that's a problem that needs to be immediately addressed; and what better place to start than with The Iron Spirit.  Our protagonist is a burned out wretch by the name of Cal McDonald, who also happens to be a talented occult detective, albeit one who is drug-fueled and alcohol-infused. McDonald's adventures take place in a not-so-alternate reality where cornucopia of fiendish beasties, including demons, ghouls, and ghosts, are commonplace. What sets The Iron Spirit apart from previous McDonald misadventures is the absolutely gorgeous artwork from Scott Morse, and a truly heartfelt and poignant story penned by Criminal Macabre creator Steve Niles. I've not missed a single Cal McDonald outing, be it comic or prose, and this one is the crowning achievement in the series. When a military weapons project goes wrong, it's up to Cal to set things right, in classic Criminal Macabre fashion. I recommend this one highly, whether you're a longtime fan or looking to dip your toes in for the very first time.


Reviewed by: Bob Freeman



Werewolves of Wisconsin and other American Myths, Monsters and Ghosts: A Graphic Novel by Andy Fish

McFarland Publications, 2011

ISBN: 9780786467983

Available: Trade Paperback, E-Book

Werewolves of Wisconsin and other American Myths, Monsters and Ghosts is a stand-alone graphic novel by Andy Fish.  It’s drawn in the traditional color schemes of Marvel and DC horror comics, and I found it quite compelling. Baron Saturday is our narrator and guide, taking us on a ghoulish road trip of America. At each major stop, we learn about an unexplained phenomenon, horror story or myth that took place in that spot. Much of it is real, some of it is secondhand and unverified. Every story, however, is delightfully scary.


I found the story of Dogtown – a town overrun by wild dogs to be really good. I also enjoyed the story of the nurse at the mental hospital. Finally the title story – “Werewolves of Wisconsin” – is very effectively creepy, especially the last part with the old lady and her dog. If you like U.S. History, or just like a good creepy story, this graphic novel is for you. It comes highly recommended to fans of Americana, werewolves and the undead.


Contains: violence, gruesome images

Reviewed by: Benjamin Franz



Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine by Jonathan Maberry

Marvel, 2011

ISBN: 978-0785156925

Available: New


        Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine starts off the action right away with a news story showing a zombie-infected Spiderman eating a defeated Rhino.  Spiderman is quickly captured and brought to the Fatastic Tower where some of the best scientific geniuses in the world try to determine what happened to him and if there is a way to cure him.  Wolverine arrives looking to help out.  It soon becomes evident that Spiderman was not the only one infected; humans, heroes and villains turn into cannibalistic monsters, seeking only to eat the uninfected. An army of the infected, led by one of the most powerful beings on Earth, seeks to kill the scientists to prevent them from discovering a cure, and it is up to Wolverine and a handful of heroes to keep the scientists alive.


          Jonathan Maberry, known for his zombie titles for both adult and young adult readers, offers up a tale that is very similar to the popular Marvel Zombies series; the only difference is that in this story the infected are technically alive (versus the dead zombies of Marvel Zombies). Maberry's story works very well, and in the middle, pairs up two of my favorite Marvel characters, Wolverine and Deadpool. Maberry's story has a down-to-earth feel and is more effective and plausible than the Marvel Zombies titles that had Marvel’s zombified heroes eating Galactus.   


          I highly recommend Marvel Universe vs. Wolverine  for both fans of the Marvel Zombies series and comic book readers and fans of the Wolverine and X-Men movies.  Maberry's solid storytelling shines through and makes this a superior tale and one that fans will eat up.

 Contains: cannibalism, violence



Looking for more Wolverine and Marvel Zombie take a look below:


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Single-Disc Edition)


Graphic Novels:

Marvel Zombies

Marvel Zombies, Vol. 2

Marvel Zombies 3

Marvel Zombies Supreme

Marvel Zombies vs. Army Of Darkness TPB  



Marvel Select: Zombie Hulk Action Figure

Marvel Select: Zombie Spider-Man Action Figure

Marvel Select: Zombie Colonel America (Captain America) Action Figure


Baltimore Volume 1: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, art by Ben Stenbeck

Dark Horse, 2011

ISBN: 978-1595826732

Available: New

            After a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, fights his way through bloody battlefields, ruined plague ships, exploding zeppelins, and submarine graveyards on the hunt for the creature who has become his obsession.


Along with novelist Christopher Golden and artist Ben Stenbeck, Mike Mignola (creator of the Hellboy corner of the Dark Horse Universe) continues to champion his brand of Gothic and Lovecraftian Horror in the four color world of comics. Lord Henry Baltimore is a classic anti-hero, brutal and efficient in his dealings with the undead, and his pulp roots are more than evident. Unfortunately, as a character, there is little depth to be found in Baltimore (or in the supporting cast, for that matter), but this may owe more to those aforementioned roots than anything else. I do get the sense that this is the story that they wanted to tell and in just the way they wanted to tell it. The artwork is serviceable at best, often uneven and sometimes downright confusing and murky. The colors are bold and striking, Spartan in their use, but with tremendous impact. For all its faults, The Plague Ships is a fun story, with plenty of action and intrigue, and recommended for fans of the genre. As an attractive hardcover, The Plague Ships would make a fine addition to any and all libraries, both personal and public.

Reviewed by: Bob Freeman




The X-Files/30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Adam Johns

WildStorm, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1401231781



        The real star of this X-Files / 30 Days of Night crossover comic event is legendary artist Tom Mandrake (perhaps best known for his work on various Batman properties and The Spectre). Mandrake's somewhat muddy, chaotic pencil work is right at home in a horror comic, but he also has the chops to pull off the distinctive likenesses of Mulder and Scully without looking like they were traced from photographs. Niles (creator of 30 Days of Night) and Jones (best known as the guitarist for the band Tool) do an admirable job of setting up an intriguing case, with plenty of tension, and capturing the feel for the franchise characters. All in all, this was a very entertaining comic mini-series, with plenty of thrills and chills, and the perfect marriage between stellar comic art and two writers who perfectly understand the characters they've been charged with. Recommended for anyone who is a fan of either series and for private and public collections.

Contains: Violence and some gore

Reviewed by:  Bob  Freeman



Malefic by Luis Royo

NBM Publishing, Inc., 2010
ISBN-13: 978-1561635726

Available: New and Used

        Luis Royo is one of those rare and genius talents whose mastery shines no matter the medium. Best known for his spectacular oils, in this collection we are treated to an array of sketches and watercolors along side the finished masterpieces. Royo's art is not for the faint of heart. Dark, sensual, and the perfect blend realism and fantasy, the artist is able to tell a story with his work, adding a depth of character rarely found in many of his peers. For lovers of dark fantasy, Malefic is a treat to the senses and a must have for any collector of fantasy art. Recommended for both private and public collections.


Reviewed by: Bob Freeman




Z-Girl and the Four Tigers, Issue #1 by Jeff Marsick and Kirk Manley

Studio Z, 2011


Available: New comic


In Z-Girl and the Four Tigers, Issue 0, readers were introduced to a secret government paramilitary unit led by Z-Girl, a zombie who is inhabited by a centuries-old tiger spirit.  The other four members of the team are humans with these same tiger spirits residing inside of them.  The tigers are the Celestial Guardians, meant to fight all manner of monsters and demons which threaten humanity.


Issue 1 is the first issue in a story arc titled “Odyssey”, which covers five issues. In this issue, the team has recovered an artifact that may lead to a missing ancient tablet which foretells the coming zombie apocalypse.  Z-Girl and the rest of the tiger team must find this tablet and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.  At the same time, Z-Girl is experiencing some hazy past memories, with which she must eventually come to terms.


For those who haven’t read Issue 0, Z-Girl and the Four Tigers, Issue 1 is still a good place to start.  It gives enough of the origin story so the reader gets what is going on, but in a concise way that it doesn’t take away from the story arc itself.  The characters are unique and interesting and the story is a solid one.  I like the idea of a zombie that is intelligent and in control of her faculties… well as fighting on the side of good in the universe.  And the artwork is killer. Graphic and colorful, it keeps your eye moving from page to page.  I really look forward to reading the subsequent issues as they are released.  This is one comic title that should not be missed.




Contains: graphic violence and gore

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund



Brimstone and the Borderhounds Issues 1 & 2 by Brimstone and M.H. Carnevali; illustrated by Sajad Shah, Alan Chickering and Thiago Castro

Hound Comics, 2010


Available: New

Brimstone and the Borderhounds tells the story of a group of freelance bounty hunters who hunt down and bring back escaped souls.  The afterlife is made up of different locations that are run like corporations.  Your fate is sealed before you die as to where you will end up and who it is you’ll spend eternity working for.  The souls are a ready source of cheap labor, and there is competition between these corporations that can lead to sabotage.  Sometimes souls escape their fate and run into the border territories.  The bounty hunters’ job is to round them up and bring them back to their employers.  Brimstone is half human and half hell spawn so he can move effortlessly between worlds, and his team is made up of humans. 

Back on earth, a serial killer is preying on the citizens of New York…but this killer, Mr. Hostile, was already been captured and put to death some ten years ago.  Brimstone and his team have been called in to bring Mr. Hostile back and find out how he got out in the first place.

I read the first two issues of the comic and it establishes the quite a bit of the background for the story, but doesn’t give away too much.  There are hints at secrets among some of the characters and these hints definitely piqued my interest.  The artwork is very good and the story is an entertaining one that is well written.  I was intrigued by the Borderhounds team but even more interested in the serial killer and the cop who captured him a decade ago and is now convinced it’s the same man.  Brimstone and the Borderhounds is a fun read full of enough gore to keep the reader’s interest. Recommended.

Contains violence, blood, gore and adult language

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


HUMAgeddon Issue 1, by Robert Butt, illustrated by Scott Twells

KnightWatch Press, 2011


Available: New comic book (print on demand)


For an entire generation, zombies have ruled the mainland.  Humans were sent to live on a series of small islands while the zombies thrived, living in homes, having families and jobs.  The humans, though, have had enough and have decided to take back their cities and homes.  They are coming in boats with weapons, determined to get rid of the zombies.


HUMAgeddon is a very different take on the zombie apocalypse.  The zombies are like humans—they have built a civilization of their own.  The story by Robert Butt is a solid and interesting one. Scott Twells’ artwork is very cool.  It has the feel of decay to it, highlighting the zombie domination.  There’s plenty of blood, guts and zombies for any fan of the apocalypse, but with a unique twist.  This is definitely a comic to read and KnightWatch Press is a company to watch. Recommended.


Contains: blood, violence and adult language


Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund





Dusk, Volume 2 by David Doub

Dusk Comics, 2010

Available: New

ISBN: 9780982920510


Eve is a vampire thrall, a servant of the vampire Ash.  She is also in love with him.  Eve is a very unique woman, however.  She is very powerful in occult magic.  Eve isn’t a bad person, she has just had a tough life and is a bit of a rebel.


In this sequel to Dusk, Volume 1, the reader is treated to seven different stories about Eve’s adventures and her struggle to find a place for herself in the world.  In “Teenage Vampire Drama” we meet Tad and Amanda in what looks like a relationship similar to the Twilight novel.  In reality, Tad is only pretending to be a vampire for a very gullible girl.  Eve doesn’t like what he’s doing, so she attempts to set him straight.  In “Bad Mojo” Sylvia, an occult hunter, attempts to take Eve’s powers from her, but the tables are turned.  In the final story, “Good Samaritan”, Eve meets a woman with marital problems and wants to help her.  Eve does what she can because this woman reminds Eve of herself. 


All of the stories are entertaining and well-written, but I wasn’t crazy about all of the artwork.  Done completely in black and white, some of the art was just a little too dark, in terms of color..  The final story, “Good Samaritan”, has no artwork and it was my favorite.  There is some extra artwork at the back of the book and it’s all really good.  The cover art by Joamette Gill was great.  Overall Dusk Volume 2 was a fun read. Recommended.


Contains: violence, gore and adult situations


Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund



The Green Woman by Peter Straub and Michael Easton Illustrated by John Bolton
Vertigo Comics, 2010
ISBN 978-1-4012-1100-4

Available: New graphic Novel (hardcover)

Peter Straub has resurrected serial killer Fielding Bandolier, last seen in his novel The Throat to wreak havoc in a graphic novel. Fielding has decided to end his killing ways, but not before committing one last kill. Bob Steele, a police detective fed up with his job and all he can’t do, ends up on a crusade to catch Fielding Bandolier and stop him in his tracks. Both Bandolier and Steele are drawn to a tavern in the Midwest called The Green Woman. What is the draw to this abandoned place? Can Fielding Bandolier put his murderous career behind him? Will Bob Steele catch up to him?


    Peter Straub and Michael Easton have written a wonderfully disturbing story that is complemented by some very cool and very gruesome artwork by John Bolton. The combination takes the reader on a bloody trek through the minds of a cold-blooded serial killer and a disillusioned cop. Bob Steele’s quest to find a killer sets him on the trail of one man but ultimately leads him to another. It also leads him to a pub in Ireland with a very mysterious connection to The Green Woman Tavern in Milhaven, Illinois. This is a very good read and just what you would expect from Peter Straub. Recommended.


Contains: sexual images, violence, and gore

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


Peaceful Warrior: The Graphic Novel by Dan Millman Illustrated by Andrew Winegarner
H J Kramer and New World Library, 2010

ISBN 978-1-932073-48-5
Available New Graphic Novel

    Dan is a young man in college, a gymnast determined to make the team for Nationals. After he loses his father to a heart attack, Dan has the same nightmare over and over, and his workouts and schoolwork begin to suffer. While out on his motorcycle, Dan stops to fill up the tank and meets a strange man who turns out to be the same man who appears in his nightmares. Dan calls the man Socrates and discovers that he wishes to teach Dan about life.

    One night after leaving Socrates at the gas station, Dan is hit by a car and his femur is shattered. Miserable that he can no longer compete in gymnastics, Dan goes back to Socrates for help. Socrates gives it but explains to Dan that he needs to think of the bigger picture. Dan follows the instructions he is given to get stronger again and falls in love with Joy, who is also learning from Socrates. After finally recovering so he can compete for Nationals, Dan decides it’s time to take what he learned from Socrates further. He spends years travelling the world learning all he can from others so he can find himself and the purpose of his life. Dan Millman has written a wonderfully inspiring story in Peaceful Warrior. Based somewhat on his novel Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Millman has expanded on his collection of spiritual stories with his first graphic novel. It is a well-written story with a touch of the supernatural and is complemented nicely by some great artwork by Andrew Winegarner. I think this is a story that will be enjoyed by adults and young adults alike. I also think Dan Millman has gotten his message of the individual being a part of something much larger very nicely without being preachy. Recommended. Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund

A Sickness in the Family by Denise Mina Illustrated by Antonio Fuso
Vertigo Comics 2010

Available New Graphic Novel

    The Ushers, a dysfunctional family, are celebrating Christmas. Dinner has been taken over by fighting and sarcasm, drowning out the noise of the fight between their downstairs neighbors. When Sam, the adopted outsider in the Usher family, checks on the neighbors, he discovers a horrifying scene. Darota has snapped, killing her abusive husband and herself. In the aftermath, Ted Usher, Sam’s father, buys the apartment and has a hole knocked out for a staircase to join the two spaces. That’s when things really get weird.

    Grandma Martha falls through the hole one night; a drop of almost thirty feet. She suffers a stroke and can no longer take care of herself. The rest of the family could care less, and it is up to Sam to care for Martha. Ted and his wife Biddy are having problems and seeing a marriage counselor, William is kicked out of school, and Amy just wants money. Sam seems to be the only sane member of the family.

    Sam searches the Internet and discovers that a witch had been burned at the stake right where the Ushers’ house now stands. Could the witch be haunting the house and driving the family further apart? Is the murder/suicide of Darota and her husband a result of that haunting? Then family members begin dying one by one. Who is responsible for the fall of the family of Usher?

    Denise Mina has created a fantastically dysfunctional family in the Ushers. None of them, with the exception of Sam, seem to care about anyone but themselves. Biddy hates Ted, but Ted will do anything to keep her. Amy and William hate their adopted brother…they don’t even consider Sam part of the family. Grandma Martha was emotionally abusive to her daughter Biddy. It’s like a soap opera with an edge. I really felt sorry for Sam and did like him, especially when he tried to hold things together as his relatives started dying mysteriously. A Sickness in the Family is a very engaging story that is well-written and beautifully illustrated. The end was a shock and totally threw me. It was a very enjoyable read. Recommended. Contains: adult language, images of drug use, and violence Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


North 40 by Aaron Williams Illustrated by Fiona Staples
Wildstorm Comics 2010
Available New Graphic Novel
ISBN 978-1-4012-2849-1

    Dyan and Robert have cast a spell over Conover County. As it takes effect, all in the town lose consciousness. When the citizens wake, they learn that hell has come to their small corner of the world. The county has been cut off from the rest of the world and everyone is on their own. Some people have turned into monsters; others have turned into zombies. However, not everyone has been changed for the worse. Amanda can communicate with a witch who means to pass on the power to defeat what has been awakened by the spell. Wyatt can fly. Both will work with the sheriff to help stop the nightmare that has befallen Conover County.

    As if the changes occurring to the people of Conover County aren’t enough, some of the town lowlifes have decided it’s time to get revenge on the sheriff. He, Amanda and Wyatt must keep them at bay long enough to get the book of spells to try and undo what Robert and Dyan have done—and what they’ve done is wake Cthulu, but just a small part. They must capture that part of Cthulu and send it back to its rest, and stop Stacy, sent out into the world by Dyan to bring back more people to be turned into monsters. Unfortunately, time is running out. Aaron Williams and Fiona Staples have added a new chapter to the Cthulu mythos, and they’ve done so in an original and amazing way. The story is a great one, with a cast of misfits trying to do the right thing, and a quick but effective back story….and the artwork is pretty cool, too. I really liked the end of North 40, and it left me wanting more. Recommended. Contains: graphic violence and adult language Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund



Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer and the Great Puppet Theater by Van Jensen (writer) and Dusty Higgins (artist)
SLG Publishing, 2010
ISBN: 9781593622039

Available: New

    In the Great Puppet Theater, the puppets have no strings, and it’s the same for Pinocchio. We all know about Pinocchio. He was created by Geppetto, who loved him as a real boy. Pinocchio got into quite a bit of trouble, including being swallowed by a giant dog fish, but his biggest adventure came later, when he ran into his first vampires. Geppetto died at the hands of the vampires, and Pinocchio is determined to kill them all. With the help of the Blue Fairy, Carlotta, Master Cherry and the other puppets, Pinocchio sets out on his mission of ridding the world of vampires.

    Master Cherry is a vampire that Geppetto tried to kill, who killed Geppeto instead. With the help of the Blue Fairy’s magic, he cannot harm Pinocchio or his friends and helps them find the covens. The puppets have discovered that they are made of wood with some very special properties. Not only do they not need strings, but they can kill the vampires. What they don’t know is that the Cat and the Fox are in league with the vampires, and they want Pinocchio dead. Pinocchio has been very upset since the death of Geppetto. Pinocchio blames Master Cherry and continues to distrust him. Pinocchio’s hostility toward Cherry infuriates the Blue Fairy, and in a long-awaited showdown between the two the Fairy gets so angry that she casts the last spell she has in her, turning Pinocchio into a real boy. While attempting to console Pinocchio, Carlotta is kidnapped by the Cat and the Fox. Can Pinocchio save Carlotta and kill the vampires now that he is a real boy? This is a fun take on the Pinocchio folk tale. While not for young children, the story is well-written and will appeal to adult fans of the comic horror genre. It encompasses the drama of a vampire tale with the humor of the original story. The artwork by Dusty Higgins is very good. He is able to visually set the comic book Pinocchio apart from the Disney animated movie, while the story by Van Jensen seamlessly picks up where Disney left off. Recommended. Contains: violence Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


Stiletto Red story and artwork by John B. Lai
Ultimate Comics Group, 2010

Available: New Graphic Novel
Stiletto is an intergalactic stripper trying to find her way home, accompanied by her pet Shih Tzu, Rigby. Stiletto can open teleportation portals, but she doesn’t know the coordinates to her home, so every time they go through a portal Stiletto doesn’t know where they will end up.  Relying on the kindness of strangers can get a girl into trouble.
         Stiletto Red is a science fiction comedy with lots of T and A.  Stiletto has run-ins with some unsavory characters in her travels, but is quite capable of taking care of herself.  Stiletto’s constant companion, Rigby, is a talking Shih Tzu who can change into a monster if her owner needs some backup.  What I found quite funny was the fact that Stiletto manages to kill many who threaten her, but she doesn’t kill on purpose.  She also runs around in next to nothing.
    Definitely cheesecake but not pornographic, Stiletto Red is a study in raw sexuality that doesn’t even attempt to take itself seriously.  With a nod to The Wizard of OZ and the short-lived sci-fi show LEXX, this is a fun read and decidedly politically incorrect.    The writing is good and the artwork is well-done with a very cool cartoony feel.  John B. Lai does it all himself and makes no excuses.  I will be keeping my eye out for his follow-up, Stiletto Black. Recommended.

Contains: Adult content. Not appropriate for children

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


Harbor Moon by Ryan Colucci—writer, editor, producer, Dikran Ornekian—writer, Pawel Sambor--artist

Arcana Press, 2010

Graphic Novel 140 pages

ISBN 978-1-897548-95-0

     Harbor Moon is a graphic novel about a town in Maine hiding a deadly secret.  Tim Vance, a veteran of the Iraq war, has gone to Harbor Moon to find Andrew O’Callaghan, a man who called Tim claiming to be his father.  After growing up in orphanages, this is a great surprise to Tim.  When he arrives in the small town he is greeted with threats and hostility, most strenuously by Patrick and his two thug friends.  Tim discovers that Andrew has been murdered, but along the way he also discovers something about himself that will tie him to the people of Harbor Moon and their special secret.

    Harbor Moon is about werewolves….and I’m not really giving anything away here.  The citizens of Harbor Moon, Maine just want to be left alone to live in peace.  They think of themselves as “a species, not a curse”.  They aren’t dangerous unless pushed to their emotional or physical limits but there is an organization that is out to destroy them all.  They are called the Brotherhood of the Moon and they are ruthless.  We are introduced to the Brotherhood rather quickly here and I wish there had been more about them.  There’s also a brief glimpse into the history of the town and its purpose, but I wanted more.

    The story is a good one even though it lacks background, and it’s written rather well.  The artwork is beautiful and dark, although there were some spots where it was a little too vague and I became confused over who was who.  It wasn’t enough to turn me off to the story though.  There is also a shot at the end of the people of the town that, compared to the darkness of the rest of the art, came off as a bit cheesy to me.  I liked the book but was disappointed by its lack of background.  I think fans of the werewolf sub-genre will enjoy HARBOR MOON.


Contains: violence, gore and some adult language

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund


Harpe: America’s First Serial Killers by Chad Kinkle and illustrated by Adam Shaw

Cave In Rock Press, 2009

Available Graphic Novel

ISBN 978-0-615-31055-8

    Based on a true story, Harpe tells the story of brothers Wiley and Micajah Harpe, who are thought to be America’s first documented serial killers.  In 1797, Wiley and Micajah were thrown in jail for a murder they didn’t commit.  They were outcasts growing up because their father fought for the British during the American Revolution.  Moving to Knoxville, Tennessee didn’t change that.  While in jail, Micajah and Wiley decide that when they get out they’re going to do what they want and no one is going to stop them.  Upon their release, when it’s discovered they didn’t commit the murder, the brothers decide to get revenge on the man they believe was actually responsible for that murder.  When they get to Moses Stegall’s place they discover he’s gone.


     Over the next few years Wiley and Micajah, with their women in tow, are on a mission to find Stegall and enact their revenge.  Along the way they leave a trail of dead in their wake, and it’s rather bloody.  At one point the brothers manage to escape imprisonment again, although they leave their women behind this time to give birth to their children all alone.  Eventually reunited, the brothers start to change.  Micajah becomes even more violent while Wiley begins to regret the path he’s chosen for himself.  Wiley knows they will be caught eventually and it won’t end well for the Harpes.


    Well written and beautifully drawn, Harpe: America’s First Serial Killers tells a very bloody and gruesome story of two men who take their lousy childhood out on anyone who gets in their way.  What makes it even more horrific is that it all actually happened. Recommended

Contains: graphic violence, adult language, and sexual themes

Reviewed by: Colleen Wanglund





Z-Girl and the Four Tigers by Jeff Marsick and Illustrated by Kirk Manley

 Studio Z issue 0,2010

Available: New



            The Department of Irregular Warfare has a special weapon to help keep peace in the world.  She is Zombie Girl and she leads a team of four spirit tigers given the task to protect the world from its monsters….both human and supernatural.  Zombie Girl is a zombie that is centuries old.  Legend has it that she was buried alive and dug up by Lao Tzu in ancient China.  He trained her to be a warrior and helps keep her urges to feed in check with a special inhalant.  The spirit tigers are four spirit warriors who inhabit the bodies of humans to carry out their mission.  The five are joined by a special tattoo to help give Zombie Girl the direction she needs to fight her urges for flesh. 


            Z-Girl and the Four Tigers  starts off with a bang getting right into the action.  Z-Girl has infiltrated a small village in Nigeria where she discovers a nest of child zombies lead by a demon spirit that she must destroy to free the children.  There is also an “archive” story about Z-Girl being sent to kill a murderous ghost in 1800s Texas.  The third story has Z-Girl and her team of Tigers battling Count Orlok—yes, the vampire—during World War I.  There is also a quick history of each of the present-day Tigers as well as a pin-up gallery done by guest artists.  Z-Girl and the Four Tigers  is well written and the artwork is amazing.  The first issue gives enough meat to keep the reader coming back for more.  I highly recommend it.


Contains: violence and gore

Review by Colleen Wanglund


Morgue by Amit Chauhan (writer/artist)

ID Comics , 2010


Available: New 


            Morgue tells the story of Karl, an outcast among his peers who works as a security guard at a morgue.  In this first issue we learn that his friends thought he was weird because of his love of zombie movies so they bailed on him.  His father is an unemployed bully who constantly puts Karl down and says Karl isn’t his son.  Karl’s mother loves him but after making an odd discovery on his computer, even she is becoming disgusted with him.  They make him quit his job and threaten to send Karl to the military.


            Morgueis an arc story that ties into two other titles by ID Comics, Project Chrysalis and Experiment 692.  All can be read as stand-alone stories.  All we really learn in this first issue is Karl’s status as an outcast and that he is bullied by both his father and people his own age.  Basically Karl is a loser.  At the end of the issue, however, something happens to Karl while trying to stop a bully in a graveyard and the dead begin to rise.  The writing is okay but a bit stiff.  I wasn’t crazy about the artwork.  It’s all done through photo manipulation.  Photographs are run through a program where they are altered to look like drawings.  Since it’s so obvious I assume Amit Chauhan intended for the book to look this way.    So far I’m curious to see where this story goes since zombies have been introduced…..I LOVE zombies.  For now I recommend it, but with an average rating.


Contains adult language and sexual themes


Colleen Wanglund




American Vampire written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King with the art by Rafael Albuquerque

Vertigo/DC, 2010




    American Vampire TPB  is a collection of the comic book series. The recent flood of sparkly vampires from Twilight, and the tormented “good” vampires found on TV and in books such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, is enough to make a blood-and-guts vampire fan stake him or herself.  American Vampire is a promising start to bringing back the plain, old-fashioned, evil “I have come to suck your blood” vampire.  The book is divided, telling two different tales. The first, set in 1925 Los Angeles, introduces Pearl, an aspiring actress and movie extra. After she catches the leading man’s eye and is invited to a special party of old world vampires, she is left to die, and is turned by Skinner Sweet.   The second tale is set in Sidewinder, Colorado in 1880. A train transporting the notorious criminal Skinner Sweet is on its way to take him to his execution, including one very interesting spectator who is averse to the sun. Skinner is “killed”, but in the process has some vampire blood spilled on him, which turns him into a new type of vampire, an American vampire.     The book alternates between Pearl’s and Skinner’s tales, with Skinner’s story providing the background for Pearl’s situation.   The end result is a battle between the new American vampires and the old traditional blood suckers.

     Rafael Albuquerque has done a great job of creating the look and feel of both time periods and has created some foreboding imagery.   Stephen King takes the criminal of the Old West in Skinner Sweet and ratchets him up a notch in evil.   Scott Snyder, who writes Pearl’s story, does an excellent job and holds his own in tale and maintains a constant feel with King’s story.  

   American Vampire offers up some violence, minor nudity, and some gore.  The series is suggested for mature readers.  For librarians, this is a must-have title to add to your collection.   Not only do you have the draw of Stephen King, and one of horror’s most iconic creatures, but told in an effective tale with great art. 

 Contains: Gore, violence, little nudity



Victorian Undead #2-6 by Ian Edginton with art from Davide Fabbri

Wildstorm, 2009-2010

ISBN: 9781401228408

Available: New

Trade paper back release October, 2010

    The saga continues as famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson find themselves in the middle of a zombie plague. It is up to Holmes to uncover the source of the undead before they engulf all of London and he finds himself face to face with an enemy he thought dead.   The folks at Wildside have done a fantastic job of bringing the undead masses to England while keeping the focus on Holmes.  While there are a few traditional Holmes moments in the series, Holmes also takes on more of an action hero role with more battles and physical actions versus exhibiting the power of deductive reasoning.  While it is understandable given the context of the story it would have been nice to see more of those moments.
    Victorian Undead brings forth some excellent zombie art with all the gore that comes with it and a good story to boot. It comes along at an excellent time, as the graphic novel of Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies has been released and this would make a fine complement.   It is important to note that Victorian Undead is not a mash-up, where a classic book has additional content added to it by another author.  Rather, this is an imaginative Sherlock Holmes pastiche, which takes the familiar characters of Watson and Holmes and throws them into the incredibly popular zombie plague.   This is a highly recommended title for libraries when it comes out in trade paperback in October.  While a fun story on its own, it could also be paired with the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes, other Sherlock Holmes pastiches, and other graphic novels such as The Hound of the Baskervilles (Illustrated Classics): A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Ian Edginton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and I.N.J. Culbard.



I, Zombie #2 by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred
Vertigo Comics, 2010           
           In this installment of I, Zombie, we begin to see a little more of the lives of Gwen and her friends.  Scott, the were-terrier, is an I.T. guy at a retirement center and unfortunately has to take a bit of ribbing from his co-workers when he has to turn them down for a night out.  We see Gwen is a bit of an artist, as she is painting what she sees from Fred’s memories (the murder victim we were introduced to last month).  The painting helps Gwen make sense of the memories she’s seeing….as well as introducing us to our first villain.  As for the paintball business, we learn about the vampires who own and run Blood Sports Paintball…and I for one love them!  What’s not to love about independent, entrepreneurial women…even if they are vampires?  And last, but not least, we learn a little bit more about our agents….mostly just their names and the fact that they are hunters of the supernatural.
           If you remember from my review of I, Zombie #1, I liked what I had read to that point….as a matter of fact, I liked it so much I went out and bought myself the second issue at my local comic shop.  The story is original and different from anything I’ve read so far.  I also like that most of the major characters are female.  As for the artwork, it’s killer, especially the cover art.  If you picked yourself up a copy of the first issue, then I suggest you pick this one up, too.
For mature readers
Review by
Colleen Wanglund



I, ZOMBIE #1 By Chris Roberson (writer) and Michael Allred (artist)

Vertigo Comics, July 2010


Available: New

    Gwen works as a gravedigger at an eco-friendly cemetery by day.  By night, she sneaks into the cemetery and digs up the bodies to feed.  Gwen is a zombie…but no ordinary zombie.  She functions as a living person, needing to eat brains only once a month to avoid becoming a mindless shambler.  Her friends include Ellie, a ghost who died in the 1960s, and Scott, a were-terrier.  Lately, after feeding she has been experiencing the dead person’s memories, and her most recent meal was a murder victim who is crying out for justice.  Can she right a wrong and make the bad memories go away?

     It’s not necessarily easy to review a comic.  You only get a piece of the story.  That being said, I like what I have read so far.  I think it’s a very cool concept…human-like zombie as detective.  We are also teased with a paintball site run by female vampires.  I like the idea of multiple supernatural creatures in the same story.  At one point there is a conversation between two characters where they talk about “an increase in postmortem activity”.  My daughter read I, Zombie and liked it…and she’s not a horror fan.  When I asked her if she’d continue reading the series, she said she would.  What she told me was she thought it was “different”.  Well, I’ll also continue reading the series.  It sounds like this is going to be a nice little series, so I recommend reading this one.

Contains: some nudity and adult content.

Review by Colleen Wanglund



Bone Chiller:Cold Blooded Chillers by Robert Heske

Heske Horror, 2009

ISBN: 9781427635259

Available: New and Used




2012: Final Prayer by various
Heske Horror,2009

ISBN-13: 978-1427636980

Available: New and Used 

        In a two-for-one review we look into the dark world of independent comic publisher Heske Horror, helmed by the ambitious Robert M. Heske. First up is Bone Chiller, a trade paperback collecting the first three issues of the series Cold Blooded Chillers. Let me preface this review by stating that I know all too well the trials and tribulations associated with navigating the shark-infested waters of publishing small press comics. I beat my head against that wall for well over a decade. I am the first guy in line to herald those who take on the herculean struggle to carve out a niche in the industry, which is why it pains me to see Bone Chiller fall short of the mark. With uneven artwork and a clichéd, heavy handed narrative, Bone Chiller offers little in the way of innovative storytelling.

     Slightly better is 2012: Final Prayer, an anthology that features a wide variety of writers and illustrators, including Bone Chiller scribe and publisher R.M. Heske. These stories too are a minefield of amateur art and writing, filled with the potholed and irregular narratives that often make up the small press landscape. One very noticeable exception is "Bird’s Eye View" by Arlo Hunter and David Edwards, who pack an emotional punch in their allotted space and show real promise by creating something engaging and memorable.

     All in all, the publisher should be credited for his admirable attempt to showcase young and aspiring talent, but greater care should be given to the editorial process as the majority of the stories would have benefited from a guiding hand to reach their full potential.

Review by Bob Freeman




Remains by Steve Niles Illustrated by Kieron Dwyer


ISBN: 978-1932382389

Available: New and Used

      Remains, the latest zombie-themed graphic novel from the prolific Steve Niles, is thematically derivative of the author's earlier works. He uses a very cinematic approach, capturing the essence of a high-octane, adrenaline-fueled summer blockbuster. The story comes across as somewhat clichéd, but is elevated by the kind of snappy dialogue that one comes to expect from Niles. What truly sets Remains apart however is artist Kieron Dwyer’s exceptional illustrations. Muddied colors wash over bold, chaotic linework, bringing a true sense of a world in ruin. It makes for a marvelous visual experience, gruesome and visceral in its execution. While I do wish that more thought had been put into the story, the elegant and barbaric ferocity of the illustrations makes this a must-have for horror aficionados.

Review by Bob Freeman


Hellblazer: Pandemonium by Jamie Delano, ill. by Jock
Vertigo / DC Comics

ISBN: 1401220355

Available: New 

        John Constantine — a chain-smoking, foul mouthed, magic-wielding miscreant — is true to form in the latest graphic novel from long-time Hellblazer scribe Jamie Delano and the visual artist known as Jock. With a palate of muted colors and heavy shadows, Jock’s artistry fits the discontinuity and surreal literary style of Delano, and together they bring Constantine’s world into focus. At times the artwork put me in mind of seventies-era rotoscope animation, suggesting a real world evolving under the canvas. The story, set in war-torn Iraq, is a good one. Pandemonium is more than just a war story with a magical bent, but resonates on a deeper level the true nature of conflict and how those who truly hold power in turn benefit and profit from the war’s continuance. Not recommended as an introduction to Hellblazer (one should look to Original Sins first), but for fans of the character, Pandemonium is a welcome return to a very familiar John Constantine.

Review by Bob Freeman



Dark Entries By Ian Rankin illustrated by Werther Dell'Edera
DC Vertigo, 2009

ISBN: 9781401213862

Available: New and Used

    My favorite comic book of all time is Hellblazer. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, the main character is John Constantine, who began life as a minor character in an issue of Swamp Thing, created by Watchmen author Alan Moore. A former Punk rocker and damned occult magician, Constantine is a badass character- one of the best the genre has ever seen. Vertigo has done an amazing job of maintaining the quality of Hellblazer graphic novels and novels by keeping the caliber of the writers high. Writers for the series have included Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Mike Carey, and John Shirley. Now, international bestselling crime and detective author Ian Rankin adds his name to the list.  Rankin is best known for a series of books about a detective named Inspector Rebus. Although I had never heard of Rankin before, a friend has told me Rankin's writing is criminally good, and another told me he thought Rebus and Constantine would make great drinking buddies.
    The last new Hellblazer work I read was John Shirley's excellent novel Subterranean. This is a very different Constantine book. It's a small hardcover in Vertigo's new crime line, a black and white book with minimalist drawings. I am used to Hellblazer in bold colors, and since the pages are often gore drenched, the change took some getting used to. Rankin weaves a patient Constantine tale, and there is obvious love for the character. At first, Dark Entries seems like a modern re-telling of a classic haunted house tale. John is asked to oversee a reality show that takes place in a haunted mansion. Things start taking on a life of their own and the producers need John to go in and fix things. John suspects that the producers and stars might not be what what they seem, and jumps in to solve the mystery.
    There is an excellent twist that takes the book in a more classic Hellblazer path, but Rankin does a wonderful job building up his story. I'm going to have to check out his books now. Hellblazer fans will really dig this different take on their hero. Pick up this book!

Review by David Agranoff


Blackest Night written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis

DC Comics, 2009-2010

Issues 1-8



        While Marvel Comics was the first to take advantage of zombies' growing popularity by zombifying some of their most beloved heroes in Marvel Zombies, DC has now joined the fetid flesh party with Blackest Night.  Unlike Marvel Zombies, in which Marvel lets the action take place outside the normal settings of the Marvel universe, DC has firmly placed Blackest Night as a seminal event in the DC universe that will impact most major DC titles.

        Blackest Night’s major story tie in/connection to the DC Universe is to concepts introduced in the Green Lantern series, where each of the different colored power rings represents a different emotion.  The Black Lantern and the zombies that are referred to as the black lanterns are seeking to remove all emotion and life from the universe.  In Blackest Night, the physical embodiment of death brings forth the black lantern corps by resurrecting dead heroes with black power rings to eliminate both emotion and life from the universe.  Much like the Marvel Zombies, the resurrected DC heroes seem to be near unstoppable.  The series sports fantastic art, which does an amazing job of making the resurrected, menacing undead look removed from emotion and life.  

      DC has taken a nontraditional zombie storyline, thrown it into a universe of superheroes, and made it work very well.  Without giving away too much of the story, when the series comes out as a TPB it is highly recommended for teen and adult library collections, and will be definitely fun to trot out as part of a larger Halloween display. 



The Chill by Jason Starr with art by Mick Bertilorenzi

Vertigo/DC, 2009

ISBN: 978140121286

Available: New

    Released under the Vertigo Crime imprint,  The Chill follows a series of bizarre occult murders in New York in which the victims seems to have been frozen and dismembered. Eyewitnesses all report descriptions of different women leading each victim away.  It is up to Martin Cleary, formerly of the Boston Police Department, who believes he knows who is causing these deaths, and Joe Pavano, of New York Homicide, who is working the murders, to stop the murderers before they kill again.   The Chill is an excellent paranormal mystery, effectively done in amazing black, white, and gray art.    It isn’t a mystery in the "whodunit" sense, as the perpetrators are revealed to the reader early on. It blends mystery, horror, and action, and could almost fall under the category of dark urban fantasy.   Starr writes a solid creepy tale that stands on its own merits, but Bertilorenzi’s art really brings the tale to life, and the reader is given an excellent visualization of the gore, action, and nudity. This is definitely an adult title in both story and art. It is a very good example of an effective adult graphic novel, rather than the more common comic book/graphic novels with adult themes that also have appeal to a young teen audience.

    The Chill is a hard bound graphic novel that is only slightly bigger than a mass market paperback.  The quality in the story and writing and the nature of the artwork make the case for having a separate section for adult graphic novels, and for having familiarity with graphic novel titles that may have appeal outside of normal graphic novel readers. 





Victorian Undead  by Ian Edginton with art from Davide Fabbri

Wildstorm, 2009

ISBN: 6194128730

Available: New

     Since the success of Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies, there has been an increase in the crossover of zombies into classical literature.  Wildstorm throws its hat into the ring with Victorian Undead, which pits the world's most famous detective against an undead plague.  A meteor strikes London in March of 1854, spreading a mysterious infection.  Jump ahead to London in 1898, where Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Watson are called in to investigate a mysterious case of a man who by all counts is dead, but is still attempting to attack those around him.

    Victorian Undead, issue #1, is a fine appetizer of what promises to be a combination of flesh-munching zombies and one of the most popular figures in detective fiction.  The art is fantastic and captures the feel of Victorian England, and the zombies look wonderfully menacing.  Rather than offering a complete story, or even a cliffhanger ending, this issue really sets up the frame for the series, which will contain six issues.  Libraries will need to wait until the series comes out as trade paper back, but when it does it is recommended based on the first issue.  Librarians and high school teachers may want to note that Victorian Undead has the potential to energize an introduction to Sherlock Holmes for an entirely new group of readers, and might even inspire them to read a little Arthur Conan Doyle.

 Contains: Violence and a little gore


Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 2 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben

Published by DC Comics / Vertigo

ISBN: 978-1-4012-2532-2

Available: New


    There is such a thing as perfection. Alan Moore’s celebrated run on Saga of the Swamp Thing is just such a creation. These are not your father’s comic stories. Labeled as “Sophisticated Suspense” to differentiate these tales from those that still ascribed to the archaic inclusion of the Comic Code Authority stamp, Moore infused Swamp Thing with a literary sensibility. The stories were groundbreaking to say the least, filled with some of the most horrific scenes ever written and permeated with layers of occult knowledge. The artwork is a perfect match to Moore’s words, being at once both visceral and surreal. The volume itself is beautiful to behold, with sharp color reproduction and no degrade in the heavy inking throughout. This collection binds issues 28-34 and Swamp Thing Annual #2. Also included is an introduction by Hellblazer scribe Jamie Delano and a forward by the award-winning wordsmith Neil Gaiman.

    For mature readers, Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 2, would make a fine edition to any private or public collection. In fact, I would almost say that it is compulsory that it be acquired posthaste.

Review by Bob Freeman


North 40, Issues 4-6 by Aaron Williams, illustrated by Fiona Staples

Published by DC Comics / Wildstorm

Continuing where issue 3 left off (the initial three issue arc is reviewed on this site), Aaron Williams again deftly submerges the reader into his Lovecraftian epic. As with the earlier issues in the series, the dialogue and plotting is strained and confusing, but Fiona Staples’ artwork is so sublime and captivating that one scarcely notices, so completely engrossing are the illustrations. These are the things of nightmare, and I dreamt of these horrors over the course of two evenings. As previously described, comparisons can be made to David Lynch in style but filtered through a more modern, dare I say ‘hip’ vernacular. Fans of the bizarro literary genre should take note. This series is for you.

For Mature Readers. North 40 has yet to be collected in any form of trade, but it is only a matter of time.

Review by Bob Freeman



Trick’r Treat written by Marc Andreyko, illustrated by Mike Huddleston, Grant Bond, Christopher Gugliotti, and Fiona Staples,
Wildstorm Press, 2009
ISBN: 781401225889
Available: New

    For those who do not know of the Halloween-themed horror film Trick’r Treat, it has been one of those eagerly anticipated films that seemed like it was never going to be released. The film is finally being released to DVD this October, and Wildstorm has taken advantage of this to release a graphic novel based on the film. Trick’r Treat is a horror anthology of interwoven short stories that take place in the same town during Halloween. The stories are straightforward and creepy. One of the remarkable things about this graphic novel is that although a different illustrator has taken each chapter, they all have done an amazing job of keeping up the same dark and foreboding atmosphere, with a hint of the mischief that comes with Halloween. The stories revolve around themes familiar to readers of horror, but are well written and effective, and will bring a smile to even the most jaded fan of Halloween horror.  Trick’r Treat is an excellent example of the cross media appeal of the horror genre that can and should be exploited more often. It is definitely for adults and should not be placed in the YA section. That being said, it is highly recommended for public libraries and could be easily integrated into a Halloween display for adults.

Contains: Language, violence, gore, and a hint of nudity.


Dusk Vol. 1 by David Doub
David Doub, 2009
ISBN:  978-0-578-01436-4
Available:  New

    Dusk is David Doub’s first graphic novel.  The book has four chapters.  The first chapter jumps into the story without providing much background, but the reader easily picks up that Eve is the willing servant to Vampire Lord Ash, and that the two of them hunt down vampires that are causing trouble in town.  It is also apparent that Eve has a major crush on Ash.  Ash doesn’t want Eve hurt, and tries to get her to leave. In chapter two, Ash goes as far as to attempt to trick her into leaving her "hunter" life.  Eve doesn’t give in to Ash, though, and in chapter three she goes to the Alps in search of a vampire that has made a mistake. In the last chapter, Eve is after a high school boy that is also a "witch".  He is being tormented at school and appears to be trying to cast a spell that will eliminate the situation if Eve doesn't stop him.

     Dusk was penned by multiple artists and I think that the artwork got better throughout the book, which could be due to whom penned which chapter(s).The writing style is very strong , although I did get lost a bit and at times it felt like a little additional information would have clarified the story. Except for sharing some of the same characters, the four chapters do not appear to be connected stories, and it’s difficult to tell if the author intended for the stories to be connected or not. Dusk is a solid first graphic novel, though, and I would read more by David Doub in the future as I see definite potential in his work.  Recommended.
Contains: Violence
Review by Rhonda Wilson


High Moon by David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, and Scott O. Brown.

Zuda Comics, 2009

ISBN: 9781401224622

Available: New

     High Moon presents an intriguing mix of horror and western. High Noon started out as a webcomic at the Zuda Comics site and won a competition where the viewers of the site voted for their favorite comic.  The premise is fairly straightforward. Cole, a criminal who also happens to be a werewolf, is seeking redemption by assuming the identity of a deceased lawman named McTaggart. He travels the West seeking to protect the innocent from various supernatural creatures.  

    High Moon’s artwork is engrossing, and Steve Ellis provides us what can best be described as monsters on steroids.  While Cole sometimes appears as a human with lupine features, as the battle progresses he transforms into a full werewolf, with horns and bone protrusions making him even more menacing.   Gallaher’s story keeps the action flowing and the monsters plentiful, and the Wild West setting is just plain old fun.    The one complaint with High Moon is that some of the backstory on characters and events is provided through flashbacks, without a narrative. Here a picture isn’t worth a thousand words, and a little text wouldn’t have been a bad thing.  Highly recommended

Contains: Violence, suggestive illustrations.


North 40 by Aaron Williams (writer), Fiona Staples (illustrator)

Wildstorm / DC Comics, 2009


Available: New

    What would you get if you were to cross Stephen King’s The Stand with H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and then filter this conjunction through the mind of David Lynch? Welcome to Conover County, a fictional slice of Midwestern Americana. Fiona Staple’s artwork, surreal and sublime, elevates this story above and beyond the words on the page. There are some elements of style and structure that falter at times from a storytelling point of view, but the spirit of the work is such that they can be easily overlooked. North 40 is a graphic tale served well by strong, off-beat characters and a deliciously malevolent and creepy setting. North 40 is populated by fantastical monsters born from your darkest nightmares and a ragtag collection of quirky and compelling heroes that are oddly comfortable and familiar. Recommended for mature readers.

Contains: Violence and gore.

Review by Bob Freeman

Note: Currently North 40 is done as individual comics and is not available as a TPB yet.




Escape of the Living Dead by John Russo

Avatar, 2006
ISBN: 1592910343
Available: New & Used

    This graphic novel is a sequel to Night of the Living Dead, written by the original co-creator, John Russo. The story picks up right where Night of the Living Dead leaves off. Three years have passed and life is finally returning to normal, although the survivors of the original breakout are still haunted by the events and losses that occurred then. The local sheriffs serve a warrant on a mysterious complex and find that some of the zombies from the first attack weren't destroyed. Instead, they were preserved after the government’s experiments were supposed to be over. In an effort to escape the law, the scientist in charge has shipped all his zombie patients to a new location, and of course they just happen to get free and start running amok again.
    All stereotypical aspects of a zombie tale aside, there are excellent visuals in this book, and even in such a small space the characters take on a life of their own (the near understanding of the lead zombie is particularly creepy). Readers will find all the standard bits in this book, from the unrealistically sexy useless woman in danger to characters related to said woman solely to amp up tension.
Contains: Graphic gore, nudity, language, violence

Hollow-Eyed Mary by Andre Duza

Devil's Due, 2009

ISBN: 9781934692585

Available: New

  One hundred percent rage and violence, Hollow-Eyed Mary is a brutal, vivid tale of a woman wronged and killed, and back for revenge. Raised by a twisted doomsday cult, Mary is after more than revenge. She wants to use the end of the world to seize control of what people remain.

  Part Preacher and part The Crow it's a wicked concoction of horror story, art and emotion. The story is dark and twisted and the art is clear and envocative, working much like camera work to add to the drama of the story.  It might be too graphic for public collections, but could be a vital inclusion to private collectors who enjoy horror graphic novels.

Contains: Gore, nudity, sex, language, racial slurs

Review by Michele Lee



The Fall of Cthulhu written by Michael Alan Nelson, illustrated Jean-Jacques Dzialowski

Boom Studios, 2008

ISBN: Vol. 1 – The Fugue      1934506192 

          Vol. 2 – The Gathering  1934506494

                          Vol. 3 – The Gray Man   1934506508


    Putting a modern spin on H.P. Lovecarft’s Cthulhu Mythos, co-creators Nelson and Dzialowski deliver some truly original and terrifying tales sure to tingle the spine of even the most jaded horror fans. Each volume collects six issues of the ongoing monthly series produced by comics newcomer Boom Studios. The storyline has been crafted in such a way that each collected volume is self contained, though the creators have skillfully connected the dots throughout, providing a much larger picture when viewed as a whole. The plotting and scripting is tight and has a very edgy, cinematic feel, complemented by truly remarkable draftsmanship. The Fall of Cthulhu is a wildly entertaining read that should reach beyond those who are already fans of the comic medium to draw in fans of horror literature as well.
Contains: adult language and situations, graphic violent content.
Review by Bob Freeman


The Chair By Peter Simeti, Illustrator Kevin Christensen, Editor Erin Kohut

Alterna Comics, 2008
ISBN: 0979787424

Available: New

    When I received a copy of "The Chair" for review, I was rather excited. The cover is well drawn, although the printing on my copy seems to be shifted to the left, cutting the last letter of each of the authors/illustrators names half off. A quick flip through reveals that the entire book is in black and white, a nice touch.
The story follows a man on death row, surrounded by the criminally insane, who is awaiting his final trip down the hallway. The reader will quickly determine that the prison is not all that it seems. The body count is too high, although prisoners are not making trips to the room containing the chair. Reality twists and churns as our perceptions of what is really happening bubbles in the foam.
    The concept of this novel is excellent. Unfortunately, the execution leaves something to be desired. The background artwork is fantastic, but the drawings of people are weak. They are improperly proportioned, and all look similar to each other, making it difficult to distinguish them from each other. Only the main character stands out, and that's just because he has a beard and is almost always sitting. Another negative is the dialogue, which is cryptic and bland. The reader does get the gist of what is going on, but more fluid and specific dialogue would have greatly added to the reader’s enjoyment. Though this is not the worst graphic novel I have read, it certainly does not rank among the best.
Contains: profanity, violence and adult subject matter along the lines of child murder/rape/serial killers.

Review by K D P



Zombie Tales: Oblivion edited by Mark Waid

BOOM! Studios, 2008

ISBN: 1934506524

Available: New

    Zombie Tales: Oblivion collects the first four issues in the comic book series Zombie Tales, in chronological order.  Joe R. Lansdale’s “The War at Home” is a novel length story that combines action and humor nicely. The story takes place in a VA hospital, where a group of amputee veterans(and an extremely buxom nurse) are dealing with a zombie outbreak.  The choice to organize the volume chronologically creates an unfortunate break in the story’s flow, since “The War at Home” is written in several parts across the first three issues, with shorter stories in between . The fourth issue has just one story.  ”Zaambi”, by Terry Morgan, is about a boy’s journey in becoming a warrior in Asia, where zombies have overrun the world. The other stories are a very interesting mix. Standouts include the thoughtful horror in  Christine Boylan’s “Double Portrait”, the tale of an anguished artist in the zombie apocalypse, and the humorous “5 Stars”, by William Messner-Loebs, where a TV show movie reviewer gets a zombie for a co-host.   There are additional short contributions from excellent writers, including Steve Niles, Kim Krizan, Todd Lepre, and Karl Kesel. The art across the book is solid and the stories are enjoyable and offer a different take on the zombie apocalypse. As with the first Zombie Tales title, the stories in this book will offer more for adults than for the target audience of young teens… although somewhere out there a deprived, zombie- loving teen is probably jumping for joy. Highly recommended for public libraries. Recommended for high school library media centers serving large and varied populations.

Contains: Violence and gore.



Hybrid by Peter Kwong art by Pablo Churin and Mary Cataioa

Studio 407, 2009

ISBN: 9781935385004

Available: Pre-order

            Hybrid is the story of two pairs of college students who take a cruise of the Gulf of Mexico and stumble upon an old dilapidated ship with a frightened little girl on board.   When they go to save the girl, they are attacked by an intelligent deadly monstrous aquatic humanoid.  Hybrid has the feel of a classic creature feature. It’s like Creature of the Black Lagoon meets Jeepers Creepers.   For those who are familiar with the tropes of the horror genre, Hybrid won’t cover new ground, but it will entertain with effective storytelling.   For those new to horror Hybrid is a great entry point.  Hybrid is a color graphic novel and artists Pablo Churin and Mary Cataioa make very effective use of black, dark blues, and grays to create a foreboding atmosphere with sea and sky. The creature’s ship, and the creature itself, are drawn with appropriate menace. An enjoyable read, Hybrid is recommended for public libraries and could be an appropriate choice for high school library collections Note: Hybrid is being made into a movie, with filming expected to begin early in 2009.

Contains: gore, violence




Zombie Tales Vol. 1 by Andrew Cosby, John Rogers, Keith Giffen, Michael Alan Nelson, and Johanna Stokes

BOOM! Studios, 2007

ISBN: 1934506028

Available: New and Used


    Zombie Tales is a full color collection of zombie stories.  The authors are a collection of comic book and television writers who take a unique approach and fresh look at the zombie genre.  The stories range from the humorous to the horrific, and some are even touching.  Two of the stories are told in multiple parts. “I, Zombie: Remains of the Day” has three parts and “Dead Meat”, “Deader Meat”, and “Deadest Meat” are all linked.  Standout stories include “Four out of Five”, where the unlikely profession that inadvertently assists in the spread of the zombie plague is responsible for stopping it, and “Daddy Smells Different”, an effective chilling little tale about a four year old whose family has been infected with the zombie plague. 

     The artist varies from story to story. In the case of “I, Zombie: Remains of the Day”, there is a different author for each of the three sections, which dramatically changes the feel of the story. Keith Giffen’s art in the first chapter and Benjamin Roman’s art of the second chapter are both lighter toned and more cartoonish in style than the darker toned art of Fabio Moon in the last installment, giving the reader a somewhat disjointed experience.  The artist of each story does a great job of setting the tone of the story and while it does vary in style it is universally appealing.

     The publisher of Zombie Tales suggests it for teens and up.   While there may be a teen audience for Zombie Tales, this title will probably be more appreciated by adult fans of the zombie genre.   Readers advisory note: this title will probably satisfy those who enjoyed Bits of the Dead edited by Keith Gouveia  or The Undead anthologies of zombie short stories.   Recommended for public library collections. Contains: gore and violence




Jesus Hates Zombies: Yea Though I Walk-vol.1, featuring Lincoln Hates Werewolves by Stepehen Lindsay and Steve Cobb

Alterna Comics, 2008

ISBN: 9780979787485

Available: New

    In this follow up to Jesus Hates Zombies: Those Slack Jaw Blues, we follow Jesus and his zombie friend, Laz, as they try to track down a church of surviving humans in a world where the undead have taken control.. When the angel Gabriel travels to earth to give Jesus directions to the church, Gabriel is bitten and infected with the zombie infection, which makes him want to hunt down the son of God. At the end of the book is an author’s note, which introduces an original take on the story by artist Lauren Monardo.  Yea Though I Walk- vol 1, is followed by a new story, Lincoln Hates Werewolves, in which Honest Abe does battle with a bunch of lycanthropes. Lincoln Hates Werewolves is a fun little story, and a nice bonus to the story of Jesus Hates Zombies, which continues its tongue and cheek story, with just the right mix of humor and action and excellent art.    Recommended

Contains: Zombie violence, language



Jesus Hates Zombies created by Stephen Lindsey et al.

Alterna Comics, 2007

ISBN: 9780979787454

Available: New

            In Jesus Hates Zombies, a zombie plague has engulfed the planet.  God, having had enough of the plague, sends his only son, Jesus, to save some souls and right things.  Jesus in this book is a violent, cursing, and in one case, smoking, savior. He is feeling slightly aggressive and is looking forward to a little zombie butt kicking.  Jesus returns to Earth, and, while he does very little soul saving, he does fight the hordes of undead. He attacks zombie clowns, zombies at the bowling alley, and the teeming dead at a local jail.   Jesus is assisted by “Laz”, a zombie who recognizes Jesus and follows him around.  

             An interesting feature of this graphic novel is that each chapter of the book is illustrated by a different artist, and some have different authors. While each artist and author has an individual style, there’s a continuity of story that is very impressive. There is also an additional story by Stephen Lindsey, “Low Rent Housing”, with contributions by a number of artists, with each artist providing an individual interpretation of the story.  Jesus Hates Zombies is an amazingly entertaining zombie fest with a creative premise that will offend some readers and delight others. The artists and authors dive in with reckless abandon, and hilarious results. Highly recommended.


Zombies Calling! by Faith Erin Hicks

SLG Publishing, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1593620790

Available: New

    Zombies Calling! is a fun black and white graphic novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously, with illustrations similar in style to those in Jamie Farr’s Xombie. Joss is a university student who loves zombie movies.  She has even pieced together the rules for surviving a zombie outbreak from all the movies she’s seen. When an actual zombie outbreak happens it is up to Joss to use her knowledge of the zombie rules to keep her and her friends Sonnet and Robyn alive. Although Hicks could have used more zombie tropes, Zombies Calling! is a fun filled romp.   Recommended to any fan of zombie movies and zombie graphic novels as well has public libraries.   Contains: Zombie violence




The Unwanted by Diablo, Mark Michaels, Juan Romera, and Jason Arthur

Diablo Publications, 2008


Availability: Pre-order

            In The Unwanted, a demon is inadvertently released in a juvenile detention center when a staffer brings home an amulet from Tibet.  As the demon proceeds to hunt down the kids, a teacher in the juvenile detention center and a gang of street tough kids team up to try to find a way to defeat the demon before it can kill them.   The plot will be a familiar one to genre fans, but the storytelling, character development, and plot pacing in this graphic novel are excellent. The black and white artwork is effective and will have a strong impact on readers.  The Unwanted is a solid horror graphic novel that both horror fans and those who might not normally read horror graphic novels will enjoy. Recommended for public libraries.

Contains: Violence, gore, language

Note: The review is part of the "Spring into Terror" project, check out other reviews of horror titles available for reading for this Spring at our Spring into Terror project page.



Weirdling by Mike Dubisch

Strange Fear, 2007

ISBN:  978097898113

Available: New

    Anna Mandretta is a crew member on a space ship in the middle of fighting a war against the alien Xax.   She starts dreaming that she is a famous surgeon at Miskatonic Hospital centuries earlier dealing with a child who is supposedly the key to letting the Cthulhu god Azag-Thoth loose into the world.  Anna’s dreams become more frequent, eating away at her sanity, and she must discover what they mean before she completely loses her grip on reality. Dubisch’s black and white drawings are compelling, and the story is an interesting and well-told tale.   Fans of Lovecraft and Cthulhu will enjoy this title.  Weirdling is an excellent combination of both science fiction and Lovecraftian horror that is worth adding to any pubic library collection. Recommended.

Contains: science fiction violence



28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles ISBN: 0061236764

Harper Paperbacks, 2007

Availability: New

    28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a graphic novel of the events surrounding the movie 28 Days Later, about a virus released in London that turns the infected into maniac killers.  The graphic novel was issued when the sequel, 28 Weeks Later,  was released, as a bridge between the two films, and is an original work, not a novelization. 28 Days Later: The Aftermath consists of vignettes that illustrate different facets of the zombie plague: the development of the Rage virus, the fate of a family that gets caught up during the outbreak, the story of a loner who is fighting not just the infected but another survivor, and, finally, the internment of the survivors in a quarantine camp by the authorities, who have regained control of London.  Each of these brief stories could have easily been expanded into a full length graphic novel. 28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a visually impressive work with fantastic art.  The depiction of a destroyed London and the degenerating infected is shocking, and zombie lovers will feel right at home.   Recommended for public library collections. Readers advisory note: The images in this book are graphic and gory in nature, and are not appropriate for children or young teens.

Contains: Gore



The Fog by Scott Allie, Todd Herman, Andy Owens, and Dave Stewart

Dark Horse, October, 2005
ISBN: 1593074239

Available: New and Used

    A prequel to the events in John Carpenter's classic movie, "The Fog," this graphic novel tells the tale of a small seaside town where a group of Chinese immigrants have arrived after fleeing their village after a terrible curse that comes in the fog kills many of their residents.   Once the fog arrives, the Americans in the town start to develop red sores all over their bodies. It is up to Richard Blake, the wealthiest member of the town, to end the crisis.  This seems like it was meant to be an origin story of the Fog and its curse, but the cause of the curse is never really revealed. The story needed to be better thought out-  even as a stand-alone graphic novel, there are many unanswered questions that leave the story incomplete.  For example, there is a plot line about a missing Chinese mineworker in the town, but when we finally see the mineworker's corpse, we don't know why he died or what it means.  The Fog had a lot of potential either as a prequel or a stand-alone story, but the finished story disappointed on both counts. Contains: 



30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

IDW Publishing, 2004

ISBN 0971977550

Available: New and Used

    Barrow, Alaska is the northernmost inhabited town in North America. The sun doesn't set from May to August, and it doesn't rise from November to December.  It is this November to December time when the town is in total darkness that our story takes place.  A group of vampires decide that Barrow would make a perfect place for 30 days of serious bloodletting and it is up to the town's sheriff and his deputy wife to try to save the populace.   30 Days of Night should be considered a core of any horror graphic novel collection.   It serves as an excellent example of combining strong writing and excellent art work to tell the tale.   Contains Violence and gore.


Criminal Macabre: A Cal McDonald Mystery by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

Dark Horse Books, 2004

ISBN: 1569719357

Available: New and Used

    Criminal Macabre introduces us to Cal McDonald, a hard-drinking, drug-using detective with a ghoul sidekick by the name of Mo'lock.  McDonald has to uncover who is behind a plot to turn the usual Vampires and Werewolves of Los Angles into super monsters.  I wanted to check out more of Niles/Templesmith's work after reading 30 Days of Night and ran into their Cal McDonald series.  Niles and Templesmith have created a fantastic character in Cal McDonald who takes on dealing with the supernatural bad guys that the rest of society doesn't believe exists.  A recommended read.

Contains: Violence



Last Train to Deadsville: A Cal McDonald Mystery by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

Dark Horse Books, 2005

ISBN: 1593071078

Available: New and Used

    Cal McDonald thought he would get a chance to recover from a tussle with an angry mummy- instead, a possessed teen and a couple of demons stop by for a visit.   Cal and Mo'lock then have to go and visit the town the teen came from to find  out what havoc has been unleashed.  A continuation of the story of Cal McDonald, a private investigator who specializes in dealing with the supernatural world, this time there is a bit more humor added into Last Train to Deadsville  than Criminal Macabre with some fantastically funny dialog. The art is top notch and I would definately add this to any horror graphic novel collection.  Contains: Violence



Hack/Slash: The First Cut by Tim Seeley, Stefano Caselli,  and Federica Manfredi

Devil's Due Publishing, October 31, 2005

ISBN:   1932796428

Available: New and Used

    A collection  of the first few Hack/Slash stories put out by Devil's Due. Hack and Slash follow the adventures of Cassie Hack the daughter of a Slasher (think Michael Meyer) who has dedicated her life to track down and kill Slashers with her partner Vlad, a huge monster of a man who looks very much like a Slasher himself.  The three episodes included are "Euthanized," where Cassie and Vlad take on a Slasher than can control dead animals, "Girls Gone Dead," which is Spring Break with a nasty slasher, and "Comic Book Carnage." where famous comic book artists are ending up dead.   I sought out  Hack/Slash one I had first heard of the premise, I was expecting something that might be Buffy the Vampire Slayer like and was pleasantly surprised to find something that was a fair bit darker but still with the occasional sense of humor.   Recommended read. Contains violence.


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Zombified Graphic Novels

 The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman *core title

Remains by Steve Niles and Kieron Dwyer

Zombies Calling! by Faith Erin Hicks

Jesus Hates Zombies created by Stephen Lindsey

Zombies!: Feast by Shane McCarthy

 Marvel Zombies by Robert Kirkman

Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness by John Layman

Zombies!: Eclipse Of The Undead (Zombies!) by El Torres

Zombee by Miles Gunter

Deadworld: Dead Killer by Gary Reed  , Ron McCain (Illustrator)

Deadworld: Requiem For The World by Gary Reed, Vince Locke, and Dalibor Talajic

Deadworld: Bits and Pieces by Gary Reed, Stuart Kerr, Vince Locke, and Mark Bloodworth

Escape Of The Living Dead Volume 1 by John Russo  , Dheeraj Verma (Author

Zombieworld: Champion Of The Worms (Zombieworld) by Mike Mignola  , Pat McEown  

Zombie World: Winter's Dregs And Other Stories (Zombie World)

by Bob Fingerman  , Kelley Jones  , Pat Mills  , Gordon Rennie  , Tommy Lee Edwards  , J. Deadstock  , Gary Erskine  

Warren Ellis Blackgas Limited Edition by Warren Ellis  , Max Fiumara  




Vampire Graphic Novels

Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat: The Graphic Novel by Faye Perozich
Dracula (Graphic Revolve (Graphic Novels)) by Bram Stoker, Michael (RTL) Burgan, and Jose Alfonso Ocampo Ruiz
Baltimore,: Or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden

30 Days of Night by Steve Niles
Dark Days (30 Days of Night, Book 2) by Steve Niles , Ben Templesmith
Return to Barrow (30 Days of Night, Book 3) by Steve Niles
Bloodsucker Tales, Volume 1 (30 Days of Night, Book 4)by Steve Niles , Matt Fraction , Ben Templesmith , Kody Chamberlain
Three Tales (30 Days of Night, Book 5) by Steve Niles
Spreading The Disease (30 Days of Night, Book 6) by Dan Wickline , Alex Sanchez
Eben And Stella (30 Days of Night, Book 7) by Steve Niles , Kelly Sue DeConnick , Justin Randall
Red Snow (30 Days of Night, Book 8) by Ben Templesmith
30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow (30 Days of Night) by Steve Niles, Bill Sienkiewicz