Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while or happens to be lucky enough to know me IRL will know that over the past year or so I have become somewhat of a comic book fan.
Yeah I know. I couldn’t get any cooler tbh.
It started out with trade paperbacks (these are the collected volumes) – but back in May, following my first Free Comic Book Day experience, I got suckered into that single issue life. I blame my local comic book shop, tbh. So now, I have what’s called a “pull list”, where the shop basically puts aside new single issue comics of my choosing when they come in and I can pick them up and binge.
For those not privvy to comic book lingo at all, single issues are the comics whilst trade paperbacks (TPBs) or graphic novels are collected versions that pull together a number of the comics that form a story arc. But anyway, I’m boring you with technicalities now when what I wanted to do was share with you my current favourite single issue comics that I’ve been working my way through.
You’ll notice one or two recurring themes in the comics I’ve pictured above – the obvious being that they all feature the colour red. I’d say it’s coincidental, but the other thing they all share in common is that they have elements of horror to them so y’know, the red is starting to make a whole lotta sense, isn’t it? Horror comics are my fave.
The comics I’ve chosen are not just my absolute faves to burn through at the moment, they’re also by my two favourite distributors right now – Image Comics and Aftershock. They are killing it with their catalogue of titles.
Kill or Be Killed
Kill or Be Killed was a comic I knew I was going to love from issue one just from the basic plot. To keep it short and avoid any spoilers, it’s about a guy who is forced to kill bad people. Who (or what) forces him to do so was an unexpected twist early on, but even knowing more now about his “curse”, every issue is still super engaging because the main character is oddly relatable.
The artwork and storytelling are both totally awesome, and you’ll probably like this comic if you’re a fan of the Dexter TV show/books.
Another thing I love about Kill or Be Killed is reading the section after the story that is written by Ed Brubaker, who also writes the comic itself. He basically shares an insight into what he’s been up to (including his favourite comics, TV shows etc etc) and depending on how much of a nerd you are you’ll either find it pretty cool or weird. Guess where I sit on that scale.
Black Eyed Kids (B.E.K)
B.E.K makes my pull list because it’s grim but dares to avoid conventional horror and goes with a slightly supernatural twist. No witches and whatnot, but something feels “not of this world” about it. Again, the artwork in this title is great and although I prefer the story to Kill or Be Killed, B.E.K is an interesting concept that I look forward to seeing continue to play out.
Before picking up the comic, I had read the below synopsis and was totally sold instantly.
“It’s dark. You’re alone. Then there’s a knock. You open the door to find two seemingly normal kids. They ask to come in, to borrow your phone to call for a ride. You find yourself overcome with an intense fear that you can’t explain. And then you notice their eyes…black…SOLID black. You want to run, but now they’re inside. It’s too late. They have you.”
B.E.K plays on that classic “children are scary” trope, but creates a few unique twists on it that makes it even more sinister. You’ll probably like this if you happened to see the movie The Children (if you haven’t, you should also watch that as well) or any other horror movie that puts you off ever wanting kids.
Back to another Image pull list title now! Glitterbomb sounds like a fun and friendly title right? Like a Lush product or something. UH. NUH. Glitterbomb is about a middle-aged actress searching for her next job in an industry that values younger and prettier people. Her frustrations with this manifest into something quite dark and violent and OMG GUYS I LOVE IT.
It’s super bizarre, but in the best way, and I look forward to each new instalment. Like your horror more monstrous with a few flecks of gore? You’ll like this comic.
Aaaand we’re back to Aftershock again! I added Animosity to my pull list because it sounded like a similar(ish) concept to another comic I’ve read before called Rover Red Charlie. RRC is basically an apocalyptic tale where the world has literally gone to the dogs – people are turning on each other (in particularly violent ways), and Rover Red Charlie follows three canine pals as they deal with having to let go of what they knew before.
Animosity on the other hand is where animals “wake up” and turn on the humans to exact revenge for the “slavery” they endured before. It follows one dog and his girl on their journey to safety. It turns out there are quite a lot of differences between RRC and Animosity but it’s still a lot of fun to get a story from a dog’s eye view.
Although the artwork in this title isn’t really anything special, the story is definitely intriguing and I see me continuing this title for a little while yet. If you’d like to see an interesting take on the bond between human and animal and how it may not always exactly go to plan, then give this one a go.
Would you (or do you) read any of these comics? Any others I should add to my pull list?