Not too late to check out these top horror comics for scary storytelling

BlackBird Hunting is a fantasy horror comic by Bri Crozier. It follows 15-year-old Dione, daughter of a priest and a delirious presumed dead witch. Dione dreams of joining the inquisition so she can start over without her mother’s history hanging over her, but she can only join if she proves she isn’t a witch. There is a plague in town and state-officials are being murdered and the town is eager to blame her. Dione has to solve who is behind both before the town incites their justice. 

This comic is fairly recent and only has 16 episodes so far, but I’m hooked already. The suspense of the mystery being unraveled against the time bomb of the town’s suspicions and Dione’s underdog character has me desperate for the next episode. Dione is also a person of color and in a relationship with a girl. Queer and POC representation is rare in mainstream horror, so it’s refreshing to see a complex main character who is both, and the relationship between her and her girlfriend, Hannah, has a perfect mix of love, conflict and personality that makes their relationship feel real. The art is all hand drawn with watercolor and crayon textures that gives the story an almost nostalgic feeling of childhood. That nostalgic feeling makes the story’s scary moments feel uncanny and eerily familiar, bending textures we associate with childhood with dark magic and murder, and it adds to the story’s theme of childhood abuse and intergenerational trauma. 

The main flaw so far is that the text is difficult to read at times. The texture from the background goes into the speech bubbles, the text is too small or the text is too light. Other than that, it’s a good thrill for Halloween. The content has content warnings for themes of familial abuse, colonization, cultural genocide, generational trauma, xenophobia, death, dehumanization and self-destruction. It involves graphic, violent imagery, blood and gore, so viewer discretion is advised. Updates are bi-weekly, and it is hosted on Webtoon, Tapas and the artist’s website. Tapas’ format makes the panels larger, which can negate difficulties with the text (Webtoon/Tapas has gore blurred, the website has gore explicitly shown).

City of the Sun is a dystopia horror manga by Omi and their partner Squiggles. The south is trying to retain a sense of normalcy after falling into an economic crisis, an epidemic, magic intertwining with the real and a mysterious serial killer dubbed “The Mississippi Mauler” tearing apart the south limb by limb. A killer who took something away from Riland, our zombified protagonist, joins a vampire named Aven in search for revenge. As long as he helps her out as well. 

This comic does have a different format on Tapas than most comics. Currently, issue one is done and is published like it is one whole series, but in November the series is going to come back with issue two, which will be a separate series, so don’t think the series ended. It’s only the beginning. 

City of the Sun is heavily influenced by Shoujo manga from writing style to art style. It combines drama and comedy in a way that makes the story feel grounded in reality despite all of the undead. So far, it isn’t very scary besides some of the visuals, making it great for beginners. One of the other main characters, Manny, is fat and one of the other characters has made fatphobic comments about it. Because the author keeps their life private, I can’t claim that this choice was for fatphobia or realism, and I also can’t promise that readers who are fat won’t be offended by these comments no matter what the author intended, so reader discretion is advised for that, along with the swearing and occasional graphic visuals. Otherwise, Manny is a very interesting character and clearly has more depth than “funny fat guy,” even if his character is occasionally a butt of a joke.

The next issue will begin in November. You can read the series on Tapas or on Comic Fury. I would recommend Tapas if you prefer reading on your phone because its format is better for scrolling. 

Counting Sheep is a Webtoon Original horror comic by the creator of Melvina’s Therapy and GemoryLand, A.Rasen. Caleb is tormented by the same dream constantly, and what appears to be a simple nightmare starts having devastating effects on the real world as the residents of Blackgrove start to face an epidemic of nightmares. Caleb and his friend Pao have to unravel what is causing the nightmares and how they are spreading before it’s too late.

Counting Sheep is a more typical horror comic compared to the first two since it gets into the horror immediately and isn’t dual-genre. The realistic art style creates some graphic and terrifying monsters. The mystery of the nightmares is compelling, and as I said with BlackBird Hunting, a queer person of color being the protagonist in a horror story is rare in mainstream horror, especially since Caleb is a Black bisexual teen. 

It has the potential to be great, but I do take issue with the treatment of female characters within the comic. They seem weirdly sexualized. For example in episode 12, one female character has a nightmare that involves an uncomfortably sexual ear wax removal … It hasn’t contained any full-out erotica, and based on how it is aimed at teenagers I don’t believe there will be anything explicit, but because it’s aimed at teenagers, it’s irresponsible to be using female characters to subtly appeal to fetishes and it alienates female readers. Horror is very familiar with sexualizing female characters in dehumanizing ways, so it’s disappointing to see a format that has more freedom use it to spread that more. I’m still putting it on the list because of the potential the series has. Maybe some readers will think the plot and representation are worth reading through the sexual things for, maybe the sexual stuff will stop as the series matures (especially if we complain). I would definitely suggest giving the series a shot before disregarding it. 

Dead Water Club is a horror/mystery comic by Cassy Fallon/@Cass_DWV about a group of messy kids coming to age as they reel against the death of their friend while they discover what was behind his death. Similar to the previous read, it is a more classic horror/mystery comic and gets into the horror aspects quickly. The cast is realistic in their grief and youth, the plot is suspenseful, the art is realistic for chilling visuals and it is full of movement. The art, the characters and the plot just feels so alive. It also contains LGBT+ representation. It’s a bit too early to label the characters, and I’m not sure if the author will label them, but one of the main characters is canonically a trans girl, making it another inclusive horror comic where the token LGBT+ character doesn’t die immediately and actually has depth.


I actually have no complaints about the comic so far. I do have to point out though that it contains imagery and a plot that may trigger readers such as blood and gore, violence against children, trauma and mental illness, transphobia and gender dysphoria. This is one of the more scary webcomics on this list, so if you are looking for something only slightly spooky I wouldn’t recommend it. If you are looking for more intense horror and can handle the content, I highly recommend this. It is available on Webtoon Tapas, and it has its own website. Personally, I liked the website better because you can see more of the author’s comments and insight on it, but the series is actually updated more frequently on Webtoon and Tapas, so you have to read it there. 

The Dummy’s Dummy is a horror manga and a webtoon original by Mochamura that follows a physic little girl and a living puppet as they destroy all of the evil toys her grandfather made. Don’t let the cute art style fool you. The comic uses cuteness to defy expectations and turn something as innocent as toys into eerie monsters that turn your nostalgia against you. It is also a rare example of a PG horror story because despite the viscous battles the two main characters face, the monsters don’t have blood or organs for there to be any gore, making it more friendly to sensitive readers. 

The story also contains minor representation as the protagonist, Yumi, is being taken care of by a sapphic couple after her grandfather died, and her babysitter is a Black girl who is portrayed realistically and drawn in a respectful way. Both of these are notable because it’s hard to find manga that is respectful towards LGBT+ characters and Black characters. I didn’t notice any written or artistic flaws in the series, though I admit I didn’t completely catch up before writing this, and it is still a new series. I would still say this is a great horror comic to get into.

It is currently only being published on Webtoon. The author did start it on Tapas, but that series got discontinued.

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