Halloween: The Gathering Week Four

by Nathan Koffler on October 08, 2018

For this week of Halloween: The Gathering, I decided to take us all the way down south to New Orleans, which is also my hometown! This city has a rich history of music, food, community, and of course, voodoo. The city’s record of voodoo has caused it to be a location for a lot of different media and plenty of it focuses on the witchcraft that is so excitingly spooky. 

So for my fourth week of horror comic book recommendations, I chose three different series that take place in New Orleans. These three current series may not be the scariest, but they are dark and sinister, which makes them more great reads for this Halloween season.

Bone Parish

Let’s begin by talking about comic book writer Cullen Bunn and his ability to write fantastic horror comics. Bunn can write creepy stories in a way that is so unique to horror comics. I recently went to a horror comics panel at Dragoncon that featured some amazing horror comic writers and artists. One of the things that they mentioned was important for all horror media but especially horror comic books was pacing. Since I heard that, I always notice the pacing of horror comics and can see when poor pacing makes bad comics and good pacing sets the right tone. 

Cullen Bunn has mastered pacing within his horror comic books and I really think that it makes his comics both exciting and creepy. His new series Bone Parish is about a family in New Orleans who have discovered a way to create a drug from the remains of dead people. When this drug is taken, the user experiences things that the dead person they are snorting would experience. It is quite bizarre and the idea is so unique and really amazing. 

Now this series isn’t scary like other horror comics or even like other comics written by Bunn, but this series is dismal and pretty intense. Like I said above, Bunn’s pacing in this series so far has been great because the three issues move just fast enough to make this dark story exciting and just slow enough to create the ominous tone that I feel makes them great Halloween season comic book reading. 

The third issue just recently came out on September 26 and the fourth will be out on Halloween day. So use these weeks leading up to Halloween by catching up and jump on the fourth issue when that glorious day gets here.

Shadowman (2018)

Shadowman by Valiant has had a long history in comic books and has wonderfully been rebooted this year. This new Shadowman series is seven issues deep now and those issues have been full of some intense storytelling. 

In the new series, Shadowman is refining the loa in him and how he controls it. He is using the power he has to fight the evil in New Orleans and all of this evil is being sprinkled throughout the city by Baron Samedi. This new series also reveals a lot about the origin of Shadowman and I don’t just mean Jack Boniface. Andy Diggle takes us far back to the origin of the Shadowman itself and this trip back in time is riveting.

Like Bone Parish, this series isn’t necessarily scary but all of the evil and other wordly places we see are gloomily offbeat and at times even psychedelic. Andy Diggle writes this story so well but what makes this series even more menacing is Renato Guedes’ artwork. There are so many pages within these seven issues that are both gorgeous and sinister. 

The series may seem like just another story about an anti-hero fighting bad guys but it is so much more than that. This story is actually full of dark themes and it is delivered in an absolutely thrilling manner. Once again, these characteristics make these seven issues awesome reads in October. The first seven issues are out and the eighth comes out October 24th, so get caught up!

Jook Joint

The brand new series Jook Joint is only one issue deep at this point and that issue just came out last week. But if I am going to take you down to New Orleans for some horror comic books, Jook Joint and it’s one issue absolutely need to be talked about. 

Tee Franklin’s new series is both disheartening and horrifying and should be read this month for some unsettling comic book reading. The first issue introduces a story that is full of fiction and magic, but what makes this series so scary is the truth written behind that fiction. Tee Franklin is using her experiences from being a survivor of abusive relationships and is writing it into a story about evil in New Orleans,

With the series only having one issue out so far, I don’t want to give too much away but I want you to know that it is distressing, it is gory, and it is very creepy and it is perfect for comic book reading this Halloween season. The issue contains a trigger warning at the beginning but I will also warn you a little bit now that this series shows some physical and sexual assault. If this may be triggering for you, you should probably skip it. But if you want to support an amazing comic book writer, check out all of the other stuff Tee Franklin has done which you can find a list of here.

We took a trip down to the Big Easy this week but it was simply a quick glimpse into the city. I suggest taking the full tour by checking out these three incredible series. They will help get you into the Halloween spirit by showing you some of the terrifying things New Orleans can conjure up. Let me know what you thought about these recommendations by tweeting me @nathankoffler.