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Halloween: The Gathering Week Six

by Nathan Koffler on October 25, 2018


We’re officially only about a week away from Halloween which means that this wonderful season is so close to being taken away from me. In the meantime, we’ve still got several days to get some Halloween season comic book reading done. This week, I’m going to tell you about two of my absolute favorite horror comic book series. I chose these two because they both have so much to offer. They are both packed full of everything that makes storytelling exciting and I think that they’ll fit into the season perfectly. 

American Vampire

American Vampire is a series written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King which means that it basically can’t not be a fantastic horror comic book series. In the foreword, Stephen King says that this story is about making vampires scary again and they have done that successfully. 

This series is a story about a vampire named Skinner Sweet but like great vampire stories, it’s as much about Skinner Sweet as it is about his victims. Whether those victims were turned into vampires by Sweet himself or the person they loved was turned into a vampire by Sweet, the story explores these avenues. 

The structure of the storytelling in American Vampire is brilliant because it is almost like a puzzle. It skips back and forth between years and between characters while the reader pieces it all together. I don’t always love this type of storytelling because if a writer isn’t incredibly talented, it just becomes confusing and hard to follow. Fortunately, Scott Snyder and Stephen King are both skilled writers who have executed this style beautifully. 

My favorite thing about this vampire story is obviously the vampires. The vampires in this series are terrifying and intense and extremely brutal. Every panel of a vampire with it’s insane killing mode turned on is chilling and amazing. Artist Rafael Albuquerque is to thank for this because his illustrations make these vampires so horrifying to me.

This vampire story isn’t full of romantic teenagers but like most good vampire stories, there is a small amount of adult romance that makes you identify with the characters a little bit more. There are also heroes and villains throughout the story and those heroes are sometimes the scariest. 

Between the blood-curdling vampires, the tiny bit of romance, the excessive amount of blood and gore, and the drama, American Vampire is maybe the best fitting comic book for this Halloween season. I recommend you spending some time with it before Halloween because it will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.

Preacher

Preacher doesn’t have the scary elements that American Vampire has, but it has demons and some amazing gore which makes it another great Halloween season read. Writer Garth Ennis writes several layers into this story and each layer is disturbing in it’s own way. 

Preacher is about a preacher who realizes that he now has the voice of God despite his growing doubt that God exists. He has tagged along with his ex-girlfriend and a humorous vampire as they set out to search for God and some answers.

The storytelling in this series is amazing and luckily for us, there is blood and violence throughout the story to give it an added excitement. In Preacher Book One alone, which collects issues #1-12, there is so much bizarre and unsettling stuff that it’s hard to believe that Ennis was able to fit so many different things into the same story without it ever getting off of it’s path. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this series has almost any strange and unpleasant thing that you can think of.

It may not cause you to want to sleep with the lights on like American Vampire will, but it will cause you to have some distressing dreams if you read it in bed before you fall asleep. At least, that is what happened to me and trust me, I have learned my lesson. But it is similar to American Vampire in that it possesses so many great horror elements within some of the best comic book storytelling that you can find. 

This is all why you should spend your free time throughout this week devouring Preacher. This series is just what you need this Halloween season that will upset you enough to jumpstart your Halloween spirit. 

We may only have a short amount of time until the end of the Halloween season but it is plenty of time to dive into some horror comic books. Check out these two series and as always let me know what you think by tweeting me at @nathankoffler. 
 

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