Top 10 Favorite Occult, Horror, and/or Supernatural Comics
by Bob Freeman
- Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella
Warren Publishing was a staple for me growing up. Horrific, and oft times titillating, Warren’s triumvirate of black and white magazines sported lurid covers by the likes of Frank Frazetta with interiors by some of the greatest artists of the era including Gene Colan, Neal Adams, Gray Morrow, John Severin, and Alex Toth.
- Ghosts, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, The Witching Hour
DC Comics’ run of horror titles in the 70s were highly coveted by me. Mainly for the covers, many of which fell from the pencil of Neal Adams. Every one of those titles listed above, and the other books of their ilk like Secrets of Haunted House, Secrets of Sinister House, Ghost Castle, et al, birthed stories in my head by their covers alone.
- Locke & Key
Gabriel Rodríguez and Joe Hill delivered one of the most original and exciting comic series in years with their tale of the Locke family and their connection to Lovecraft, Massachusetts and Keyhouse.
- Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla reinvented Archie comics with the zombie-themed Afterlife. Even better is Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack’s take on Sabrina. I grew up on Archie, so when their offered up this new spin, especially the Lovecraftian bent that Sabrina has taken, I was all in.
- Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf By Night, The Son of Satan, Frankenstein’s Monster
I would not be the man I am today if not for Marvel’s horror run. Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf By Night were particular obsessions. While DC’s covers were more inspiring, it was Marvel’s stories that swept me off my feet.
Alan Moore is unmistakably a genius. A mad genius, but a genius just the same. Promethea is a brilliant exploration of magic, mysticism, and more, mindblowingly illustrated by JH Williams III.
- Dr. Strange
Doctor Strange melted my brain as a kid. I remember my mom bought me a box of old comics in the early 70s and in it were a hoary host of Strange comics. Mind-bending and mind-expanding, this was what I wanted to be when I grew up: a sorcerer supreme.
Bless you, Neil Gaiman. What a wild ride Sandman turned out to be. Deeply steeped in myth and magic, Gaiman explored the multiverse, weaving an intricate web of poetry in comic form.
- Alan Moore’s Lovecraft Cycle
Have I mentioned Alan Moore’s brilliance? His Lovecraft Cycle, which includes The Courtyard, Neonomicon, and Providence, is a real tour de force. Jacen Burrows really shines here, bringing Moore’s perverse vision to life.
- John Constantine, the Hellblazer
Constantine’s a real piece of work. Created by Alan Moore as a working-class magician, he evolved to become the very epitome of the modern occult detective. John’s a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking con man. He’s also a survivor whose friends have a tendency to get dead, cursed, or worse.
When Constantine is at its best, there is no better occult horror out there. Sadly, the best of his run, being the original 300 issues under Vertigo, was swept away, and the Constantine after has been far more integrated into the DC Universe. More’s the pity. He works best in a world all his own (well, not totally alone. I like the occasional appearance from other DC occult “heroes”, especially Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon).
If I were given the DC reins for a bit, the first thing I would do would be to establish an Occult Universe, completely separate from that populated by Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest.
About the author: Bob Freeman is an author, artist, and paranormal adventurer whose previous novels include Shadows Over Somerset and Keepers of the Dead.
A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.
He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.
Mr. Freeman can be found online at OccultDetective.com
Book Synopsis for First Born: From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe,this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.
First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…