With Halloween looming, allow me to suggest thirteen frightening favorites from Fantagraphics Books. Spooky fun for everyone, in no particular order.
Daniel Clowes' modern masterpiece Ghost World eerily conveys the otherworldly cool of 1990s counterculture. Peculia, by Clowes colleague Richard Sala, collects the misadventures of the precocious protagonist of his Evil Eye comic book serial. Northwest native Charles Burns' essential Big Baby anthology of contemporary horror comix includes classics like "Blood Club," "Teen Plague," and "Curse of the Molemen."
Mysterious Traveler collects proto-psychedelic horror from Steve Ditko's Charlton era. Similarly, Weird Horrors displays the late, great Joe Kubert's pre-Code classics edited by Kubert scholar Bill Schelly. Wally Wood weighs in with Came the Dawn, featuring timeless tales from the "Vault of Horror," as well as mid-century socio-political nightmares like "The Guilty."
Ghosts and Ruins is a Ben Catmull collection of exquisite depictions and descriptions of haunted dwellings. Read it with Josh Simmons' disturbing anthology The Furry Trap. Other favorites include Folly by Hans Rickheit, Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason, Thomas Ott's wordless wonder Cinema Panopticum, Jimbo's Inferno by the great Gary Panter, and finally, from the master of macabre, Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons. Boo!