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Can comics be scary?

from Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia

from Pim & Francie: The Golden Bear Days by Al Columbia

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a horror comic in this post-30 Days of Night, post-The Walking Dead age. Meanwhile, there’s a bustling alt-horror … well, “scene” and “movement” probably aren’t the right words, but there are plenty of those comics and cartoonists out there.

But are any of them, y’know, actually scary?

Blogger Curt Purcell of The Groovy Age of Horror has endeavored to answer that question — long a topic of debate among comics readers, many of whom are skeptical that comics really can hang with movies or prose for their sheer power to frighten — by rounding up thoughts on the topic from a variety of horror and comics creators and commentators. These include cartoonists Richard Sala (Peculia) and Josh Simmons (House); CRwM of the provocative horror blog And Now the Screaming Starts; Kimberly Lindbergs of the movie-focused Cinebeats; Karswell of the pre-Comics Code horror-comics blog The Horrors of It All; and (ahem) yours truly. The roundtable was inspired by a post from Richard Cook at The Hooded Utilitarian, so be sure to check that out, too.

Where do you stand on scarybooks?

Straight for the art | The Groovy Age of Horror’s epic Flickr gallery

Curt Purcell's paperback gallery

Curt Purcell's paperback gallery

Does your love of trash put Oscar the Grouch to shame? Then feast your eyes, glut your soul on the (extravagantly NSFW) Flickr account of Curt Purcell, the blogger behind equally unworksafe horror-blogosphere cornerstone The Groovy Age of Horror. Curt’s been sharing his extensive collection of pulp paperbacks and X-rated Italian horror comics for years now, and he’s recently scanned in hundreds of their covers, helpfully divided into Fumetti, Horror Paperbacks, and the aptly named Sleaze Paperbacks for your browsing pleasure. For fans of the seedy side of Eurocomics or the lurid illustration styles of yesteryear, it’s tough to top.

Also worth checking out: Curt’s series of posts on Blackest Night (with an extensive detour into the classic Levitz/Giffen Legion storyline The Great Darkness Saga). A lapsed comics reader, Curt has been drawn back in by this year’s big DC event’s horror overtones, and his outsider/insider perspective regarding the evolution of “event comics” is quite fresh and eye-opening.

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