Almost everybody loves a good scare. Is it any wonder that horror has become one of the most successful and beloved genres in media? While most everybody is familiar with horror literature, television, and cinema, there is a rich world of horror comics waiting to be discovered, for those who are willing to look. However, many people are turned off from trying comics because of the market’s superhero saturation. So I have compiled a list of ten great horror comics that have nothing to do with superheroes. Sadly, this disqualifies many great horror titles put out by Marvel and DC Comics, like Swamp Thing, Man-Thing, House of Mystery, Adventure Into Fear, and Tomb Of Dracula.
My general rule of thumb in making this list was that if, at any point, superheroes were involved in a main storyline of a particular horror comic, then it was disqualified. I believe that I have made a list that properly represents classic, modern, and foreign publications. I have also included three legendary manga horror titles. We can debate all we want about the differences between Western comics and manga. But they are both methods of storytelling that utilize sequential art. And, really, I was going to get complaints whether or not I included manga anyway. So, without any further ado, here are the Top 10 (Non Superhero) Horror Comics, presented in chronological order from their first publication dates.
10. Tales From The Crypt
First Published: October 1950
Kicking off this list is one of the most infamous, reviled, and beloved horror comics in history. Tales From The Crypt was a bi-monthly horror anthology, that was published in the early 50’s by EC Comics. The comic was hosted by the now-iconic Cryptkeeper, who acted as a guide for readers in between stories. The stories were shockingly violent, bloody, and graphic. In fact, the explicit content almost destroyed the comic book industry. In 1954, Fredric Wertham’s Seduction Of The Innocent, a book that claimed that violent comics promoted juvenile delinquency and the corruption of minors, Tales From The Crypt was one of the primary targets. The backlash resulted in the title’s cancellation, along with its two sisters, The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror. Although it was shut down, Tales From The Crypt remains, to this day, one of the most influential horror publications in the medium of comics.