Trying to squeeze in a few final books this year to meet your annual Goodreads challenge? Looking for a unique gift for the horror fiend in your life? In the tradition of Black Hole by Charles Burns, Sandman by Neil Gaiman, and Locke & Key by Joe Hill, here are some of our favorite—and highly bingeable—horror science fiction and fantasy graphic novels that should be on your TBR—or your gift list.
Ash & Thorn
With colors by Pippa Bowland, letters by Rob Steen, and covers by Jill Thompson
Get ready for a chosen one romp that will subvert every expectation. With the apocalypse pending, there’s only one heir to the sacred magical lineage that can save us all: a little old lady. Lottie Thorn is the reluctant heroine who would much rather enjoy a cup of tea than fight demons. And since she’s not a nubile teenager, she has to fight smarter, not harder. With the help of her trainer, Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss, Lottie is here to save the world. Ash & Thorn is perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a clever and delightful twist.
Written and illustrated by Gene Ha
If you’re looking for high stakes, gorgeous art, and monsters galore, this one is for you. When their father is kidnapped by monsters, Mae follows her sister, Abby—who has been missing for seven years—down the rabbit hole and into a parallel universe. Abby has been there fighting monsters and reigning as queen of a talking cat army and now she’s back with her clever sister to save their dad. Expertly told and beautifully drawn, Mae leans on complex character relationships to explore the fantastical new world with heart.
Related: When Does Fantasy Become Horror?
More into the horror than the fantasy? Get ready for blood. Arcanic Maika Halfwolf wants revenge after a devastating war. She murders a Cumaean elder who knows secrets about her past. Gathering her few allies, Maika embarks on a journey to uncover the secrets of who she is and the awful power she possesses. The combination of complex prose and stunning artwork bring together a devastating story of fury and dark fantasy.
If Homeward Bound was your comfort movie, this one is for you. With most of humanity wiped out, domesticated animals are left to pick up the pieces. Legend is an English Pointer who rises up to lead his pack, vowing to kill the monster Endark once and for all. Rife with Lovecraftian horrors and very cute dogs, Legend is a unique take on horror and the post-apocalyptic scene.
With art by Tony Cliff and colors by Natalie Riess
Get ready for a clever and satirical critique on gig economy, based on the smash hit podcast. Morgan is Brush born and Bubble raised, balancing her day job and her side gig of killing the monsters that infiltrate the literal bubble of Fairhaven. With help from her best friend Annie and an unfortunate delivery man who now has mutant powers, Morgan fights monsters and faces the everyday millennial problems. Funny, fierce, and dark, Bubble tackles gig economy with millennial mischief.
In this modern retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the monster has deemed himself the Destroyer with the intent of wiping out humanity. Dr. Baker—a descendent of Victor Frankenstein—is following the family tradition, bringing back to life her teenage son after he is murdered by the police. Complex, nuanced, and holding nothing back to punch-up, Destroyer offers devastating social commentary about power, immortality, vengeance, and love.