‘Tis the season for perfectly creepy crawly vibes as you, your kiddos, or both adventure into the Halloween season. From mythical creatures to spooky stories to tell in the dark (or at camp), there are plenty of comic book options out there that might scare the pants off anyone.
If your pre-teen kids are in search of something a little less chipper and a little more witch’s brew, then get ready to explore some graphic novels perfect for this time of year – or any time really, since they’re such fun stories.
Secrets of Camp Whatever
Publisher: Oni Press
Secrets of Camp Whatever is such a fun story wrapped around a mysterious camp filled with weirdness, creatures, and the secrets that await those who go adventuring when they shouldn’t. As someone with two kids who experienced their first sleepaway camp this past summer (including one who became less enthusiastic about the experience as it approached), I completely understand Willow as her parents send her to “Camp…whatever it’s called.”
This story begins with an introduction of the main character and her use of hearing aids and sign language. Despite a different communication style, it doesn’t prevent her from having typical reservations about attending camp (i.e., not wanting to go at all or hiding in her room the entire time).
I introduced this to my daughter (age 10), and she immediately read the second book in the series, The Doors to Nowhere. She finished this story a few days ago, so now I’ll get the chance to read volume 2, as well!
The Oracle Code
Publisher: DC Comics
If you love a good mystery, then you’ll love what writer Marieke Nijkamp puts together in The Oracle Code. After an injury leads Barbara Gordon to a rehabilitation center, she starts putting puzzle pieces together regarding her creepy new residence.
Not only does this mystery have wonderful twists and turns, it highlights how Gordon and her new friends handle trauma while being there for each other when things feel bleak. Anyone that loves good storytelling – let alone a great mystery – will love digging around each corner of the Arkham Center for Independence – and what’s to be uncovered by Barbara (and you).
The Oracle Code is as classic as classic gets when it comes to detective work. It’s a story you’ll want to own, so you can come back to it again and again.
Mythical Creatures & Lore
Birdking, Volume 1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
If you’re looking for a new tale that allows you to follow along with a dark adventure, then feast your eyes on Birdking by writer Daniel Freedman, artist CROM, and letterer Michael David Thomas. This mythos is original, where blue-flamed skulls, hammers, and shadowy creatures intertwine with Bianca as she tries to navigate safe travels from the land’s oppressors.
Birdking clearly indicates good and evil, while presenting a mystery Bianca has to unravel as she literally fights for her life. The creators give readers intense and bloody fight sequences, but they also present creepy landscapes and creatures that make this story perfect for this time of year. Technically, I read this at the end of summer – and it’s a good story any time of year – but as the season changes and the days grow darker, Birdking fits perfectly in that realm.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (The Graphic Novel)
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
As I’m re-reading the book for the umpteenth time, I have to recommend Rick Riordan’s story that’s translated to a graphic novel by artist Attila Futaki and colorist Jose Villarrubia. It’s such an easy story to get lost in, while uncovering layers of Greek mythology.
Not only are there Greek gods, there are angsty teenage feelings, horrifying monsters, and bonds of friendship to hopefully help the main character survive as he comes under suspicion of stealing Zeus’ most powerful weapon. If you love the original series, this graphic novel is an easy choice to pick up or find at your local library.
On top of that, Disney+ will be releasing a television series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, on December 20, 2023, so this is a great way to familiarize yourself with an incredible cast of characters.
The Dark Gets Darker
The Devil That Wears My Face
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios
Typically, I do not make recommendations for a story I have yet to read, but writer David Pepose is attached to this Mad Cave Studios comic series and that means one thing: I’m 100% sold. Sign me up, because I’m ready to be spooked.
The Devil That Wears My Face follows a main character who has to find a new way to deal with demons after being body swapped. On top of that, it’s described as “Equal parts Face/Off and The Exorcist.” The idea of swapping faces is scary in and of itself, but add in the horrifying, head-twisting nature of The Exorcist and, holy moly, I might be running away while reading this story.
The Devil That Wears My Face #1 is available for pre-order and will be published on October 4, 2023.
Killadelphia, Volume 1: Sins of the Father
Ages: Mature (18+)
Publisher: Image Comics
Do you like vampires? Do you like history? Well, you’re in luck, because writer Rodney Barnes creates an intriguing murder mystery where Jimmy Sangster returns to Philadelphia after his father dies in the line of duty.
Not only does Sangster get mixed up in a deadly game, he soon learns that the world is not what it seems, and it’s been like that for quite some time. How does he cope with his father’s death? Let’s just say you’ll have to read it to believe it – and then you’ll have to make sure to keep your eyes open so sharp teeth don’t sink their teeth in from the shadows.
What are some creepy crawly tales you or your kids love to read? Do you have any new favorites or old classics you return to? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Until next time, friends, happy parenting and happy geeking.