Unfunny Books

Horrifying Graphic Novels


Not the Comics to Read if You’re Looking for a Laugh!
Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things      Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things / by Ted Naifeh
Courtney thinks her parents are social climbing fools. After they’ve maxed-out their credit cards and have to move in with weird old Uncle Aloysius, her suspicions are confirmed. They are as oblivious to the vicious social snobbery and cruelty in their wealthy new neighborhood as they are to the goblins that skulk around the old mansion in the dark of the night. Courtney, unable to fit in with her new schoolmates and unwilling to conform, finds an unlikely mentor in Uncle Aloysius and new comrades among the night things. If you had someone pestering you, wouldn’t be nice to have a demon to which he could be fed?

Graphic Classics H. P. Lovecraft      Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft / edited by Tom Pomplun
Here’s a delightful smorgasbord of “Eeeeeeeee!” and “Eeuuuww,” a miscellany of graphic interpretations inspired by the works and life of one of the modern masters of the macabre, H. P. Lovecraft, a man who once wrote to a friend that: “The process of delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination.”

The Metamorphosis      The Metamorphosis / Franz Kafka; adapted by Peter Kuper
Traveling salesman Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning transformed into a giant bug. This makes it very difficult to get out of bed and impossible to get to work. It also makes for very awkward family dynamics. Kuper’s adaptation of one of the most famous literary works of the twentieth century scrupulously follows Kafka’s original story. What Kuper adds with his dark shadings and heavy lines is a feeling of dark and claustrophobic gloom. It gives his cartoons the feeling of the work of some of Kafka’s contemporaries in the visual arts, the Expressionists. Gregor’s father looks like he could have stepped out of a drawing by George Grosz and the atmosphere of crushing suffering is reminiscent of the works of Otto Dix or Käthe Kollwitz.

The Sandman: Seasons of Mist      The Sandman: Season of Mists / Neil Gaiman
At a family reunion called by Destiny, Death persuades Dream to right an old wrong, and to go to Hell to release one of his old girlfriends. But when he enters Hell he discovers that it’s almost completely deserted. Lucifer, tired of listening to millennia of whining from the inhabitants, has quit and is in the process of evicting the last few stragglers. As he leaves, he locks the door and gives the key to Dream, who soon discovers that he had a hot piece of supernatural real estate on his hands. Lots of prospective new rulers want to move right in, and they all start pestering and pleading for the key. Each party has a special deal, a marvelous trade to offer him.