October 30th, 2008 by | Tags:

When I was a kid, I was on a long flight with my parents. The airline, obviously worried about kids running around on a long flight, gave me a comic book. It was a horror comic in which a blonde dude with a Prince Valiant hairstyle and a cross on his shirt ran around a castle trying to outwit a vampire-ghost thing. I can’t remember the spelling, but phonetically the ghoul’s name was pronounced ‘Freak-o-luckus’ and he would wander around killing people horribly.

I distinctly remember one panel, when a man, who I knew was dead meat because he didn’t have a name and he was a brunet, held his sword out in front of him as he backed against a wall. Sadly, that didn’t help him out, because the ghosts sharp-nailed, blood-stained hands came through the wall behind him.

And that was the last time, during childhood, that I had the simple comfort of keeping my back to a wall to make me feel safe. I still think that the stewardess who gave that to me should be slapped around.

What was the first/last/most memorable thing in comics that geunuinely scared you?

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7 comments to “Scared?”

  1. In a Gold Key Twilight Zone story, there was a flashlight that could kill. I may have been all of 6 or 7 when I first saw it, and there’s no way to adequately explain the horror it instilled in me. Something about the stark white faces of the victims, something about a thing so mundane being so dangerous and random. It’s one of my very first memories of comics, along with some early Swamp Thing.

  2. Junji Ito’s Tomie and Uzumaki series. Those have very creepy stories. I highly recommend them for chills.

  3. I wouldn’t say that I found it to be particularly scary at the time but that issue of Morrison’s Doom Patrol where the general and his aide are walking around the secret basements of the Pentagon has haunted my nightmares for years after. That whole thing about the Antfarm just resonated with me on a bunch of different disturbing levels.

  4. Swamp Thing when the Ivunche thing with the head twisted around and one arm sown inside himself (or somthing like that)chased a nun in the subway.

  5. The black bug room.

  6. Despite having read a bunch of EC reprints as a kid, the scariest comic I ever read was an issue of Spectacular Spider-Man, of all things. It was #181 from 1991, with JM DeMatties writing and Sal Buscema on pencils.

    Under the influence of the Green Goblin’s (Harry’s) “psychedelic pumpkin,” Peter Parker hallucenates himself as a small child in a Spider-Man costume, reliving through dialogue the time that Uncle Ben broke the news that Peter’s parents had died, and Peter’s parents appear as zombies. It was the way they were represented…only in silhoutte, or only their dead hands, slowly reaching for li’l Spidey.

    It’s a really well-done sequence that REALLY horrific. “Peter’s parents appear as zombies” doesn’t do it justice. I had a little freak-out over it as a kid, and even now that I’m older I still find it one of the scariest scenes I’ve ever read in any print medium period. Worth tracking down in a dollar bin somewhere.

  7. The “24 Hours” issue of Sandman is the first time I recall a comic book really disturbing me. I’m lukewarm on Neil Gaiman sometimes, but that issue is pretty much perfect.