Not all horror is stalk and slash or classic monsters. Some of those make our list, but our recommendations manage a lot more with the genre.

Beasts of Burden: Animal Rights – These aren’t the cuddly, all-ages adventures of a friendly pack of dogs, as they encounter various forms of the supernatural and the variety of human cruelty. “Sumptuous, both in content and presentation. Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson and Dark Horse Books.

Beautiful Darkness – Cleverly subverts both the traditions of the fairy tale and horror, by having cute little people engage in despicable acts. Is it a comment on childhood? “Both dreadful and bleakly amusing”. Fabien Vehlmann, Kerascoët and Drawn & Quarterly.

Big Baby – An ironic reclaiming of pop culture as the Big Baby attempts to interpret what he sees based on his limited life experience, and the worlds of TV sci-fi and comics. It’s multi-layered horror, exaggerating the real world, often funny, always strange. Charles Burns and Fantagraphics Books

The Cape – Terrific adaptation of Joe Hill’s terrifying tale of power abuse. Suppose you could fly and held multiple grudges? It’s like an evolutionary step to our protagonit’s unprepared targets. “Memorable and chilling”. Jason Ciaramella, Joe Hill, Zach Howard and IDW Publishing.

Colder – When her clinic closes a nurse takes a long-term resident home to care for him. He’s distinctive and not only due to his minimal body temperature, and over a twisted tale the full horror of his circumstances is revealed. Paul Tobin, Juan Ferreyra and Image Comics.

The Gashlycrumb Tinies – Edward Gorey’s most famous work relates the dreadful deaths of 26 children in alphabetical order and in bleakly funny fashion, all drawn in his densely cross-hatched style. This edition is a small hardcover facsimile. Can also be found in Amphigorey. From Harcourt Brace.

Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and Others – A beautifully composed selection of short horror pieces starring the unconventional demonic-looking hero. Also charts the growth, sophistication and confidence of Mike Mignola as an artist. From Dark Horse Books.

The Stand – Note perfect adaptation of Stephen King’s best-lovcd novel carried out to the highest standards over a series of six graphic novels, or in one luxury omnibus if you have the money. Post-apocalyptic drama, character rich and compelling. Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, Mike Perkins and Marvel.

Saga of the Swamp Thing Book Three: The Curse – Horror comics were redefined in the 1980s, and while any of Alan Moore‘s run is still commended, this is the best sampler, dealing not only with traditional monsters, but modern horrors. Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch, and Vertigo.

The Wrenchies – “A savage, mind-bending trip through a hand-painted watercolour world of death, magic, sacrifice, mystery, demons and comics, that rewards multiple readings”.  Unexpected violence and spiritual mystery as teens tumble into another world. Farel Dalrymple and First Second.