Horrors Beyond Belief! Should You Be Reading Emily Carroll’s Horror Comics?
With Should I Be Reading… ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
EmCarroll.com is an oft-updated website collecting the various comics of horror storyteller Emily Carroll. Some are quick illustrations, as nasty as a bad dream, and others are longer works designed to crawl under your skin and live there, and fester. All of them will haunt you for days.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The stories on Carroll’s website are as varied as the medium itself, save that all of them are incredibly, sometimes brutally dark. One story will feature a man and his brother disappearing into the woods to hunt a nightmare creature, only for the brother to strike out in jealousy. And that’s the nicest part. Another story will feature a woman attempting and failing to sell cosmetics.
The other connecting lines between her stories are the gorgeous art and the overwhelming tone — sometimes bleakly horrifying, other times melancholic (and scary as all heck). No matter what, though, if you’re a horror fan, you’ll fall in love at first sight.
WHO’S IT BY?
Even if you’ve never heard Carroll’s name before, you’ve seen her art. She provided the cover illustration for the first Smut Peddler anthology, co-created the game Yawgh, and provided illustrations for critical darling Gone Home video game. She has also contributed to dozens of comics and zines, including Frontier and Lumberjanes. Some of the stories from EmCarroll.com appear in Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, a collection of her best and darkest tales.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Emily Carroll’s art isn’t just one thing. As the comic is digital, some of the comics — such as “Margot’s Room” — embrace all the wonderful uniqueness of the medium. A broken window, a dark night, a room that seems… off. You can click corners of the room to see the stories behind each of the objects, gradually putting together what happened here — somewhat reminiscent of Gone Home. Some stories draw you down, literally, scrolling further and further into the harsh hard ground.
But even when, as in Through the Woods, all her digital toys are taken away, Carroll’s stories stand strong as harsh, horrifying, beautiful fairytale nightmares, ones any fantasist would be lucky to have. If you wish there was someone keeping alive the tradition of folkloric horror, look no further.
WHO SHOULD READ IT?
If you are a lover of beautiful illustrations, excellent writing, and interesting use of the internet as a comics medium, check it out. Be warned, it’s all dark. However, if you’re a fan of dark fantasy — think Pan’s Labyrinth, or anything by Caitlin R Kiernan — come on in. The fire is dying, and who knows what lurks in these woods?
If you’re looking for a comics equivalent of the ghost story your cousin told you one night — one sleepless night — and that stayed with you for the rest of your life, Emily Carroll is the creator for you.
WHERE CAN I READ IT?