I am a fan, student, and product of horror.
A brief list of my articles for the Yeti (see "The 5 Comics That Made TOMB OF THE RED HORSE" and "CHRISTMAS IS THE NEW HALLOWEEN") lends credence to this assertion. Writing horror, and writing about horror, is what I like to do most. So when Grant Lankard, (writer for the successful Kickstarter series Beowulf) asked me to be a part of MEMOIRS OF THE MORBID, a 60 page black and white horror anthology, I was honored, humbled, and compelled. See, the one place comics and horror overlap perfectly is the anthology. What better way to showcase indie comics than the anthology? What genre of movie lends itself better to the format than horror?
So, in honor of the scariest of seasons, and in a blatantly selfish attempt to get you to back MEMOIRS OF THE MORBID (did I mention it was live on Kickstarter right now?) Here's a list to get you thinking about the best horror anthologies of all time!
1. CREEPSHOW (1982)
The influence of Stephen King on horror in the ’80s is almost impossible to overstate. 1982’s Creepshow was one of our first introductions, orchestrated by a musty, pre-blockbuster rental spot called “Video Plus."
As a kid who dealt with a moderate fear of bugs, “They’re Creeping Up On You” was NOT the thing to watch immediately before bed. And while I could drill down on this for hours, I’ll end by saying the trick of not (really) showing the beast inside “The Crate” still occupies the darkest parts of my childhood memories.
2. FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES (1987)
Ok, ok, ok, look. Maybe it’s not technically a true anthology, and maybe there’s a bit too much fantasy to make it scary enough for some, but — it’s my list, and I’m including it.
Terribly underrated and mostly forgotten, staying up late on weekends to watch this with my father was something I’ll always cherish. I was lucky enough to grab all three seasons on DVD ,but you may have trouble finding these tales of possessed artifacts sold from a spooky antique shop (and NO axe-wielding man in a hockey mask) BUT MAYBE there’s a full episode below??
3. TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE: THE MOVIE (1990)
The seat of honor this film holds is mostly due to the limitation of the analog age: We owned this on VHS, therefore I watched it ceaselessly (along with L.A. Story, for some unknown reason).
Three tales of terror, based on stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephen King, and the Yuki-onna (or, to my adolescent brain, "Mummies, Demon Cats and Gargoyles").
Check it out to marvel at a young Steve Buscemi playing off Christian Slater still in full-on Nicholson-impersonation mode.
4. BODY BAGS (1993)
John Carpenter is my spirit animal, and getting to see him as his own version of the Crypt Keeper instantly became something that played every Halloween, if not several times a year.
What this lacks in straightforward scares, it more than makes up for with a magnitude of talent and love for the genre.
Tobe Hooper and Carpenter himself direct three tales of creepy gas stations, Stacy Keach’s hair, and Luke Skywalker’s haunted eyeball.
5. YULE: DREADFUL TALES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Edited & curated by Grant Stoye, with a cover by Donna A. Black.
I’ve been incredibly grateful for every anthology that deemed me worthy of inclusion, but YULE was my first in the horror genre, and also introduced me to a small group of folks that I’m proud to call my friends.
The book featured some absolutely stellar creators, some of whom are destined to become titans in this industry. But (without irony), it was the friends I made along the way that keeps Yule in a special compartment deep inside my heart. Yule is available for sale digitally on Grant’s Gumroad, which you can find right here.
Ian Mondrick can be found on Twitter here, and you can subscribe to The Blind Box, his monthly newsletter that pairs short fiction and indie comic art right here. MEMOIRS OF THE MORBID is in its second week and still needs to hit 50%! Please help spread the word on Twitter and Instagram!