Friday, October 22, 2010

Scary Comics

I could save this for next week, but I don't have any ideas for topics at the moment.

It's also a topic I really can't cover because I've almost never read a truly scary comic.  The one that comes closest is Flatwood, which is dead. And it really wasn't scary, as much as atmospheric.  Even the few comics I've read with lots of gore or monsters or what not never scared me.

I think horror comics, those that update on a regular basis specifically, are generally doomed to failure.  Scary stories, movies and even TV shows have a way of getting your attention, holding it and then snapping the fear element closed around you at just the right moments.  Comics can't do that because they update every day, or 3 times a week or whatever.  You read a strip and then you're on to something else.  The tension a good scary story builds just isn't there.

This could apply to all forms of drama, the long waits between strips should lessen the impact, but a good writer can get around this usually.  Horror and other scary stories rely so much on the atmosphere and build up, though, that no writer, no matter how good, can really compensate for it.  Flatwood, as I mentioned, was the closest to doing that with the atmosphere of the comic, but it fell flat (heh) because once I finished the archives I fell out of that universe and it ceased to have it's hold on me.

The only solution for those who want to do a scary comic is to go episodic.  Tell ONE story in a large chunk and be done with it.  Which brings me to a comic I didn't review but did mention once (not in this blog) called Nightmare World (it's in flash kids, sorry ahead of time).  These are more in the style of a comic book, and tell a series of stories that have a scary bent to them and are really quite good.  Well drawn, well told, and a lot of fun.  And when they were updating (now a long time ago) they updated it one full episode at a time.  Here the comic held your attention, strummed the nerves a bit, and worked, well, like a good horror comic would.

But I still wouldn't call it scary.  I guess I just don't get scared easily when I'm sitting at my computer with the cool glow of the monitor staring back at me.  I might be just weird too.

Until next time kiddies.

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