I had a rough week full of technical difficulties and sickness, so I’m way late on this, but man, am I glad that I powered through and read this, The Dark Horse Book of Horror. This is because I’d much rather call this the Dark Horse Book of Awesomeness.
This giant tome is a complete collection of four smaller anthologies that were put out between 2003 and 2006. The four original books put out by Dark Horse were Dark Horse Book of Haunting’s, Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, Dark Horse Book of the Dead and Dark Horse Book of Monsters. There are 35 stories all together, some by authors I know such as Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame), and the rest were wholly unknown to me except for that one random Shakespeare who made me smile.
There is a great mix of comics, short stories and interviews. Though there is a majority of comics, there was an interview and a short story in each of the four parts. The interview of Phyllis Curott about The Truth About Witchcraft was a great read and gave a lot of information. And of the four, my favorite of the short stories was “A Tropical Horror” by William Hope Hodgson in the Monster part.
Now to the comics…I don’t even know where to start. There are so many, and so many of them were just plain cool. Creepy, but cool. I have a few favorites in each part, Haunting’s – “Stray” and “Forever.” The latter being about a cursed tattoo, I’m actually super jealous I didn’t write it.
Witchcraft – MacBeth!! (With drawings by Tony Millionaire) Because Shakespeare makes everything better! “Mother of Toads,” “The Gris Gris” and “Salem and Mary Sibley,” which had just fantastic art.
The Dead – “The Ghoul,” “Death Boy” and “Queen of Darkness.” Both of these last two had probably my favorite art in the entire book.
(“Queen of Darkness”)
There was so much in the tome to choose from, so much awesomeness, that it was hard to pick things to single out. It of course didn’t help that there was a Hellboy comic in each part, of which I didn’t choose, so no one would scream favoritism. After all, it is well established that I am a Hellboy fan. In the end I am glad I finally was able to get the book read because it was worth it, and I am most likely going to go buy a physical copy, just so I can spend more time with these stories.