Sometimes the Darkness Can Show you the Light: Horror Comics and their Contribution to the Genre.

Open Access
Bielecki, Taylor Nicole
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Scott T. Smith , Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Marcy North, Honors Advisor
  • comics
  • horror
  • Graphic Art
  • Sequential Art
  • Horror genre
  • Uncanny
Throughout its history, the horror genre has sought to illicit fear and discomfort in audiences, as it brings unfamiliarity and deep symbolic undertones to everyday settings. Theorists such as Noel Carroll and Sigmund Freud have sought to highlight several aspects of the genre to establish its foundations and to attempt to illustrate the complex and shifting genre. Through the comics medium, both visual and written languages are combined in individual panels to effectively illustrate several aspects that are the cornerstones to the horror genre. Sequential artists capitalize on tools that comic masters such as Scott McCloud and Will Eisner have presented to be able to effectively create a visually gripping narrative. In surviving early history censorship, comics have continued to evolve with the times, alongside the horror genre itself and new horrors that current society brings. Growing from the classic EC short story comics into full episodic arcs with classic horror monsters such as the Swamp Thing and ending up in the world of the computer screen by means of web comics, the horror genre in comics has had to adapt and reinvent itself. The medium has become more effective in encompassing readers deep in the stories by means of closure and visual interest and detail. This constant growth and creative invention is a major reason as to why comics have been an effective addition to the horror genre.