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5 Slave Labor Graphics Comics to Goth Out to for Halloween

5 Slave Labor Graphics Comics to Goth Out to for Halloween

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics, hosted by Taliesin Jaffe, Amy Dallen, and Matt Key. This week, they’ll be talking about Slave Labor Graphics, publisher of titles such as ‘Johnny the Homicidal Maniac’ and its spinoff ‘Squee!’ with none other than the titles’ creator, Jhonen Vasquez.

Leaves might be falling and the Moon may have a redder hue as Devil’s Night approaches but, by gosh, sometimes it still takes effort to get into the spirit of the season. A spooky yarn can set the mood fast and offer a direct doorway to Halloween headspace, though. And Slave Labor Graphics has more than one evergreen comic to lay the gloom on in your life. Hell, “gloom” is even in two of the titles on this list. From homicidal maniacs to cute little dead girls and an outcast in a city of outcasts, these alternately cute and blood-curdling characters are certified none more goth. Enjoy our recs, and be sure to sigh!

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

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The title spells it out. Johnny C is a tortured cartoonist who does a whole lot of killing whenever he isn’t drawing his own strip, Happy Noodle Boy. A tour du force in misanthropy, the series sees the Artist unleash his wrath upon all elements of society who irritate him. Instead of devils or angels on his shoulder, Johnny’s moral compass manifests as the oddities Nailbunny, Psychodoughboy and Mr. Eff (the latter two of whom are mutated Pillsbury doughboys natch). Creator Jhonen Vasquez weaves a connected universe through the spin-offs Squee and I Feel Sick, as well, showing how Johnny’s meek protege and potential love interest respectively deal with the sinister supernatural influences that drove him mad.

Lenore, the Cute Little Dead Girl

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Drawing influence from Poe, and “the Raven” specifically, Roman Dirge plots the misadventures of an oft-unaware, ever-undead kid in the town of Nevermore. Much like Johnny, “young” Lenore Lynchfast (she’s actually been dead a long time) seems fated to break whatever she touches. If she goes to a pet store, she’ll kill the hamsters by accident. If she finds a dead frog, she’ll mistake its death for sleep and try to revive the critter–making a sad situation that much ickier. And you can tell how messed matters are when Ragamuffin, a vampire cursed to existence as a doll, often has to be Lenore’s voice of reason.

Gloomcookie

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Everybody’s woken up at least one morning and pondered that age-old philosophical question. Is the waking world still just a dream? Here, young Sebastian has more cause to doubt. He may very well have willed a lot of the world around him into being–even his GF, Chrys. Love between a guy who can warp reality and a gal who used to be a mannequin isn’t the only unusual coupling in Serena Valentino’s romantic epic, either. It also sees the gargoyle Damion fall for Lex, a novelty shop employee who may the reincarnation of his doomed lover. Their star-crossed and crisscrossing affairs are both a spoof of goth culture and a love letter to it.

Skeleton Key

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High schooler Tamsin Cates finds the one skeleton key that actually lives up to its pitch. This key can actually open all doors–up to and including ones that lead to other dimensions. In one of these pocket worlds, Tamsin meets the fox spirit Kitsune, and the two girls adventure together across many realms lying beyond mere mortals’ sight. Of course, Tamsin can’t completely shirk normal, teenage life for these flights of fantasy. Even her wildest supernatural encounters come to seem less vexing than all the challenges of a teen’s coming-of-age.

Little Gloomy

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Landry Walker and Eric Jones’ heroine is another outsider but–flipping the premise of most other titles on the list–that’s actually due to Gloomy being “normal.” As in, she’s the one human girl in the city of monsters that is Frightsylvania. Her pals include youthful versions of classic monsters, like Larry the werewolf, Mummy, and Carl Cthulu (who is indeed a manifestation of that extra-dimensional Eldtrich horror). Even Gloomy’s ex, Simon von Simon, is a mad scientist. And thus, when he’s hung up on her, his plots to get her back more often involve zombie hordes. Fun fact: a loose animated adaptation from France, Scary Larry, switches focus to the dogboy and makes a vampire out of our normal girl.

Ready to goth-up with the Wednesday Club crew? Tune in on Wednesdays starting at 7 PM PT on Twitch and Alpha!

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Image Credits: Slave Labor Graphics

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