Halloween Graphic Novels for Spooky Fun
Halloween is here! Esther put together a great list of scary stories previously this year, and here are more of our favorite Halloween graphic novels. What better way to prepare for the day by cozying up with a few of our favorite spooky graphic novels for kids!
Scary Godmother Omnibus by Jill Thompson (Dark Horse, January 2020)
Gr 3-7—In the first of these stories, little Hannah is super excited to go trick-or-treating with her older cousin Jimmy and his friends, but they don’t want her tagging along. They try to scare her by sending her into a deserted house, but their prank backfires when she finds a whole houseful of new friends: Scary Godmother, the queen of Halloween, and her entourage, including the many-eyed (and not very scary) monster that lurks under kids’ beds. The other stories have the same cast of characters, including Jimmy (who gets his comeuppance), and they riff on similar themes. It’s all about the delights of the season, animated by Thompson’s charming watercolors. The format is a mix of picture book and comics, and many of the stories have rhyming and repeated motifs, making them good candidates for reading aloud. This book collects all the Scary Godmother stories and comics Thompson has written over the years. (Brigid)
Five nights at Freddy’s. The Silver Eyes: The Graphic Novel by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley ; adapted and illustrated by Claudia Schröder (Graphix, 2020)
Gr 3-7—Four friends reunite to honor the memory of their missing friend—but they soon discover that the strangeness that has led up to their friend’s disappearance is still happening. Will they find out what really happened all those years ago? This carefully plotted story builds suspense and horror in a perfect blend for middle-grade readers. (Esther)
All My Friends Are Ghosts by S.M. Vidaurri and Hannah Krieger (KaBoom! March 2020)
Gr 4 up—Effie doesn’t fit in anywhere and prefers to keep to herself. School is not a good fit for her. One day, Effi leaves school and goes to the woods, where she meets a group of ghosts. There she attends their school and pretends to be a student—but then she is asked to help save a lost spirit. Will Effie be able to help? Dramatic artwork. A haunting feel. Feelgood story. Thrills, chills and a good Halloween scare. (Esther)
Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn and Quarterly, May 2016)
Gr 7 up—Kitaro, born as the last of the Ghost Tribe and raised by humans, lives on the border of both the human and yokai worlds. He uses yokai powers to try to keep to peace between the two, mostly helping humans troubled by disruptive yokai. The manga is seven volumes long and features a wide variety of Japanese monsters for Kitaro to meet. The monsters are spooky, but with an injection of humor, the stories make for a good read for middle grade readers. (Lori)
Another by Yukito Ayatsuji and Hiro Kiyohara (Yen Press, 2013)
Gr 9 up—Koichi Sakakibara transfers into third year Class 3 at YomiYama North Middle School. But Class 3 has a secret. It is cursed. In random years, a former student of Class 3 who died would come back for the school year, though no one would know who it was. Students would then start dying, one a month until the school year was over, and the “Casualty” was revealed. After the first death, Koichi wants to stop the deaths and begins to investigate with the help of Mei Masaki, one of his classmates. Another is part murder mystery and part psychological horror, and does a good job of balancing both, building the tension and laying out the clues to a reveal that is perfect in staging and execution. This four-volume series is collected into one omnibus volume, so you can binge it. Read it at night at your own risk. (Lori)
The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press, 2020)
Gr 3-7—This story is set in the same world as the wonderful Nightschool series for teens (now back in print in two collections), the sleepy town of Laitham, New England is home to a special type of witch called Weirns who have supernatural spirits called Astrals as companions (think ghostly Pokemon). Middle schooler Allis is a weirn who goes to a special school for those who have supernatural abilities, where her classmates are werewolves, vampires, mermaids, other witches, and more. When a mysterious spirit begins taking some classmates in the Silent Woods, it’s up to Allis and her cousin Na’ya to solve the mystery. This is the first book in a fun new series.
Costume Quest: Invasion of the Candy Snatchers by Zac Gorman (Oni Press, 2014)
Gr 3 Up—In the land of Repugia, Grubbins are monsters that spend their time snatching trick-or-treaters from our world and eating their candy. But even among monsters, there are misfits. Klem is a Grubbin who doesn’t want to kidnap kids—he loves Earth’s Halloween and just wants to be liked by the other Grubbin students. Klem tries to prove he can fit in with the popular Grubbins and goes to Earth to steal candy on the dare of the popular monsters, together with his friends Sellie and Brolo. Can three monsters fit in on the spookiest night of the year among the human kids—and will they be able to find their way back home? A tie-in to the Costume Quest games created by Double Fine Studios. (Mike)
Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home by Scott Morse (Scholastic/Graphix, 2019)
Gr 3-7—Two twin sisters, Stacy and Gina, are on competing baseball teams and also the youngest of a long line of witches. While Gina is an ace on the mound and at the plate, Stacy’s team of misfits can’t even win a game. When Gina’s spell goes wrong and unleashes a zombie, the twins as well as Stacy’s team of misfits must figure out how to work together and set things right. (MIke)
Coraline, original story by Neil Gaiman. Adapted and Illustrated by P. Craig Russell. (HarperAlley, 2009)
Gr 3-7—A girl moves into a old house where she discovers a passageway that leads her to a strange version of the house with twisted versions of its residents. Can she escape the clutches of the button-eyed “other mother?” Based on the 2002 Newbery-winning book. The prose fiction novel was also adapted into an animated film by Laika Studios in 2009 that was equally creepy. (Mike)
Filed under: All Ages
About Mike Pawuk
Mike Pawuk has been a teen services public librarian for the Cuyahoga County Public Library for over 15 years. A lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels, he was chair for the 2002 YALSA all-day preconference on graphic novels, served as a judge for the Will Eisner Awards in 2009, as well as helped to create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee for YALSA. He is the author of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, and co-author of the follow-up book Graphic Book II both published by Libraries Unlimited/ABC-CLIO Publishing.
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