Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tales From the Webcomics Crypt


Back in October, I collected a list of horror-themed webcomics for Halloween. Most of the comics I've mentioned here before, including Eerie Cuties, The Zombie Hunters, and Lovecraft is Missing. But while I was compiling the list, I stumbled across a comic I hadn't seen before: Split Lip, an anthology by Sam Costello. Now I've finally gotten a chance to sit down and give Split Lip a thorough reading and I'd like to give it its due.


Personally, I'm a big fan of short form fiction, and I'd love to see more of it in webcomics (shameless plea to short form writers: send me your comics). And Costelllo understands that an anthology is an opportunity to play with different styles. Wisely, he has each story illustrated by a different artist, and the art runs from classic comics clean lines to dark and watercolory.

Although -- zombies aside -- I'm not particularly well-versed in the horror genre, I can tell that Costello is himself a huge horror buff and many of his stories pay tribute to some of the genre's favorite fixations. There's an homage to Lovecraft, a dash of body horror, sleep disorders, a biblical apocalypse, and, of course, plenty of bugs and spiders. Split Lip walks pretty close to the classic horror line, but it's clear that Costello has a lot of fun playing in this particular sandbox. Be especially sure to check out Straw Men, a look-left-throw-right piece that evokes 1950s science fiction.

Because Split Lip is an anthology, I would love to see the occasional guest spot from other writers who share Costello's obsession with the macabre. But for fans of horror, Costello himself has plenty to offer.

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