Brought to you by OBS Staff Member Rose

Arcana Comics founded by Sean O’Reilly, began as a studio in 2004, and has since become Canada’s largest comic book publisher and an innovative leader in developing content in various mediums. Working in websites, comics and graphic novels, video games, short-form animation and live action shorts, toys and merchandise, as well as feature length films.

In 2006, Arcana held a talent search for contributions, that was open to writers, pencillers, inkers, letterers, and colorists/greyscalers, to create macabre stories of psychological horror. In October of the same year Arcana debuted their Dark Horrors Anthology, which consisted of not only Arcana talent, but also the lucky winners of the talent search who submitted stories online at Arcana’s forum.

Dark Horrors Anthology is described as a psychological horror at the forefront with nods to the Twilight Zone and the horror magazines from days past with zombies, gothic tales and supernatural evils.

Story titles for Dark Horrors Anthology include:
Hog Wild
Tell Tale Heart
“The Wall”
Drawing on the Dead
In Season
(Mask of) Fright
Remember Me
Me and My Shadow
The Exchange
Siren Song
The In Between Space
I Married a Ghost Girl
Safe At Home
La Famiglia
The Gargoyle

As you can see, it is an extensive list, filling 140 pages.

It’s a delight to have so many rich and interesting stories combined into one comic book. Even though the horror tales are short, they invite you in and hook you, making you wish they would continue on. And you’re in luck with that and you’ll read why. The stories are reminiscent of Tales of The Crypt, Twilight Zone and Creepshow.  Especially ‘Siren Song’ written by David Hopkins, which brought to mind Creepshow’s ‘Something To Tide You Over’ probably because of the beach theme’, but the two stories couldn’t be any different.  ‘Siren Song’ depicts a father who has lost his daughter on the beach. In a frantic rush to find her, he hears his name being called out, from far away in the ocean. Thinking it is his daughter crying or help, he swims out, only to meet his death at the hands of the evil Siren. David Hopkins other work includes Astronaut Dad, Emily Edison and Karma Incorporated.

‘The Mask of Fright’ written by Ron Fortier, I can see being made into a movie. It has all the elements needed. Suspense, a mysterious mask, a science professor and his too inquisitive protégé who reeks havoc when he doesn’t listen to his mentor and places the mask over his face.  Ron Fortier’s  has also worked on “Cavewoman: Odyssey’” and ‘Daughter of Dracula’ to name a few.

The illustrations are eye candy for those who appreciate comic book and graphic novel art, regardless of the fact the entire book is void of color. With every new story comes a fresh design (of course) and being shown back to back in the collection, it makes you appreciate all the different drawing styles the artists have to offer.

One of my favorite is “La Famiglia” written by Dwight L. MacPherson, with art by Declan Shalvey. It’s the Mafia Meets the Zombies.  The art work is done in a film noir style and very dark and sinister. Two mobsters track down a hit at 3am and after shooting him down in a back alley, take his body and drive into the woods to bury him. One becomes food for the undead in the forest and one realizes just what kind of ‘family’ he’s married to. Wicked fun with a nice little twist at the end.

Here is a nice screenshot:

If you love horror and comics you will surely enjoy Dark Horrors Anthology which encapsulates the genre perfectly. Remember when I mentioned the stories draw you in and you wish for more…well a hand full of them continue on in their own graphic novel or comic book series, like Koni Waves, so the fun doesn’t end.

Check your local comic bookstore for order details or contact Arcana Comics
Dark Horrors Anthology ISBN: 0976309564

Arcana Comics has also released a Dark Horrors Anthology 2.


In honor of our Comic Book Review on Arcana Comic’s ‘Dark Horrors Anthology’, OpenBookSociety is holding a 3-Panel Horror Comic Contest starting February 25 through March 25, 2010. Deadline for submissions is March 25th and the winners will be announced on April 1, 2010. Details to be announced.

This won’t be our first Comic/GN review or contest. In March we will be reviewing another Arcana Comics release titled ‘Corrective Measures‘ by Grant Chastain, who says about his graphic novel story: “I knew it was an underdeveloped idea, the concept of an ongoing book exploring the prison culture as it would have to be adopted in a world of superpowered criminals. And more so than that, I found the idea of working at a place like that utterly fascinating. It’s sort of like the old adage, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Well, what happens when a regular guy gets put into a position of power over people with nearly limitless, unfathomably corrupted superpowers?

So stay tuned.