Halloween Horror: Scary Stories at the Comic Shop for October 6th, 2021

Welcome to Catch it at the Comic Shop, where the Panel Patter team looks at what's coming out at your favorite store or digital device this week. Each one of us that participates picks up to five items due out this week, with a little bit about why we like them. (NOTE: We use solicitation material for this, so if we miss creators, please talk to your publisher!) Sometimes we might only have a few items to share, other weeks, keeping it to five will make for hard choices. Here's what the team wanted to highlight this week.. 

James' Picks:

The Swamp Thing #8 by Ram V, Mike Perkins, and Mike Spicer, published by DC Comics

I've really enjoyed this most recent Swamp Thing series. It's about a different person turning into the titular character (not Alex Holland); Ram V brings to this story the great mix of horror and colonialism and industry that he brought to These Savage Shores. And Mike Perkins does some of my favorite work I've seen from him, with wonderfully atmospheric colors from Mike Spicer. It's grounded but also weird and scary and unsettling. The Suicide Squad are involved now in the story as well, but this is still a story very focused on the new Swamp Thing (Levi Kamei), and his own life and legacy and the legacy of the character. It's great work.  

The Nice House on the Lake #5 by James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez Bueno, published by DC Comics/Black Label

This book is so good, and so terrifying, but not for the reasons you might think a book called "The Nice House on the Lake" is terrifying. You might picture some sort of Friday the 13th slasher-type story, and that could not be further from what this story is. I don't want to give away anything abut this story, except to say that it is fantastic, and James Tynion is firing on all cylinders right now with 3 different, excellent non-superhero books (this one, Something is Killing the Children, and Department of Truth) (links to my reviews here and here).  He's got an incredible read on the zeitgeist, as his books feel incredibly timely and topical and relevant for all sorts of depressing reasons. The art from Alvaro Martinez Bueno is absolutely stunning. I didn't know his work before but now I will absolutely want to seek it out.  

Rob's Picks:

Abbott 1973 by Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivela, Mattia Iacono, and Jim Campbell, published by Boom! Studios
Going to quote myself here, because honestly I can't really say it any better in a short space:
Change is in the air in Detroit, but not everyone got the memo, as Abbott finds herself threatened once again by the Umbra--as well as her new boss--in the eagerly awaited sequel to the first series. The art doesn't miss a beat here, with the strong, innovative linework of Kivela making every page visually interesting, aided and abetted by Iacono's coloring, which helps us see when Abbott is in danger--even if she can't. The series once again is a clinic on storytelling and working with the art team to really make things pop. Ahmed's writing is as sharp as ever, and his depiction of what happens to Abbott--as well as her own fears about being bisexual--really shines here. 

Nocterra Vol 1 by, by Scott Snyder, Tony S. Daniel and Tomeu Morey, published by Image
In world with no sunlight and where darkness makes people monsters, Val tries for the moon to save her brother Em in a team-up of Batman creators that works extremely well. This future is bleak, but Daniel makes it work despite his style tending more towards the slick line of superheroes. Meanwhile, Snyder shows how good he is in the horror genre. The monsters are scary as all hell and Snyder keeps the pace moving. Can't wait to see what Snyder does with his new digs with Comixology!