This year saw the usual parade of macabre work in books and graphic novels, from reliable creators like Stepen King (Gabriel Rodriguez
The Hidden by Richard Sala
Sala's unique brand of creepy quirk combines Edward Gorey, Chester Gould, and Charles Adams with his own unclassifiable magic. The Hidden, from Fantagraphics Books, is his most ambitious work -- an intimate apocalypse.
Arguably Lansdale's finest novel collected with its two sequels and never-before-published artwork for the Don Coscarelli adaptation that never happened? Essential. The more I read of Lansdale the more I'm convinced he's horror's Kurt Vonnegut.
I love Barker's essays almost as much as I do his best fiction, so this long overdue clothbound collection (from Earthling Publications) of his writings on film, literature, art, and all the other media he's come to be associated with came as one of 2011's best surprises.
Kadrey really is the anti-Twilight. Raw, real, funny, furious, all full of piss and hemoglobin. His third Sandman Slim novel, in which the supernatural anti-hero must go back to Hell to stop a war with Heaven, may be his finest.
The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary
The latest volume in Geary's A Treasury of Victorian Murder proves the master of drolly impish cartooning hasn't lost his touch, as it presents a pair of protagonists (anarchists, no less) strangely sympathetic in their relevancy to today's world.
The Alien Vault by Ian Nathan
Most of these so-called "vaults" are ninety-percent air, but when the subject's as perfect as the first Alien film, well, then you've got the first one of these scrapbook/mini-museums that deserves the attention of all horror fans.
The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn
Weirdly, 2011 gave us the second such vault. Face it, even Hammer's worst films are fun to read about. But the studio's classic posters and juicy publicity material make this volume especially fun. Of course there's no shortage of eye candy with Hammer glamour girls like Veronica Carlson and Caroline Munro represented in a plethora of pictures. Great, great stuff.
Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson
Bernie Wrightson is the most celebrated American horror comics artist since EC's "Ghastly" Graham Ingels. Yet much of his best work -- for Warren's Creepy and Eerie -- has been out of print for decades. Dark Horse's Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson rectifies the situation, and serves as the perfect introduction to the master's work.