Halloween special: Five horror comics to give you the chills on all Saints’ Eve!

It’s that time of the year when a group of friends gather around in funky costumes, publish pictures of their hideously painted faces; children knock around the neighbourhood doors asking the customary Trick or Treat and when the knives are drawn out to carve a lantern out of a pumpkin. Or should I say, a Jack-o’-lantern. Yes, Halloween is almost upon us and the preparations are in full swing. Although the ghosts and ghouls aren’t celebrated here as much as it is in the West, it has been a part of Indian art since ages. And it has found its way into several comics too over the years. Here are some of the spooky ones that one can peruse through on the occasion. The Caravan A gypsy circus turns into a freak fest as vampires masquerading as performers devour the on-looking villagers, leaving behind a pool of blood. The coven of horrifying creatures would lull the hapless villagers into their den of sadism for centuries, until a young boy Asif miraculously survives the blood-thirsty canine one day. Scripted and written by Shamik Dasgupta, The Caravan chronicles the journey of the Rajasthani lad from a smuggler to braving the caravan of vampires and also protecting his village and his people. If you’ve a penchant for savagery, barbarity, horror and lots of blood, then Caravan is something that would tug at your fear receptors no end. Once done, also check out the second edition The Caravan: Blood War, which, as the name suggests, would be just as brutal. Or even more. And for the record, The Caravan is also being turned into a Bollywood movie soon! Footsteps TBSPlanet.com may be a relatively new comics venture, but it has already made a mark in the horror genre with its successful publication Footsteps. The series revolves around the tale of a haunting spirit that occasionally leaves behind a faint mark of its footstep and how a young Nikhil accidentally steps on it, thereby turning his life upside down as the ghost now torments him black and blue. As frightening as it sounds, the comics even come with a disclaimer – not for the faint-hearted! Girl with a Red Nose Ring The story of a man and his beloved wife who gets consumed by a spirit seems familiar to the ears, having witnessed such a story on the big screen many years ago (Bhool Bhulaiya, anyone?) However, Girl with a Red Nose Ring comes with a twist or two. Tamil film-maker JS Nandhini cooks up a love story with the subtext of horror wherein a household Indian woman transforms into a living nightmare upon wearing a mysterious red nose ring. Originally published in Tamil titled Sivappu Kal Mookuthi, Nandhini’s romantic horror will not only make you root for the tormented couple, but also simultaneously send a chill down your spine. Aghori A Holy Cow Entertainment publication, the Aghori series paints a harrowing story of Vikram Roy, who kills his own family in cold blood on being consumed by a deadly spirit. Repenting his horrendous act, Vikram then sets out on a soul-searching journey, only to return as the Aghori twelve years later. With over a staggering 13 issues, Aghori takes you on a terrifying journey – of lost and found; of an unsuspecting assassin on a relentless killing spree; of a blood-soaked confrontation with the immortal, and a whole lot more! Doga They say a dog is a man’s most faithful companion. But Raj Comics turned the age old cliché on its head by turning it into a man’s worst nightmare! Yes, the Doga series brings to light the gut-wrenching tale of an orphan named Suraj, who for all the domestic violence inflicted upon him by his adoptive father, grows into a ruthless vigilante by sporting a dog mask. Hell-bent on righting the wrongs, Doga goes all hammer and tongs in his pursuit of fighting against the evil, even if it means taking the law into his own hands. Doga’s unsympathetic and stone-hearted methods of delivering justice make it a terribly uncomfortable reading. Strictly for the stout-hearted!