From Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the Friday the 13th movies and Resident Evil video games, horror is one of the most enduring genres of all time. Taking in literature, television, movies and video games, there's not a medium going that doesn't have a solid history of horror stories in its wake.
Comic books are no exception. From the spooky stories of the 1940s and 1950s to the horrific horror books of today, the genre was quick to carve out its place in the medium. This was to the fury of Fredric Wertham and the Comics Code Authority, who did their damnedest to try and wipe horror from the face of all comics-dom.
But you can't keep a good genre down, and horror comics are thriving now more than ever. And with the codes relaxed and readers jaded to the effects of gore and violence, there's some truly troubling stuff out there. Remember that time when the Joker cut off his own face? Horror is more mainstream and more prevalent than ever.
Which isn't to say that we've become completely desensitised. Even the most cynical horror fan can still find something to freak them out every now and then. It's why we keep looking, after all.
Here we take a look at some of the most disturbing horror comics we could dredge up; ranging from the mainstream to the truly independent. Whether it be psychological terrors, extreme gore or true crime. Sorry, Fredric.
When it comes to nightmarish comic book imagery, few get under the skin like Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra's Colder. Published by Dark Horse, this supernatural thriller follows ex-insane asylum inmate Declan Thomas; a man with the body temperature of a corpse.
As superpowers go, it's not exactly flight and super strength, but it has its advantages - never getting sick, not getting old, nor feeling pain. Declan also has the ability to step into others wounded psyches, even being able to help them deal with trauma from inside their heads.
Those terrifying covers offer an extreme gore-fest - which Colder does deliver upon at times - but the book is so more than that. Tobin and Ferreyra's trilogy (consisting of Colder, The Bad Seed and Toss the Bones) is a fever-dream journey to hell and back, featuring grotesque Lovecraftian creatures, truly unsettling violence, and tripped-out nightmare worlds. This is one of the most chilling horror comics out there.