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Night Of The Ghoul Main

"Night of the Ghoul" Comic Review

Written by Joel Harley

Published by Dark Horse


Originally published as Night of the Ghoul #1 - #3

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Francesco Francavilla
Lettered by AndWorld Design
2022, 152 pages
Trade Paperback released on 14th June 2023


When we're talking modern horror comics, few do it better than Francesco Francavilla, the pen-and-inks behind Afterlife with Archie, Creepshow and Batman: The Black Mirror. The artist reunites with The Black Mirror scribe Scott Snyder for this work of Gothic horror, collecting the three issues published last year.

Click images to enlarge.

Film obsessive Forest Inman tracks down legendary director T.F. Merritt, hoping to get the lowdown on his lost work, Night of the Ghoul, filmed in 1936 and said to be lost in a studio lot fire. Talking his way into the old man's nursing home along with son Orson, Forest sits down for a chat with the director. But, as Merritt begins to spill the beans on his work, it becomes increasingly clear that something is deeply amiss. Together, Forest and Orson will uncover a sinister conspiracy that goes far beyond fiction...

Alternating between the present and the fictional, Snyder and Francavilla's Night of the Ghoul is an unsettling, haunting work of horror, steeped in thick, claggy atmospherics and a deeply foreboding tone. In the 1930s, what remains of Merritt's film plays out – in the story of a soldier returned from the war, still haunted, and having brought something terrible back with him (a story so good that it almost doesn't need the 'real world' stuff). This works in sympatico with the present, with its vivid imagery and grotesque '80s style body horror.

Click images to enlarge.

Now collected into this Trade Paperback edition, Night of the Ghoul's constituent parts flow even better, allowing the slow-burn story to build at its own pace, keeping the sense of dread sustained and building between chapters. The whole thing builds to the coming of the Ghoul, so it's best experienced in one queasy sitting, preferably on the edge of one's seat, or shivering under the covers.

Coming from two of comics' most exciting, original voices working today, Snyder and Francavilla's Night of the Ghoul is a sharply told horror story, impressing with its confident simplicity and effectively employed scares.


Story: Fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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About The Author
Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer - UK
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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