The spooky webcomics of Emily Carroll, an author and illustrator on the rise, should be your next obsession. Born in 1983, Carroll is an author from London, Ontario who first began creating webcomics in May 2012. Her work quickly spread online. Audiences were enraptured by the beautiful illustrations and the uniquely terrifying plot lines.
If you are interested in comics, designs, or scary stories, you cannot go wrong with Carroll’s work. Her stories are anything but simple, offering plot twists and cliffhangers that are key elements to her style. These stories also often feature complex female protagonists that are haunted by ghosts and ghouls. However, these “damsels in distress” rely on their own wits and creativity to get themselves out of trouble. For example, The Hare’s Bride tells the story of a farm girl who is abducted by a seemingly friendly hare. When things turn sinister, the girl must use her talents to escape the clutches of evil before it is too late. The complete story can be read here.
While specializing in psychological horror, she proves that stories do not have to be dark in order to scare the audience. She proves this again and again throughout her work, which relies heavily on color and framing to “enhance the mood of the story”. One particularly colorful story can be seen in the fairy tale Anu-Anulan & Yir’s Daughter which can be read here.
This beauty and attention to detail makes her work even more sinister, quickly transitioning from a bright scene to an eerily dark reality. This technique can be seen in Carroll’s most widely known comic His Face All Red which tells the story of two brothers and their attempt to rid the village of a beast that has been killing sheep. After supposedly killing the beast, something strange emerges from the surrounding woods. This comic can be read here.
Recently, Carroll jumped from webcomics to print when her first book Through the Woods was finally published. This was the first time that her comics were featured in a book all their own. This collection features a few familiar comics as well as many new stories that were made exclusively for this print. Some of her new stories include Our Neighbor’s House, My Friend Janna, and The Nesting Place which can only be read in this edition.
Always evolving, her work has also been seen in several graphic novels and anthologies including Explorer: Mystery Boxes, Fairy Tale Comics, Creepy, and The Witching Hour. She also designed the title page for an Adventure Time comic book that features Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Her work has also graced the video game scene, by appearing in the 2013 game Gone Home. She worked with the Fullbright Company in order to create the title screen that can be seen below. These illustrations needed to convey a creepy, unsettling feeling while also mirroring the games hopeful message to players. Carroll also worked with Damian Sommer to create the game The Yawhg. This game is available on Steam and game play can be seen here.
All of Carroll’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. She has won several awards for Through the Woods, including an Eisner Award for Best Short Story and an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Artist. In 2011 she also won a well-deserved Joe Shuster Award as an Outstanding Web Comics Creator. While her work is gaining traction and her name is becoming widely known, fans continue to eagerly wait for her next nightmare-inducing update. You can join us in the wait by checking out Emily Carroll’s blog.