Skulls in the Stars

Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods


Let me say this immediately: Emily Carroll’s work is amazing.  Her work first came to my attention, as it did for many people, through an io9 post describing some of the best horror webcomics available.  The post included a link to Carroll’s story His Face All Red, which was by far the best of them, and I was hooked.  Since then, I’ve kept a constant vigil for the occasional new comic to appear on her site.

Happily, Carroll recently released a printed collection of almost all new horror comics, Through the Woods.


The collection includes five stories, four of which are previously unpublished, and the tales are bookended by an introduction and a conclusion that are equally creepy.

The five stories are:

Carroll’s stories tap into what I can only call primal fears.  They feel like the darkest of fairy tales, and often follow a very similar structure.  The illustrations are elegant and often very subtle, conveying a sense of dread with color and shadow.  Carroll, like all great horror writers, knows that showing a monster is nowhere near as scary as hinting at it.

The book is rather short — you can read the entire thing within an hour if you like — but the tales merit repeated reading.  I’ve already read it through two times, and before it was available I read His Face All Red at least a dozen times online.

In conclusion: I very much recommend Through the Woods.  I’m looking forward to more works from Emily Carroll, and hope I won’t have long to wait.