Coffin Hill: horror comic that mixes HP Lovecraft with black eyeliner #2yrsago

Coffin Hill is a horror story in graphic novel form that’s somewhere between HP Lovecraft and Bauhaus: a genuinely scary and brilliantly told tale that’s not afraid to show us its black eyeliner and ill-advised teenaged hair.Cory Doctorow reviews the first Coffin Hill collection.

Horror is hard to pull off, partly because there’s something inescapably adolescent about the thrill of giving yourself goosebumps. But in Coffin Hill, novelist-turned-comics-creator Caitlin Kittredge totally owns the adolescent nature of spook-stories, presenting a tale of terror whose teenaged protagonists are the kind of gothy, screwed-up kids that are exactly the kinds of freaks who’d be willing to open the grimoire and unleash terror on the world.

We first meet Eve Coffin as a Boston cop who has just caught a notorious serial killer, only to be shot in the face by her roommate’s dope-dealing roommate. From here, we’re plunged into Eve’s backstory, her youth as a gothed-out, outrageous teenager who is a perpetual embarrassment to her wealthy parents and their circle of decadent, drunken, groping friends.

But there’s more to the Coffins than modern Gatsby disease. They are the end of a long line of witches who have lived in a spooky New England mansion for centuries, communing with something dark and ravenous in the woods. Something that Eve wants to make contact with, stealing the family’s forbidden grimoire and bringing her messed-up pals out to the woods for some spooky seance-type fun – fun that ends with one friend dead and the other in an asylum.

Now, wounded Eve, with her glass eye, is back at the family manse, just as girls from the town start going missing in the woods. Girls who have something in common with Eve and her old coven, an obsession with the dark arts and dark mysteries.

The story is both gothic and baroque, with many twists and turns that are expertly woven through the narrative in flashbacks, some of them surreal, all of them with the prickling-nape-hair spookiness of the best horror.

Eve and her friends are pitch-perfect screwed-up subculture kids, expertly rendered by Inaki Miranda, whose work may be familiar from her work onFables. If you loved Poppy Brite’s Lost Souls and relish lying in bed at night, too scared to close your eyes lest you remember some dreadful scene, this is a book for you.

Coffin Hill Vol. 1

“Your father would be proud of you”

Yesterday I saw HTTYD2 again and this scene has been stuck in my head. And well, I think I just wanted to make myself sad too.

All singing together an ancient rhyme, but no word did they speak to the mistress of the house. Strange to hear, and frightful to look upon, were these twelve women, with their horns and their wheels; and the mistress felt near to death, and she tried to rise that she might call for help, but she could not move, nor could she utter a word or a cry, for the spell of the witches was upon her.

—Lay Wilde, The Horned Women

art by Gustave Dore


The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham (usually known as Durham Cathedral) is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green. The present cathedral replaced the 10th century “White Church”, built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. 

source | edit ♛ b&w by me

Durham Cathedral has been featured in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where it had a spire digitally added onto the top of the famous towers.

✘ Architecture ✘

The building is notable for the ribbed vault of the nave roof, with pointed transverse arches supported on relatively slender composite piers alternated with massive drum columns, and flying buttresses or lateral abutments concealed within the triforium over the aisles. These features appear to be precursors of the Gothic architecture of Northern France a few decades later, doubtless due to the Norman stonemasons responsible, although the building is considered Romanesque overall. The skilled use of the pointed arch and ribbed vault made it possible to cover far more elaborate and complicated ground plans than before. Buttressing made it possible to build taller buildings and open up the intervening wall spaces to create larger windows.

Saint Cuthbert’s tomb lies at the East in the Feretory and was once an elaborate monument of cream marble and gold. It remains a place of pilgrimage.