Humorous horror comics can be hard to pull off; all too often, the ‘humor’ relies on tired puns or gory slapstick. Lucy Lyall’s Spare Keys for Strange Doors serves its funny frights up right.
The series follows paranormal investigators Marion and Toby as they look into reports of golems and missing swimmers, wrangle a host of supernatural beasties, and navigate their bizarre home life. Although the comic is packed with fun concepts like rot lizards (below), the investigators’ characters are what gives Spare Keys its charm.
The comic is broken down into brief, distinct storylines, a device which gives Spare Keys for Strange Doors the feel of a single-creator comics anthology. Most of the stories are more campy than they are horrifying, but the whole experience is so enjoyable you won’t mind that at all. Lucy Lyall had to stop working on the comic in 2014, but the short story format gave it a natural stopping point. Best of all, it has some very funny moments. It only took me an hour or so to read the entire run, and I enjoyed every minute of it.