Horror Comic Review: “The Dark Side of Seoul: Weird Tales from Korean Lore”

Without spoiling, we review the 50 paged horror comic book, “The Dark Side of Seoul: Weird Tales From Korean Lore”, and the reasons why it seems like one of the best horror comics for any folklore lovers, or those who wish to experience psychological horror through comic books.

Comic Book’s Official Description:

Spooky Korean folk tales come to life in English for the first time. 

Fifty pages of beautiful, visceral, and shocking stories from the depths of Korean lore. Three tales are included:

  • “Summoner’s Hour” – A reviled hermit retains a secret power that bridges two worlds.
  • “Wicked Things Love Darkness” – A grandmother’s wisdom helps a girl outwit an evil wizard.
  • “The Truly Blind” – A man with second sight must prove himself to the king or be put to death.

These are all authentic traditional tales illustrated in all their gore. 

Spoiler-Free Review:

The Dark side of Seoul is a fully colored (or Black and White print) 50 paged horror comic book featuring an interesting compilation of 3 Korean folktales covering demon summoners, wicked forest spirits, and soothsayers with a conversation between a tour guide and the tourists as the starting point, interjection and ending of the comic book.

The Summoner's Tale

  This comic book starts with the tourists on a horror tour in the South Korea, which is also available as a video tour from the comic creators’ website, and the perspective seems like an interesting way of telling about the Korean folklore. The scenarios play out like an anime/or a horror movie, as we see the tour guide mentioning a tale related to a place and we start seeing the tales. The language used is easy to understand, yet well composed, and never indecent. The art style feels like beautiful hand drawn Korean paintings with utmost care taken to keep the style consistent. There is no excess gore, or violence, but the sequences, and some content can be genuinely shocking as much of it deals with demons, spirits, and those that also eat humans. There’s some blood, and shocking visuals but nothing too disgusting even if it may be disturbing. Perhaps, that’s the sign of this comic’s success in making you feel amazed, shocked, and disturbed in a good horror kind of a way.

The Soothsayer

   The folklore covers a variety of topics, even if there are just 3 tales. That’s mainly because of the nature of the content in each tale, and conversations of the tour guide revealing many layers of the folklore. We not only learn about the Korean folktales, but also about the Korean way of living life, both in the present times, as well as hundreds of years ago. I like how some questions by the tourists also make the reference to the witch trials of the Europe which leads to providing information about what happened in the Korea during those times. There are some beautiful tales too, like the one of the soothsayer, with an emotionally powerful ending. These tales also teach about the values of honesty, quick thinking, and judgment. Some tales also leave the story open as that’s how the folktales are. There’s always the possibility of encountering the spirit/being that’s the center of the folktale. The closing scene of this comic feels like an ode to the beautiful co-existence of humans, and spirits in the world.

The Dark Side of Seoul: Weird Tales from Korean Lore Comic Book [PDF File]

   In conclusion, “The Dark Side of Seoul” Horror Comic entertains, and scares the readers with its intriguing adaptation of real Korean folktales. It also has an educational value as it provides information about history, Korea, and folktales, even if it’s by briefly touching on each aspect but in a fun, and interesting way. It also teaches us that the best way to research about any folktale is by meeting and listening to the people who had experienced it, or believe it. Like it was mentioned in the introduction (Foreword) by the author, Shawn Morrissey, this horror comic will definitely help you learn more about the Korean folklore, appreciate it, and make you want to learn more about them by doing your own research, or perhaps by visiting the website of the comic book creators. This horror comic is a value for money for any horror fan looking for psychological horror, as it’s a treat for those interested in Korean folklore, and if not, it will make you fall in love with the Korean folklore.

Preview of the Prologue (B&W Print):-

Here’s a peek at the prologue:

This second page leads into the opening of the first portmanteau tale in the comic.
This second page leads into the opening of the first portmanteau tale in the comic

The Creative Team:-

The creators of these comics are “guides, historians, folklorists, writers, artists, storytellers, and lovers of comic books. And although we lead the Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk five nights a week, sometimes for twenty or more guests, we still long to bring Korean folk tales to a wider audience. And that’s exactly what we aim to do with this project.” According to the Kickstarter Page.

The illustrator Tim Bauer is a professional comic book artist and teacher. He is half-Korean and lived in Korea for years. He writes and illustrates his own indie comics and, currently living in Vancouver, is active in the Pacific Northwest comic book convention scene.

Writer Shawn Morrissey is a heritage interpreter and guide for Dark Side of Seoul Ghost Walk. He’s been living in and studying Korea for nearly 20 years. Shawn is also a writer with publishing credits that include comic books.

A video about Shawn Morrissey’s history with horror comics:-

Click here to purchase the Color PDF, CBR File or B&W Print of the Book, T-shirts from the official store

Click here to visit the Official Website (https://darksideofseoul.com) to Purchase this Comic Book, Book a Tour to the Ghost Walk, and Support the Creators!

FaceBook Page

Shawn Morrissey (Author) Twitter

Kickstarter Legacy Page

About the Cover Art (Post on the Kickstarter)

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