Cover Image: The Crossroads at Midnight

The Crossroads at Midnight

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I selected this title to preview for collection development. This is creepy in the field of Junjo Ito but not as gore-y. If you have teens that want Ito but can't read it for whatever reason then this will work. The art is clean and is easy to follow and by the end of the short story chapters I am straight up creeped out. I am not into horror and I personally didn't like it but I could easily recommend it to the kids graduating out of Goosebumps and wanting a scary story.
Was this review helpful?
A lonely girl makes an usual friend in her next door neighbor. A student desperate for good grades, and a good nights sleep. A child who makes a mysterious friend at the beach. A monster who comes out at night. An old woman desperate for company...Five terrible, beautifully illustrated stories connected by human longing and the desperation of turning to the supernatural.
This is a quick, creepy read! Five perfectly bite sized horror stories and the sometimes lovely and sometimes GRUESOME illustrations to go by with them. (Not for the faint of heart!)
I recommend this for high school and up🧟‍♀️
Thank you to  for allowing me to read and review!
Was this review helpful?
What a delight this horror anthology is. All the stories are just about perfectly paced, each panel intensifying the tension, deftly guiding the reader along a creepy passage. Horror comics are exceedingly difficult to do well. It, therefore, is a real treat to read something that is as refined as this. What Howard does with Crossroads at Midnight is put sympathetic well-written characters at the centre of each of the stories. Horror has a terrible reputation for being exploitative yet this is anything but that. The tales range from the body horror of someone having their skin stolen to a chiller about feuding siblings. 

The linework is fluid and some of the creature designs evoke Junji Ito and some David Clowes creepier stuff. You can almost see the scratch mark of the pencils, cleverly using crosshatching and shadows to give us enough light to the characters and creatures in the comic. The Boy at the beach is one of the most disturbing antagonists I have seen on a page in some time. While the monsters are sinister and weird I think most of the praise should be aimed at how Howard depicts the emotions that the more human characters are feeling. Howard is able to frame the realisations of characters understanding how much trouble they have got themselves and more action-heavy sequences with equal aplomb. 

For those looking for their next horror fix, this is superior stuff. Exactly the sort of thing that needs to be read late at night under the bedsheets with a torch. Howard is a novelist to keep an eye out for.
Was this review helpful?
Wow, I didn't expect to enjoy this one so much! This graphic novel is a collection of a handful of creepy stories, but these stories aren't just your plain old creepy ones. A lot of them are weirdly touching? And quite sad as well, I didn't expect to get teary eyed in a few of the scenes. I enjoyed all of the stories, but there were definitely some that were stronger and more impactful. I also liked that there were other themes explored and not just plain horror, such as family relationships, loneliness, acceptance, and even LGBTQ+ issues. My particular favorites are The Girl In the Fields and Kindred Spirits. The art I also loved, although I wish there were more colors, but I think it fit the spooky vibe very well. Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys spooky stories.
Was this review helpful?
I don't indulge in much horror, but I liked these stories.

I like how it wasn't just the horror, but the humanity of what was happening, the back story, the wholeness of the characters.  A teenager is fearing she will be forced conversion therapy, so takes to talking to a woman on the other side of a fence, whose face she never sees, who is also trapped.

An old woman meets three zombies, who only want to listen to her stories, unlike the rest of the town.

A water spirit comes to claim a child, despite her sister trying to save her.

Very enjoyable, and with unexpected twists.

<em>Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.</em>
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoy this collection of short stories. Each had some sort of moral lesson or underlining meaning. I also really enjoyed the artwork and I think the black and white gave it a spookier vibe. My favor ending was the last story, it had a very bittersweet ending that was morbidly beautiful. For those who enjoyed Creepshow and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, you will definitely enjoy this collection of stories.
Was this review helpful?
The five short stories in this black and white anthology embody diversity in female protagonists, settings, and types of monsters while exemplifying effective horror tales evocative of a virtuoso storyteller, sitting around a campfire with an attentive older audience. They are arresting in their execution and filled with unsettling suspense married with the recognition of various human experiences, especially loneliness while surrounded by family and community. Here we discover that not is all what it seems when you seek consolation and friendship in the dark unknown. While none of the tales take place at the legendary crossroads at midnight, they all exemplify what could possibly happen when the supernatural is invited into your heart and home.
All these tales together offer a glimpse into the unsettling horror that can be awaiting each and everyone of us. While many monsters may be supernatural, the fear and longing driving both the humans and the monstrous is not so far out of bounds, closer perhaps than the famous crossroads at midnight. I highly recommend this graphic novel, which began as a Kickstarter project, for young adults and adults who love to read horror and to be frightened safely within the covers of a book.

This is an excerpt of a forthcoming review on No Flying No Tights (
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Iron circus comics for this arc I exchange for an honest review.

The Crossroads at Midnight is a spooky collection of short horror comics. I daresay it is a gorgeous collection of horror (odd word to go along with horror) but the art of the graphic novel and it's use of shading was exquisite! 

Some of these stories are filled with a heavy sense of looming dread, slow burns if you will.,  Then there are others (used, comes to mind) that are just straight out disturbing! But what a ride! 

The last story was my favorite, with how bittersweet it was.
Was this review helpful?
This YA horror graphic novel is a collection of five short stories by Abby Howard. Like with most short story collections, some stories are weaker than others. In this case, there was only one story I didn't really find that scary or creepy, that one was "Our Lake Monster." The others, though are both fun and thrilling/scary. They also seem to have underlying messages for teens about acceptance of others, poverty, and family. 

The artwork was amazing, even in black and white. I'm definitely going to see what it looks like in color in the finished copy. Howard does an excellent job also with conveying emotions in her character's eyes. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes horror or has kids interested in horror (there is some gore and a few cuss words, so beware of that).

My appreciation to Iron Circus Comics, author/illustrator Abby Howard, and NetGalley for gifting me a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This collection of stories is excellent. They leave you with a sense of unease which feels just right for horror. 

The artwork is black/white/grey and everything in between. The way in which the artwork conveys the story is powerful, reminding me of Junji Ito (the master of Japanese horror manga).

The storytelling is engaging and interesting, leaving the reader feeling slightly uncomfortable but asking questions (what happened next) and wanting so much more. In short each one of these stories packs a punch in a truly enjoyable, creepy and eerie way.

Definitely worth reading. 

Copy provided by Iron Circus Comics via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
A big thank-you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for giving me a copy of this book for an unbiased review.

4.5/5 - Really, really liked it. 

I couldn't pull myself away from this book. Each of the five stories as unexpected, filled with rich and well developed characters, and complex story lines. The art style of the graphic novel was perfect for the somber, spooky mood the stories conveyed. The illustrations brought me right into the heart of each narrative, with perspectives which made me feel as if I were actually observing the events from within. 

There were also several hidden themes - for example, the "Labyrinth" poster in Frankie's bedroom - which I really loved. 

The only reason I'm knocking 1/2 a point off is because there is a scene with violence towards a very young child and this is something I personally just cannot get past. It may not bother other readers, but that's my "no-go" zone. 

Other than that, this book was brilliant. I would definitely recommend it to lovers of horror and graphic novels.
Was this review helpful?
Crossroads at Midnight is a well-written, creepy collection of short horror stories perfect for teens.  Each story focuses on a unique character who faces true horror in real life situations, with a supernatural twist.  Abby Howard’s work is very woman centered, with some LGBTQ+ representation as well.  This collection of short stories is perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Goosebumps, and Neil Gaiman.  Highly recommended for libraries and teen book clubs.
Was this review helpful?
This anthology it a great one. We only see the characters a total of 20ish pages but they feel realistic and well rounded.  All of the stories are unique. I read a lot of horror and I can't recall reading anything like these. The stories deal with problems plaguing our society, ranging from homophobia, radical Christianity, sibling relationships, feelings of isolation and many more. The art is what really made me love this graphic novel. Howard does not hold back when it comes to body horror. The closest thing her art reminds me of is Junji Ito.  They both have the gothic feel and the technique that makes you nervous to turn the page. You can never tell what you're going to see next. She has mastered the horror technique that what you can only catch glimpses of is scarier than a monster in full view. I would highly recommend this to Junji Ito and Stephen King fans.
Was this review helpful?
Oh wow, what a collection! Each and every single one of the stories had a major potential and I must confess I am a bit underwhelmed by their shortness. It's quite a paradox, to have something so good yet turning up to just not reach the potential. 

I found that I most liked the longest stories. The last one and the one with the sisters were perfection, same goes for the one with the monster. That one, more than a horror story was a rage story.

Overall, quite liked it and I expect to see a lot more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
"A masterful collection of tales from the faded border between our day-to-day world and the horrifying unknown on the other side of midnight.

An old woman living alone on the edge of a bog gets an unexpected - and unsettling - visitor, throwing her quiet life into a long-buried mystery. An isolated backwoods family stumbles into good fortune for a time with a monstrous discovery in the lake behind their house, but that time is running short. And a misfit little girl, struggling to make friends, meets an understanding soul one day at the beach: but why will he only play with her alone at night? All these lonely souls - and more - have reached out into the darkness, not knowing what they might find.

Around the dark edges of reality lurk unknown beings with unknowable intentions - ordinary objects can become cursed possessions, entities who seem like friends can become monstrous, and those who seem monstrous can become the truest companions. In this collection of evocative, unnerving slice-of-life horror, five stories explore what happens when one is desperate enough to seek solace in the unnatural, and what might be waiting for us at the Crossroads at Midnight."

I was 100% sold with the mention of ordinary objects becoming cursed possessions.
Was this review helpful?
Beautiful artwork. Scary and heartbreaking. I really enjoyed these comics. Just scary enough to not be cheesy but leave you thinking about the stories for days.
Was this review helpful?
This is a great collection of horror short stories! Each story is different from the others. You root for all the main characters in a short period of time. Women center here, and in an intersectional way. Abby Howard's ability to convey emotion, especially in the eyes of her characters, is amazing. These subtle changes paired with physical changes blur the line of what is truly horror. Some of the most horrific looking characters are the most relatable and a source of solace for the main characters. Some of the creepiest characters look untouched. The horror is heightened by their "normalcy". 
I thought that the black and white would feel incomplete, but it works very well.

Thank you to Abby Howard, Iron Circus Comics, and NetGalley for an advance ecopy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Iron circus comics for this arc I exchange for an honest review. 

The Crossroads at Midnight is a beautiful collection of short horror comics. Yes I called horror beautiful, because this collection was! 

With a really sense of looming dread and oppression, these stories all fit cohesively into the collection. 

My favourite story was the first one with its folk horror vibes. The last story’s sweet sadness was also a stand out. 

But I think, what will stick with me most, is that that tongue from Mattress, Used.... 

This was a fantastic horror collection.
Was this review helpful?
I had mixed feelings about this book. Being a big comic book reader over the past 30 some years, I've seen my share of moving panels and graphic novels. The Crossroads at Midnight had 5 horror stories, and if we get into the technical aspects of horror, the stories were balanced in between a dreadful feeling and horrific moments. Where the book shined is in the narratives themselves, where we were properly introduced to the characters before they experienced their moments into twists and turns, and horror personified. I liked the stories, especially "Mattress, Used", where we graphically experience the stomach churning of her deteriorating state.

Where the book didn't quite connect with me — and again my exposure to Marvel/DC art might be the cause of my different expectations — is in the art itself. It reminded me of a style more reminiscent of children's books, and I couldn't quite appreciate it as much in the context of horror stories.

So in conclusion, for people who have no problems with this style of art, and enjoy shocking horror stories as depicted in The Crossroads at Midnight will have a wonderful ride with this graphic novel.
Was this review helpful?
The Crossroads at Midnight is a collection of five creepy short stories written and illustrated by Abby Howard. It is a good introduction for an older YA audience looking for horror graphic novels, who are ready for some gore, but not too much.

The Girl in the Fields

A queer teen is outed when her private online correspondence is read by her conservative parents.  They threaten that their pastor will cure her, and living out in the country, Frankie has nowhere to escape to.  But she seems to strike up a friendship with a neighboring girl who she can’t see because of the tall fence. Determined to meet in person, she climbs over but can’t find her, but unfortunately runs across a farmer who is a religious zealot and who plans to kill her with his tractor. This was a heavy story to start off with, but it had an interesting blend of reality with the unexpected.

Mattress, Used

Christina, a frazzled college student who is crashing in a friend’s apartment snags a used mattress from a city street. Her roommate is rightfully disgusted, as stains are evident. But Christina’s nights become filled with nightmares with a large creature says he wants her flesh. Upon waking she is exhausted, feverish and develops a bad rash. After a horrific long hospital stay in which she loses a lot of skin, she is visited by the creature once she returns home. Is she doomed to lose the rest of her skin? The last panel shows the mattress out on the road again- who’s next???

The Boy From The Sea

Two sisters vacation with their father at a beach, when a strange boy befriends the younger sister. The older sister clues in that the boy means her harm and is on guard to keep her sister safe. But the older sister needs to make a heartbreaking decision when he comes to drag her sister into the ocean. Thirty years pass and another agonizing scene occurs with no recourse.

Our Lake Monster

The naivete of youth! A young teen reminisces about the days in which her family traveled with a lake creature, before a tragedy occurred, putting an end to their side-show income. She believes the lake monster is still kind as it was when it was young and much smaller, and waxes poetic to her little brother about it. She then makes a decision that has terrible consequences for the entire family.

Kindred Spirits

This melancholy story was strangely sweet, although it was the only story that did not include a young character. An older woman Norah who has never married or had children lives out in the country, which is adjacent to a bog. A bog woman mysteriously shows up at her doorstep and believe it or not, the two women strike up a friendship of sorts. Two other voiceless bog women join them, and Norah researches who they might have been in the past and the circumstances of their death. Later, after rejection after rejection by the townspeople during her time of need, she makes a decision that brings her peace.

Howard’s black and white art was powerful. Her crosshatching of shadows and effective use of white vs black gutters to hint at the changing tone was spot-on. Her art reminded me of Junito Ito’s work- both in style and substance. Body horror was forefront in most of the narratives, and you need to have a strong suspension of disbelief. These bittersweet tales are a perfect slice-of-life horror.

Thanks to NetGalley for an early online copy. As a teen librarian, I will definitely be buying a copy for my library’s collection!
Was this review helpful?