Emily Carroll is an artist who writes horror comics.
Her style is highly variable, shifting to fit the mood of the scene and makes use of vibrant colors as much as it does creepy monochrome. In certain stories, animated gif panels serve as Jump Scares. The comics are variously labeled as fairy tales, romance, or ghost stories, but nearly all of them involve elements of the macabre and terrifying. Bad dreams are a recurring motif, particularly things not staying inside them, and she's written comics about her own strange nightmares.
Most of the stories on her website are standalones, usually taking place in 18th to 19th century rural settings. Four take place in the modern Canadian town of Keeping.
Things she has made/worked on include:
- His Face All Red
- Through the Woods
- The Yawhg (co-creator)
- Gone Home (did some art for)
- Speak: The Graphic Novel (illustrator)
- Beneath the Dead Oak Tree
- When I Arrived at the Castle
- "This Witch's Work" from The Witching Hour (co-creator)
- Baba Yaga's Assistant (illustrator)
Tropes present in her works:
- Don't Go in the Woods: Terrible things frequently happen in and around forests, usually because of something that lives there.
- Interface Screw: Combined with Odd-Shaped Panel, below, her works often need to be navigated differently from traditional webcomics— and sometimes strange things happen when panels are moused over.
- Odd-Shaped Panel: Often combined with the Infinite Canvas to have the story partially or wholly stretch down, across, or down and across a large page.
The Hare's BrideA take on the traditional fairy tale, told in a single page.
- Schmuck Bait: The hare's invitation. By all appearances he has in mind a life of domestic slavery and, if those teeth are any indication, possibly worse.
- Sleeping Dummy: The girl escapes with a variation; she builds up the straw and dresses it in her hat and apron so she can leg it.
Anu-Anulan & Yir's Daughter
- Happy Ending: This is the only one so far that has an unalloyed happy ending, with the goddess and Yorenn living happily together.
- Rapunzel Hair: Yir's daughter has long, beautiful silver braids.
- Rule of Three: Three times, Anu-Anulan appears to Yir's daughter in disguise and convinces her to part with a braid of her hair.
The Prince and the SeaThe prince of a forest kingdom and a mermaid from an underwater land fall in love. Written as a poem.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Just as the prince comes up with a plan to be with the mermaid, his uncle sneaks up and drowns him in the pool.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: It ends with a view of the maid lovingly caressing the prince's bloated, rotting face.
- Evil Uncle: The prince's uncle kills him to take the throne.
- Innocent Inaccurate: When the maid finds the prince facedown in the pool, she's very touched that he gave up his precious air for her and takes his body down into the depths.
- Literal-Minded: The maid about the prince swearing on his heart and bones.
- Nightmare Face: Our first look at the prince after the encounter with his uncle.
- The Promise: The prince vows to find some way for he and the maid to be together, on his heart and bones. The maid rips open his body to see those parts, still versing delightedly at his "sacrifice", when she brings his drowned body into the water.
- Red Herring: The prince is unsettled by the thought of a vast, dark ocean kingdom beneath his forest, you always have to be careful about mermaids, and there's something unsettling about the emphasis on his determination to find any way to unite the two lands. He's actually killed by his treacherous uncle, who has nothing to do with the ocean kingdom.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Alas, romance is difficult when one person needs to breathe air and the other has to live in water.
Margot's RoomThe tale of a woman who lost her daughter, and then her husband.
- Driving Question: What happened in Margot's room? The woman was forced to kill her husband, who had turned into a werewolf.
Out of Skin
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The woman quickly realizes that the only person who could have buried the girls near her house is a friendly merchant that visits her in the woods.
- Body Horror: The pile of dead bodies the woman finds out in the woods, and what their ghosts do to her own house.
- Body of Bodies: The tree that grows from the girls' mass grave has bark like skin, its "leaves" are really hands, and it has red blood for sap.
- Enemy Rising Behind: When the merchant leaves the woman's house, all the flesh peels off and follows to envelop him.
- Genius Loci: Eventually, the dead girls completely immerse themselves in the fabric of the house's structure and all the houseware and furniture.
- Invisible to Normals: Apparently, the man with the cart can't see anything unusual about the woman's house.
- Jump Scare:
- Fourth page, fifth panel. Watch the chair.
- On the sixth page, the merchant flashes between his normal-looking self and the evil soul the woman now knows he is.
- Must Be Invited: Subverted. The woman refuses the undead girls' demand to be let into her house, but they get in anyhow.
- Serial Killer: The merchant has killed at least half a dozen girls.
- Unfinished Business: The girls. They seem to know that their murderer visits the old woman and lurk in her house to wait for his next appearance.
The Hole the Fox Did MakeA girl named Regan dreams about her unknown father and develops a fascination with the creek near her home.
- Adult Fear: Regan's mother sternly warns her away from the creek with the implication that it's dangerous. It's actually very shallow, but Regan is still drowned.
- Big Eater: Regan often asks for seconds or thirds.
- Ghostly Goals: The Whispering Woman whom Regan encounters at the dream party turns out to be the ghost of the girl her mother drowned when they were both in high school. They were fighting over the boy who became Regan's father. Not surprisingly, the Whispering Woman wants Regan.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: What Regan's mother did to the other girl the fox claimed to love.
- The 'Verse: Regan later appears (chronologically before this comic) in The Groom.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Regan ends up suffering for what her mother did in high school. The ghost of her mother's victim lures her to the creek and drowns her.
- Teacher/Student Romance: The yearbook page of Regan's mother's high school years suggests that Regan's father was her mother's teacher. It doesn't seem to have worked out, however.
When the Darkness PressesA young woman looks after a house for the summer and finds herself having recurring nightmares.
- Foreshadowing: The comic is done in the style of an early/mid-2000s webcomic, with advertising on the side and top of the panels; the top advertisement is for a hand moisturizer called Aloe-glo, which is just one letter off from the moisturizer that features prominently in the sequel Some Other Animal's Meat.
- Painting the Medium: The faux-advertisements occasionally change as the story progresses.
- The 'Verse: The family that owns the house, the Dolans, play a major role in the backstory of The Groom, and the young woman's friend is the main character of Some Other Animal's Meat.
All Along the WallA bored girl at a party requests a ghost story from one of the guests. A prequel to "The Nesting Place" from her book Through the Woods.
The GroomTwo girls discover a diorama behind a house.
- Prequel: To The Hole the Fox Did Make, though both are separate stories that can be read independently.
- Murder-Suicide: It's strongly implied that Mr Dolan killed his wife and daughter, and then himself.
- Sequel: To When the Darkness Presses.
- The 'Verse: Takes place after When the Darkness Presses and before The Hole the Fox Did Make.
Some Other Animal's MeatA woman feels disconnected from her body.
- Fully Absorbed Finale: This comic shows that the protagonist of When the Darkness Presses gets out of the house alive and well, though her coping method as described by her is less than reassuring.
- Sequel: To When the Darkness Presses.
- The 'Verse: The main character and her friend previously appeared in When the Darkness Presses, which sets this comic in the same universe as The Hole the Fox Did Make and The Groom.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Much of the horror can be taken as a representation of the protagonist's mental state, but given that ghosts explicitly exist in other comics set in the universe...
- Bait-and-Switch: Don't be fooled by the soft pink color of Room 21.