Tag Archives: greg ruth

Underrated: Halls Of The Turnip King

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Halls Of The Turnip King.


I picked up Halls Of The Turnip King, published by Pegamoose Press yesterday from my LCS. It was written, drawn and hand lettered by Brenda Hickey. Originally released as a very limited series with a small print run, Halls Of The Turnip King also adds a thirteen page epilogue to the story, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

The plot is actually pretty simple; an elf prince goes to the dwarf kingdom to forge an alliance because the king believes a war is coming. But the prince would rather be playing video games than playing politics and doesn’t really have any idea what he’s doing. But where the plot is fairly straight forward it allows Hickey to really go to two with the humour in the book. If you like visual gags, the honouring, mickey-taking and subverting of fantasy tropes then this is going to be a book you’ll want to get your hands on.

Hickey also has some really fantastic examples of lettering and playing with the panel layouts and sound effects. One of these moments has a sound effect tapping a character on the shoulder to get his attention. I love the way that Hickey is able to work these often subtle moments into the graphic novel. It honestly wasn’t until I started writing this column that I realized just how much I enjoyed the way Hickey has drawn and lettered the comic. There’s an energy here that makes the comic feel almost Monty Python-eqsue at times, but it always feels like a complete and cohesive vision from Hickey.

There’s also a good lesson in the comic, too, but if I tell you what it is then it’ll probably give away too much of the story. The plot is fairly basic on paper, and that’s actually one of the comic’s strengths.

Hickey shows that you don’t need to have a Lord Of The Rings or Game Of Thrones/A Song of Ice And Fire style epic to tell a good story. Sometimes, a story about trying to forge an unlikely alliance can turn out to be exactly what you want to read on a Saturday morning (yes, I am writing this half an hour before publication). I read this book in one sitting, and I enjoyed each and every page of the book. Art, humour, the lettering (which is an underrated side of comics in and of itself) are utterly fantastic.

If this was a review of the book, I’d probably be looking at giving it upwards of an eight or a nine (I say this because there aren’t that many reviews of the book from what a quick google search found). But, because this isn’t a review, what I will say is that this is an Underrated gem and was worth every penny of the $30 it cost me.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Freaks Of The Heartland

We’re rerunning an older column this week. I may have gotten to obsessed with Westworld and may have forgotten to write a new column for the week.


This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Freaks Of the Heartland

foth.jpg

This is another book in the “well this looks interesting” series that usually results in me grabbing, seemingly at random, a trade paperback from the shelves at my LCS. Freaks of the Heartland was originally published as a six issue miniseries around 2004/2005. The series was written by Steve Niles and Greg Ruth handled the art and lettering.

Freaks Of The Heartland is set in the 50’s or 60’s, based on the visual clues throughout the book, and tells the story of young Trevor Owen and his mysterious younger brother Will, a mysterious child who is condemned to live in the barn behind the house. 

When I first cracked the cover, I was struck at how wonderful the art was – which feels like an odd statement given the subject of the book. Ruth’s work is frankly astounding. He is able to give you all you need to know about the characters within a panel or two at the very most – whether this is a facial expression, a gesture or their body language, this is a book where the words are almost unnecessary for your understanding of the story and the journey the characters are on. 

Niles is known for his horror comics, and the story of Freaks of the Heartland has its origins in the horror genre. There is the hidden threat and ominous sense of foreboding are very present throughout this book, and right up until the very end you’re never quite sure how the cards will fall in the conclusion. Nothing is telegraphed, nothing is given away, and the ending is all the more powerful for that. I went into this book without any idea of the plot – I never bothered to read the back of the book, and so I won’t give you anymore plot details here than I have because there are moments and revelations that hit me as I turned each page that I don’t think would have had the same impact upon me had I been more cognizant of the plot when opening the book.

Instead, I hope you’ll take my word for it that this is an utterly fantastic non-superhero story that will make you rethink the power of sequential art as a story telling medium. I genuinely believe that this story, a story that is told in its entirety in one volume, is an example of what comics are truly capable of when you look past the cyclical nature of superhero stories.

I devoured this book in a single sitting and knew immediately that had it been released this year then there is no question it would have made an appearance on my Best Of 2018 list. At this point, I’m thinking I’m going to add some kind of “Best thing I read this year that wasn’t from 2018” category just so I can highlight the book once again.

I usually end this column with a recommendation to check out the book or series or movie in question, but I genuinely can’t recommend this graphic novel to you highly enough If you don’t grab this with both hands when you see then you’ll miss an Underrated gem.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Freaks Of The Heartland

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week:  Freaks Of the Heartland



foth.jpg


This is another book in the “well this looks interesting” series that usually results in me grabbing, seemingly at random, a trade paperback from the shelves at my LCS. Freaks of the Heartland was originally published as a six issue miniseries around 2004/2005. The series was written by Steve Niles and Greg Ruth handled the art and lettering.

Freaks Of The Heartland is set in the 50’s or 60’s, based on the visual clues throughout the book, and tells the story of young Trevor Owen and his mysterious younger brother Will, a mysterious child who is condemned to live in the barn behind the house. 

When I first cracked the cover, I was struck at how wonderful the art was – which feels like an odd statement given the subject of the book. Ruth’s work is frankly astounding. He is able to give you all you need to know about the characters within a panel or two at the very most – whether this is a facial expression, a gesture or their body language, this is a book where the words are almost unnecessary for your understanding of the story and the journey the characters are on. 

Niles is known for his horror comics, and the story of Freaks of the Heartland has its origins in the horror genre. There is the hidden threat and ominous sense of foreboding are very present throughout this book, and right up until the very end you’re never quite sure how the cards will fall in the conclusion. Nothing is telegraphed, nothing is given away, and the ending is all the more powerful for that. I went into this book without any idea of the plot – I never bothered to read the back of the book, and so I won’t give you anymore plot details here than I have because there are moments and revelations that hit me as I turned each page that I don’t think would have had the same impact upon me had I been more cognizant of the plot when opening the book.

Instead, I hope you’ll take my word for it that this is an utterly fantastic non-superhero story that will make you rethink the power of sequential art as a story telling medium. I genuinely believe that this story, a story that is told in its entirety in one volume, is an example of what comics are truly capable of when you look past the cyclical nature of superhero stories.

I devoured this book in a single sitting and knew immediately that had it been released this year then there is no question it would have made an appearance on my Best Of 2018 list. At this point, I’m thinking I’m going to add some kind of “Best thing I read this year that wasn’t from 2018” category just so I can highlight the book once again.

I usually end this column with a recommendation to check out the book or series or movie in question, but I genuinely can’t recommend this graphic novel to you highly enough If you don’t grab this with both hands when you see then you’ll miss an Underrated gem.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Mondo Releasing Daredevil by Greg Ruth and Scarlet Witch by David Aja Posters Thursday!

Tomorrow Mondo will have a couple of new Marvel posters for Daredevil and Scarlet Witch by two artists they’re working with for the first time, Greg Ruth and David Aja.

Up first we’ll have two posters for our favorite guardian of Hell’s Kitchen, ‘ol Hornhead himself, Daredevil! Greg Ruth is an incredibly talented artist and we couldn’t be more happy about working together. Late last year, we came across this Daredevil artwork from Greg and were completely blown away. Daredevil standing tall as a watchful protector over his city’s seedy underbelly. We contacted him immediately and, thankfully, here we are.

Daredevil by Greg Ruth. 18″x24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 275. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $45

daredevil-by-greg-ruth

Daredevil (Variant) by Greg Ruth. 18″x24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 150. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $65

daredevil-variant-by-greg-ruth

They’ll also have a pair of posters by the great David Aja celebrating his amazing cover artwork for the current Scarlet Witch series. The cover art he’s been creating for the current Scarlet Witch series is seriously top notch.

Scarlet Witch #3 by David Aja. 18″x24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 125. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $45

scarlet-witch-3-by-david-aja

Scarlet Witch #6 by David Aja. 18″x24″ screen print. Hand numbered. Edition of 125. Printed by D&L Screenprinting. $45

scarlet-witch-6-by-david-aja

These posters will be available online at a random time on Thursday, January 19th.

Preview: Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and The Bird #1

Alabaster: The Good, The Bad, and The Bird #1

Caitlín R. Kiernan (W), Daniel Warren Johnson (A), Greg Ruth (Cover)
On sale December 9, FOC November 16.

A new evil haunts the sun-scorched back roads and ghost towns of the American South—murderous twins who command a legion of ghouls. Once again, Dancy Flammarion must face down demons: both those who walk the world unchallenged and those in her own shattered mind.

Alabaster The Good, The Bad, and The Bird #1 1

Dark Horse Comics to Publish Caitlín R. Kiernan’s Alabaster!

Official Press Release

DARK HORSE COMICS TO PUBLISH

CAITLÍN R. KIERNAN’S ALABASTER!

November 9,MILWAUKIE, OR—Caitlín R. Kiernan is the author of numerous works of dark fantasy and science fiction, including nine novels, several comic-book series (including Sandman spinoff The Dreaming), and over two hundred published short stories and novellas. Now, she brings her tales to the land of Dark Horse Comics.

Alabaster is based on Caitlín R. Kiernan’s fan-favorite Dancy Flammarion stories, a dark fantasy series centered around a female teenage protagonist of striking appearance and hidden, terrible depths. For nearly as long as she can remember, seventeen-year-old Dancy Flammarion has fought monsters, cutting a bloody swath through the demons and dark things of the world, aimed like a weapon by a merciless seraph, more taskmaster than guardian.

Part continuation, part reimagining, the series begins with Dancy making and breaking an oath in the name of her seraph, who subsequently abandons her. Injured and alone, Dancy has to find her own way for the first time in her life—and the wolves are closing in.

Alabaster will first appear in Dark Horse Presents #9 (on sale February 22, 2012), followed by the five-issue miniseries Alabaster: Wolves, which throws readers into Dancy’s world with a bang, strips away her seraph, and introduces the two characters who will become her long-term supporting cast. Alabaster: Wolves #1 is on sale April 11, 2012.

Alabaster features artwork by Eisner Award–nominated artist Steve Lieber and cover art by Greg Ruth!

Praise for Caitlín R. Kiernan

“One of our essential writers of dark fiction . . . a cartographer of lost worlds.”—New York Times

Praise for Steve Lieber

“Lieber’s art is stunningly refined . . . This is how a comic book should look.”—Comic Book Resources


About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, and comics legend Will Eisner, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAliens, ConanEmily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun, Serenity, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of licensed comics material.