Tag Archives: steve niles

A Wave Blue World Kickstarts Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope

A Wave Blue World has announced the launch of its latest anthology, Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope which is now raising funds on Kickstarter. The graphic novel anthology is a sequel to All We Ever Wanted: Stories of a Better World which received a Ringo Award nomination for “best anthology.”

Maybe Someday is a new full-color anthology presenting over twenty-five aspirational stories to lift the spirits of readers and instill the hope that a brighter future is possible. Maybe Someday also reunites the publisher with the editorial team of Matt Miner and Eric Palicki.

The Maybe Someday Kickstarter campaign, running through the entire month of June, offers a Kickstarter exclusive cover, which is only available to backers. The cover art is by Max Dunbar with colors by Espen Grundetjern. Logo and cover design are by Tim Daniel. A different cover by this same team will be featured on the direct market edition when the book comes out later this year.

Other rewards include a digital sketchbook, signed bookplates, and combo packs of previously published anthologies.

Check out the full list of creators taking part, it’s a who’s who of comic talent:

Natasha Alterici, Alejandro Aragon, Darren Auck, Max Bemis, Anthony Breznican, Ryan Cady, Mario Candelaria, Joe Caramagna, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Gab Contreras, Shawn Daley, Jono Diener, Jeff Edwards, Greg Anderson Elysee, Mike Feehan, Ryan Ferrier, Joe Glass, Isaac Goodhart, Adam Gorham, Hagai, Ray-Anthony Height, Josh Hood, Daniel Kibblesmith, Konner Knudsen, Michael Kupperman, Alisa Kwitney, Valentine De Landro, Robert Lee, Yasmin Liang, Mauricet, John McFarlane, Matt Miner, Christopher Mitten, Michael Moreci, Steve Niles, Eric Palicki, Emily Pearson, Stephanie Phillips, Curt Pires, Sebastian Piriz, Andy Poole, Nick Pyle, Rod Reis, Renfamous, Marco Rudy, Ethan Sacks, Phillip Sevy, Erica Shultz, Martin Simmonds, Aubrey Sitterson, Stelladia, Sally Jane Thompson, Zoe Thorogood, Bobby Timony, and Rockwell White.

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.

IDW and Steve Niles’ October Faction Gets a Trailer

Locke & Key is getting the news but another IDW Publishing published comic also saw a trailer drop. October Faction is based on the comic series written by Steve Niles that featured art by Damien Worm.

October Faction follows Fred (J.C. MacKenzie) and Deloris Allen (Tamara Taylor) who, after the death of Fred’s father, return to their hometown in New York with their 17-year-old twins Geoff (Gabriel Darku) and Viv (Aurora Burghart). Subsequently, Geoff and Viv’s lives are turned upside down when they discover their seemingly unremarkable insurance sales rep parents are, in fact, (spoiler alert!) trained assassins who hunt monsters.

October Faction debuts on Netflix on January 23.

Preview: The October Faction: Open Season

The October Faction: Open Season

Steve Niles (w) • Damien Worm (a & c)

Meet the Allan family—retired monster hunter Fredrick, his wife Deloris, and their two children Geoff and Vivian—in this tale about the typical challenges that a very atypical family encounters while fending off the attacks of vampires, werewolves, demons, and more. As Fredrick works to put his monster hunting days behind him, his two kids insist on joining the family business. But ghosts from the past refuse to stay dead and conspiring foes lurk in the shadows leading to a massive showdown with foes supernatural and natural alike! Collects the first 12 issues of the comic book series soon to be a Netflix show.

TPB • FC • $29.99 • 288 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-527-2

The October Faction: Open Season

Steve Niles Returns to Criminal Macabre with The Big Bleed Out

Criminal Macabre is back and bloodier than ever! Series creator Steve Niles, newcomer artist Gyula Németh, and letterer Nate Piekos are teaming up to bring you the next chapter in the Cal McDonald saga: Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out starts when supernatural detective Cal McDonald, found wandering the streets as a disheveled vagrant, is ripped from his self-imposed retirement to resume his monster-killing career.

But Cal is reluctant to return to the fray. What has the hard-bitten investigator so shaken? It’s a long story that begins with a beautiful woman who happens to be a vampire…and ends with a bang.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out #1 (of four) goes on sale December 11, 2019.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out #1

Preview: 30 Days of Night 100-Page Giant

30 Days of Night 100-Page Giant

Kelly Sue DeConnick, Steve Niles (w) • Justin Randall (a & c)

Out of print for over a decade, the superstar creative team of Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet), Steve Niles (Kick-Ass), and Justin Randall (Changing Ways) tackle the classic 30 Days vampires! Stella managed to bring her husband Eban back from beyond… but he came back hungry!

FC • 100 pages • $4.99

30 Days of Night 100-Page Giant

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.

Preview: The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams

The October Faction: Supernatural Dreams

Steve Niles (w) • Damien Worm (a & c)

With their former leader and father retired, the rest of the Allan family adjusts to the new status quo and brings the monster-hunting business into the modern era. But a sinister and powerful new evil stirs… one that could tear the family apart!The town of Gristlewood is under attack from the most powerful being it has ever seen. Vivian and Geoff take the lead in fighting the evil, but can they even begin to match its power? Or will this be the end of the October Faction?

TPB •FC • $17.99 • 120 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-369-8

City of Others Gets a Tenth Anniversary Edition

Ten years ago, Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson joined forces to create a comics series like no other! Dark Horse is celebrating the tenth anniversary of City of Others with a deluxe oversized hardcover edition colored by Jose Villarubia.

Stosh Bludowski, known simply as “Blud,” is a natural born killer with no human emotion other than rage. Blud spent years making a comfortable living as a contract killer until the day he runs across two targets who won’t die. As a grotesque mystery begins to unfold around him, the remorseless killer confronts a reality he could never imagine, and is invited to decide once and for all . . . is he human, or is he Other?

Collecting all four issues of the original comics series, City of Others: Tenth Anniversary Edition HC goes on sale June 5, 2019.

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