Tag Archives: steve niles

Nuclear Family banner ad

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.

Steve Niles, Shannon Eric Denton, and Dan Evans Launch Monster Forge Productions

Monster Forge Productions

Steve Niles and Shannon Eric Denton have launched Monster Forge Productions, a new company focusing on horror properties. Joining them as a creative consultant is Dan Evans a former vp, creative affairs for DC Entertainment. Niles is the co-creator of the 30 Days of Night franchise and Denton is an artist and animator.

The company is a multi-platform production division that brings together Niles and Denton’s longstanding work and creator relationships focused on film, television, interactive entertainment, gaming, and merchandising. Material will be for adults and kids.

Monster Forge will parter with artists and writers to build franchises across media and appeal to audiences of all ages.

The company already has an impressive roster of talent to work with including Star Trek: Picard supervising producer Marc Bernardin, legendary toy designer James Groman (Madballs), N.W.A. co-founder Arabian Prince, BOOM! Studios co-founder and Hellboy screenwriter Andrew Cosby, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, The Grudge 3 screenwriter Brad Keene, Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley and the estate of legendary horror illustrator Bernie Wrightson, among others.

Drax, Juggernaut, Marvel Monsters, and Romance from Marvel and Harlequin are Your New Digital Releases

ComiXology delivers six new releases today on their digital comics platform. You can choose between releases from Marvel and Harlequin with a mix of genres. There are classic characters and classic and modern romance comics for you to read now. Check out all of the releases here and get shopping or the individual issues below.

Billionaire’s Bargain

Written by Maureen Child
Art by Sara Nakayama
Purchase

It’s been two years since Sienna divorced her cheating husband, Devon. His older brother, Adam, suddenly pays a visit to her. She always found it difficult to deal with him, yet her body sizzles when he is around. But Adam has perplexing news for her. Devon, who died six months ago, had a baby with a woman who then sold the baby to Adam! He pleads with Sienna to stay with him for two weeks to help care for the baby, and she finds she can’t refuse the offer he makes her…

Billionaire's Bargain

Drax The Destroyer: Earthfall

Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Mitch Breitweiser
Cover by Mitch Breitweiser
Purchase

Collects Drax: The Destroyer (2005) #1-4.

The crash of an interstellar prison transport spells big trouble for an isolated Alaskan town when Paibok the Power Skrull, Lunatik, the Blood Brothers and Drax the Destroyer come calling. It’s not a social call. Oh… and you think you know Drax? Big, green and not all that bright – is that the Drax you’re thinking about? You don’t know Drax!

Drax The Destroyer: Earthfall

King Of Swords

Written by Sara Craven
Art by Nasuno Amano
Purchase

Julia was astonished when she returned to her beloved home after a month away. While she was gone, her father had gone bankrupt and sold their property. The buyer was Alex, a notorious Greek man. Though he came off as rude and arrogant, he took a liking to Julia and proposed that she marry him to be able to stay in her home. Ignoring the frantic fluttering of her heart, she accepted his proposal, telling herself it was just for the house…

King Of Swords

Marvel Monsters

Written by Peter David, Keith Giffen, Mick Gray, Roger Langridge, Steve Niles, Jeff Parker, Eric Powell, Tom Sniegoski
Art by Russell Braun, Mark Farmer, Duncan Fegredo, Keith Giffen, Roger Langridge, Arnold Pander, Eric Powell
Cover by Eric Powell
Purchase

Collects Monsters On The Prowl, Devil Dinosaur, Fin Fang Four, Where Monsters Dwell And Material From Tales To Astonish #1, Journey Into Mystery #62, Strange Tales #89 And Tales To Astonish #10 – And The Marvel Monsters: From The Files Of Ulysses Bloodstone (And The Monster Hunters) Handbook.

Marvel’s monsters unleashed in four timeless tales by today’s hottest creators! In MONSTERS ON THE PROWL, it’s the Hulk, the Thing, Giant-Man and the Beast vs. a tidal wave of classic creatures when the Collector inadvertently lets loose Droom, Grogg, Goom, Rombuu, Grattu and more on New York City! In DEVIL DINOSAUR, two young Celestials debate prehistoric Earth’s superior life form. But when the ferocity of Devil Dinosaur proves no match for the opposition, a savage from the future is brought back for a battle you thought you’d never see: Hulk vs. Devil Dino! In FIN FANG FOUR, four giant monsters – incarcerated for years for their crimes against humanity – now find themselves shrunk to human size and working at the home of the very people who captured them: the Fantastic Four! Meet Googam, Son of Goom; Elektro; Gorgilla; and Fin Fang Foom! But when Goom’s mad plan to rescue his father goes awry, the quartet must put aside their differences and become – the Fin Fang Four! And in WHERE MONSTERS DWELL, witness the terror of Monstrollo, the horror of Manoo and the fright of Bombu!

Marvel Monsters

Marvel Romance

Written by Gary Friedrich, Stan Lee
Art by Sol Brodsky, Dick Giordano, Jack Kirby, Gray Morrow
Cover by Jack Kirby
Purchase

Collects Love Romance #89 And #101-104; My Love #2, #14, #16 And #18-20; Teen-Age Romance #77 And #84; Our Love Story #5; And Patsy Walker #119.

MY LOVE. TEEN-AGE ROMANCE. LOVE ROMANCE. Picking up a theme? The romance genre spanned nearly half a century, and now Marvel’s picked some of its best from the sixties and seventies! “It Happened at Woodstock!” “My Heart Broke in Hollywood!” “Love on the Rebound!” Featuring Smart Styles and Heavenly Hairdos with Patsy Walker in a pre-Hellcat tale!

Marvel Romance

Spider-Girl Presents Juggernaut Jr.: Secrets And Lies

Written by Tom DeFalco
Art by Ron Frenz
Cover by Ron Lim
Purchase

Collects J2 #1-6.

Lots of people have big shoes to fill, but how many have to fill the helmet of the Juggernaut? Teenager Zane Yama grows up fast and hits the big time headfirst when he inherits his father’s unstoppability and joins the latest generation of Avengers! J2 squares off against villains and heroes alike, including a certain green goliath who thinks he’s STILL the strongest one there is! Plus: the first appearances of the X-People and Wild Thing, daughter of Wolverine and Elektra.

Spider-Girl Presents Juggernaut Jr.: Secrets And Lies

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

ComiXology Has Nine New Digital Comics including New TKO, Magnetic Press, DC Digital First, and Harlequin

There’s nine new digital comics ready for you on comiXology. You can get new releases from TKO Studios, Magnetic Press, Harlequin, and a new DC Digital First! You can get shopping now or check out the individual issues below!

Gunland Vol. 2 #7: Tribe

Written by Captain Artiglio
Art by Captain Artiglio
Purchase

Bill “Death” is dead, and now the infamous Wild Bunch is on a rampage across the valley, lead by a ghost. Meanwhile, the Cherub joins The Girl with No Name’s gang, but are his intentions legit…?

Gunland Vol. 2 #7: Tribe

Lonesome Days, Savage Nights

Written by Szymon Kudranski, Steve Niles, Salvatore A. Simeone
Art by Szymon Kudranski
Colored by Szymon Kudranski
Lettered by Thomas Mauer
Edited by Sebastian Girner
Purchase

When the one person he cares about is murdered, private detective Stu Manning unleashes the beast he’s kept hidden inside and paints the town red.

Lonesome Days, Savage Nights

Mistress For A Month

Written by Ann Major
Art by Eve Takigawa
Purchase

Amelia happens to run into the same gorgeous Frenchman twice. It must be fate! After he asks her on a date, she’s thrilled. But then she sees an article about him in the paper—he’s Count Remy, a famous playboy! She’s doubtful a man so out of her league would ever be interested in her. And it turns out what he’s really after is Amelia’s property. But can she look past his ulterior motive and use this man to teach her how to be a lover?

Mistress For A Month

Pistouvi #4

Written by Merwan
Art by Bertrand Gatignol
Purchase

Something is changing. Things arent sparkling like they used to. And suddenly the birds are making sense… The powerful conclusion to this poignant allegorical series.

Pistouvi #4

Poppy’s Passion

Written by Helen Shelton
Art by Atsumi Ryo
Purchase

Poppy is a brand-new intern working in the emergency room. She’s in a huge hurry to get to work when she bumps into a man in the corridor. It’s Tom, the man she’s always admired and who is now a skilled surgeon. Poppy wants to impress him, but she keeps making mistake after mistake in front of him. Can she forget this childhood love and focus on her career?

Poppy's Passion

Pregnant By The Boss!

Written by Carol Grace
Art by Tsukiko Kurebayashi
Purchase

Claudia has feelings for her boss, Joe. But it’s hard loving a man with such a philandering reputation. Just when she works up the nerve to resign, Joe drops a bombshell on her. He wants her to marry him! She knows he doesn’t love her, but what will the next two weeks hold as she trains her replacement?

Pregnant By The Boss!

The Pull

Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Ricardo López Ortiz
Colored by Triona Farrell
Lettered by Thomas Mauer
Edited by Sebastian Girner
Purchase

When the unstoppable cosmic force of the Undoer threatens the existence of Earth itself, disgraced government agent Brenton Demm must shake off a lifetime’s worth of regret and save us all.

The Pull

Redfork

Written by Alex Paknadel
Art by Nil Vendrell
Colored by Giulia Brusco
Lettered by Ryan Ferrier
Edited by Sebastian Girner
Purchase

Ex-con Noah McGlade returns to find his hometown decayed by opioid abuse, but he soon discovers an even more sinister horror lurking in the coal mines below town.

Redfork

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #19

Written by Dave Wielgosz
Pencils Jorge Corona
Inks Jorge Corona
Purchase

During a heated argument, the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight are ambushed by a cadre of evil Multiversal doppelgangers. It’s Batman versus Superman in this no-holds barred brawl between good and evil!

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #19

This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Ronnie James Dio’s Holy Diver Heads to Comics

Dio’s Holy Diver

News of Z2’s 2021 lineup begins to roll out with news of what is sure to be one of the publisher’s most anticipated projects yet! The Holy Diver graphic novel, creating an original storyline inspired by one of heavy metal’s most iconic album covers. Acclaimed horror comics writer Steve Niles will tell the tale behind the events leading to the powerful moment captured on the cover of Dio‘s debut album, definitively addressing 30 years of fan speculation. Why is the priest being thrown into the ocean? Who is truly the villain in this scenario? All of these questions are exclusively answered for the first time within the pages of this 120 page graphic novel.

Dio: Holy Diver reunites Steve Niles with Gotham County Line artist Scott Hampton for an all-new original story, inspired by the original iconic album art by Gene Hunter and Randy Berett. Two editions are available for preorder now; both the standard graphic novel, as well as a limited deluxe edition, the full details of which will be revealed within the coming weeks. The deluxe edition will include an exclusive vinyl edition of this classic album, and both are available for preorder now through the Z2 website. Dio’s Holy Diver releases in summer of 2021.

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
« Older Entries