VALDOSTA — A South Georgia-based comic book creator is scheduled to visit two area comic book shops during the post-Thanksgiving weekend.
Steve Ekstrom, an award-winning comic book editor, writer, letterer, colorist and journalist, is scheduled to sign copies of comic books and meet fans, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24, at Kool Comics, 1515 N. Ashley St., Suite M, Valdosta, and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, at Gray Ghost Comics, 301 Third St. E., Tifton.
Ekstrom will have copies of “Soko” issues 1-3, “Concrete Jungle” issues 1-3 and “Terminal” issues 1-2, to sign for fans. All three issues feature stories written by Ekstrom. Limited collector variants will be available of all three titles.
“Since 2007, Ekstrom’s comics have been published by 803 Studios, Top Shelf Productions, DC Comics, Tin Star Studios, Image Comics and his own imprint, Imminent Press,” according to his biography. “Ekstrom writes, letters, edits and publishes indie comics; he is also senior editor at Sumerian Comics.”
He has also been developing a comic book sequel to the John Carpenter film “The Fog,” which should be available for pre-order sale Nov. 25, Ekstrom said. The final title was still undecided earlier this month. Ekstrom said the storyline picks up 40 years after “The Fog,” with the boy from the movie now a man. Ekstrom is also developing a couple of other horror comic book titles.
Fans meeting Ekstrom can expect an eclectic conversation about comic books and numerous other subjects.
During a recent phone interview, the conversation ranged from personal plans to politics to living in the Valdosta area to Nosferatu to South Georgia ghost stories to local people to social media posts to book signings to working as an editor with comic book creators to superhero movies to working with legendary comic book creators to entering the comic book industry.
Ekstrom started working professionally with comic books as a critic paid to review various titles. As a critic, Ekstrom pulled no punches.
One review angered one publishing house. One well-known creator made a snarky remark about critics that referred to Ekstrom. But he continued writing hard-hitting reviews
Until Ekstrom received a bit of sage advice from a top-selling comic book creator.
“He said if you want to write comic books professionally and you want to be hired by publishers, you need to stop writing reviews. Publishers will hold bad reviews against you,” Ekstrom said.
The advice had punch.
“Here is one of the top creators in the field telling me that if I keep writing reviews, I’ll never work in my chosen profession,” Ekstrom said.
He didn’t start writing fluff reviews. Instead, Ekstrom quit writing reviews the next day, a move that fueled his entrance into professionally creating comic books.
Born a military child at Moody Air Force Base, Ekstrom traveled with his family from place to place with each new assignment. As a kid, comic books were a touchstone for him – something that remained constant no matter where the family was stationed.
His comic book collection grew into the thousands. He studied English lit at Valdosta State University. An interest in poetry led to writing prose. His father suggested why not combine his writing with his interest in comic books.
Ekstrom has made a few recent appearances at Gray Ghost Comics but this will be his first event at Kool Comics. It will likely be the last South Georgia signing for a while. He is set to move to Florida at the end of the month.
He has plenty of projects to take with him though it’s too early to talk about them yet.
No doubt when the time comes, Steve Ekstrom will have plenty to say about the new stories he’s telling.