Stephen King in Comics

by Matt Tuck

Dark-Tower-the-Gunslinger-Born-2-variant-193x300 Stephen King in ComicsNeed some reading material while you’re social distancing? Stephen King has you covered.

Whether it’s an adapted novel, an original comic story, or even a collaboration, the “Master of Horror” is well established in the comic community. His work continues to inspire entire generations with his works being translated onto big and small screens, but its the comics that I enjoy the most. On that note, here are a few of his noteworthy comic credits to occupy your time while we seclude ourselves from COVID-19.

There are too many King adaptations to list in this post, so I have spotlighted five to get you started. Leave a comment if I missed your favorite.

Creepshow-230x300 Stephen King in ComicsCREEPSHOW

If you are a fan of classic horror comics, you need this issue. Based on the film of the same name, Creepshow was King’s first foray into comics in 1982. He was paired with legendary horror artist Berni Wrightson, and Jack Kamen’s cover is perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes-for-Hope-1-196x300 Stephen King in ComicsHEROES FOR HOPE STARRING THE X-MEN

Everybody who was anybody in 1985 contributed to this African famine relief fundraiser issue. In one comic, you have all the giants of the industry, most notably Stan Lee, John Romita, Jr., Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Art Adams, John Buscema, and Wrightson just to name a few. Even Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin was part of this issue.

King and Wrightson collaborated to create Famine, who is basically death and starvation personified. As much as I love King’s work, Wrightson’s art takes center stage in those pages.

 

 

American-Vampire-199x300 Stephen King in ComicsAMERICAN VAMPIRE

King and superstar comic writer Scott Snyder teamed up for this Vertigo series. For the first five issues, the two wrote separate but interconnecting stories. While King had the star power, it’s Snyder’s writing that stands out, and many fans and critics have praised it as the best work of his career to date.

 

 

 

 

 

Dark-Tower-the-Gunslinger-Born-2-variant-193x300 Stephen King in ComicsTHE DARK TOWER

The Dark Tower is an inspired rendition of King’s dark fantasy series. The comic version doesn’t follow the same order as the novels, but it remains true to the source. Jae Lee and Richard Isanove’s artwork shines and is so good that it nearly overshadows Peter David’s script.

The adaptation covers three “chapters” that divide the story into several volumes, opening with Beginnings and its first volume, The Gunslinger Born. From there, you have The Gunslinger, and finally The Drawing of the Three.

Collecting every issue from all three Dark Tower chapters will take time and effort, but there is a Dark Tower Omnibus for those just wanting the comic version of King’s epic. However, I highly recommend treating yourself to the novels but avoid the atrocious film adaptation.

The-Stand-Captain-Trips-1-194x300 Stephen King in ComicsTHE STAND

Any fan of The Dark Tower needs to read its predecessor, The Stand. Although published after Dark Tower, The Stand tells the story of a super flu dubbed Captain Trips that wipes out most of humanity. Prepping for an inevitable showdown, the survivors band together into factions of good and evil. The Stand also sets the stage for The Dark Tower‘s post-apocalyptic wasteland, Mid-World, and introduces Randall Flagg (aka, the Dark Man), who would later become Roland’s antagonist, the wizard Marten Broadcloak (aka the Man in Black).

Luckily, The Stand is much easier to collect as it is broken into just five volumes: Captain Trips, American Nightmares, Soul Survivors, Hardcases, No Man’s Land, and The Night Has Come.

 

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