To celebrate the adaptation of Joe Hill’s comic Locke and Key coming to Netflix in February 2020, let’s have a look at ten other amazing comics penned by the author that fans of his work should definitely check out. But don’t forget, Hill is much more than just a comic author, he’s also written dozens of novels, short stories, poems and screen plays – he even wrote Into the Tall Grass with Stephen King (his dad)! Comics is just the top of the iceberg when it comes to this talented storyteller.
Co-written with Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Nat Jones
Set in a more traditional fantasy world than many of Hill’s other stories, we start with the typical man betrayed who finds himself in an impossible situation in which be must decide whether he is a man or a monster. There is a strong love line in the series, but our hero is so much more than just a man trying to make his way back to his woman.
The Cape (2010)
Co-written by Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Zach Howard
More than just another superhero comic. All little boys dream of putting on a cape and becoming a superhero, but what really happens when those kinds of dreams come true? A tragic accident changes a young boy’s life forever. As an adult, when he discovers his superpowers, the first thing on his mind is revenge. One of Hill’s most successful works, it has had several follow ups, including a mini-series of the same name in 2011, The Cape: 1969 (2012) and The Cape: Fallen (2018).
Co-written with Jason Ciaramella
Diving into themes of post traumatic stress and the consequences of actions, in this tory we follow a young woman as she returns from a military tour in the Middle East. But how can she leave what she did there behind. Plus, what drive her to run away in the first place. Your past always catches up with you.
Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland (2014)
Illustrated by C.P. Wilson III
Hill himself describes this comic as a bit of a tribute to sleazy 1980s horror film It all starts with a group of both police and prisoners find themselves inexplicably in Christmasland, a land that more resembles the Halloween world from A Nightmare Before Christmas, than any Santa’s grotto that most of us would have seen. There they find themselves terrorized by Charlie Manx and his children, which are nothing if not abominable. Seven issues were released monthly between November 2013 and June 2014.
Shadow Show (2014)
Illustrated by C.P. Wilson III
Hill is just one contributor to this interesting anthology dedicated to Ray Bradbury and based on his stories. Contributors also include Neil Gaiman, Mort Castle and Eddie Campbell. Winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Graphic Novel in 2016. This is one of the quickest ways to get yourself addicted to the horror graphic novel genre.
Takes from the Darkside (2016)
Illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
Based on the 1980s American Horror series, Hill wrote these stories for TV, but they never made it to the screen, so they were converted into this amazing graphic novel. It explores the same dark themes of what happens after death, and what happens when the dead refuse to stay that way!Joe Basketful of Hea
Basketful of Heads (2019)
Illustrated by Leomacs
This seven-issue series starts with the story of June Branch, a woman forced to work with four deranged criminals, as they have snatched her boyfriend and his life is hanging in the balance. The only tool at her disposal? An ancient Viking axe that not only has the power to cut through necks with a single blow, but leave the severed head animated and able to tell its story.
Illustrated by Stuart Immonen
This is the story of the ship Derleth, which miraculously returns to shore after more than 40 years at sea. Its crew has been transformed by a mysterious infection. Far from zombies, they are capable of stunning feats of mathematics, but they have also lost all human empathy. The story mixes complex scientific ideas, laugh out loud humour and outright horrible scares.
Sea Dogs (2019)
In this comic Hill turns his hand to the theme of werewolves. But they are stuck at sea. Rather than a stand alone comic, this story runs in the back of a monthly line of comics called Hill House Comics, featuring stories written by Joe, but also other horror authors including Mike Carey, Carmen Maria Machado and Laura Marks.
Dying is Easy (2020)
Illustrated by Martin Simmonds
This one isn’t out yet, but we are certainly looking forward to seeing it. This will feature Sid Holmes, a disgraced ex-cop and current bitter stand-up comedian who also happens to be a wanted felon. He makes a name for himself by stealing jokes, but soon finds that comedy is a serious business, and he is closed in by enemies on all sides.