Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 5, 2009

A Graphic Imperative

Writer creates Internet comic book

VALDOSTA — A Lowndes County man hopes to make a transition that a superhero alter-ego can understand.

Like reporter Clark Kent becoming Superman, or newsphotographer Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, Steve Ekstrom is hoping to switch from comic book journalist to comic book writer.

And local folks can help him make that change.

Ekstrom is the writer of “The Ares Imperative,” an online comic he created with Swedish artist Mikael Bergkvist and colorist Jesse Turnbull. Ekstrom describes “The Ares Imperative” as “a mixture of worldly adventure elements from the old cartoon ‘Johnny Quest’; it has a realist feel and timely chronological structure like the television show ‘24’; it has thematics and story elements from the ‘Bourne’ novels and films; and it has this really scary sense of conspiracy sort of like ‘The Manchurian Candidate.’”

This week, “The Ares Imperative” is a contender on, a branch of DC Comics and Warner Brothers. Zuda is dedicated to presenting free comic books online for an Internet audience. Each month, Zuda hosts “a vote-based ‘American Idol’-style contest for 10 selections with the winner receiving a publishing contract with the imprint which can potentially lead to further publication with DC Comics,” Ekstrom says.

It’s an opportunity to mild shift from free-lance comic book journalist to comic book writer. He began his journalism career by reviewing various books on MySpace under the pseudonym The Masked Comic Dork. Troy Brownfield of Shotgun Reviews invited Ekstrom to review books for his Web site. This offer grew into Ekstrom “unmasking” as The Masked Comic Dork to join Brownfield in his Best Shots column on, “the CNN of comic book news.”

By January 2007, Ekstrom had received recognition from Marvel and DC and began providing reporting pieces for He also writes a blog for, the Web site for the premier horror magazine.

Text Only
Local News
  • doug henderson.jpg Memorial tourney returns

    The Doug Henderson III Memorial Golf Tournament has raised thousands of dollars for scholarship funds and to help organizations throughout the region.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914-WA-Egghunt021.jpg Park puts wild spin on Easter tradition

    Adventurous egg hunters braved overcast skies and a persistent drizzle to search for hidden prizes Saturday during Wild Adventure’s first Ostrich Egg Hunt.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenTree003.JPG More spills reported

    City of Valdosta employees have spent the weekend responding to spills caused by several inches of rain that have again drenched the city during the past few days.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Underwater Easter_Rich copy.jpg Stories behind ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’

    Christ comes from the Greek word, “Christos,” meaning “the anointed one.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418_valwood001.jpg Valwood students register to vote

    Valwood teaches its students about the importance of voting. Each year, the school has encouraged eligible seniors to register to vote and participate in local elections.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • wadebrandon14.jpg Police still seeking missing mother, son

    Though their assignments have changed during the past dozen years, Valdosta Police Capt. Bobbi McGraw and Sgt. Chris Crews continue working the case of a missing mother and her son.

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Minor flooding expected

    Minor flooding of the Withlacoochee River is expected this weekend thanks to the day-long rains across South Georgia Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814-TreeDownonRobinHood.jpg Wastewater hazards assessed

    During heavy rain events, five to 15 manholes throughout the city are at risk of overflowing into local waterways, according to the City of Valdosta.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140418-VSU_HSBA003.jpg Valdosta State cuts ribbon for health, business building

    Eighteen months after breaking ground on the project, Valdosta State University held the official ribbon cutting Friday for its Health Sciences and Business Administration Building.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140417-Rail_Plan-001.jpg State Transportation seeks public input on rail plan

    The Georgia Department of Transportation held public meetings across the state this week to discuss its 2014 Georgia State Rail Plan.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results