Steve Ekstrom

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Steve Ekstrom
Ekstrom at the Imminent Booth at Space Coast Comic Con 2018 in Cocoa, Florida.
BornSteven Randall Broughton
(1976-11-11) November 11, 1976 (age 45)
Moody Air Force Base, Georgia
Area(s)Writer, Editor, Publisher, Letterer
Notable works
TERMINAL Pulp Anthology
Negative Burn #20
AwardsAcademy of American Poets Award (2001) Logo.png Search Steve Ekstrom on Amazon.

Steven Randall Ekstrom (born November 11, 1976) is an award-winning American writer known for his journalistic work on the Eisner-Award Winning website; his contributions as a Senior Editor for MTV Geek off-shoot site; and as a creator of American comic books and web comics with creator-owned work like Cannibal Island.[1], The Ares Imperative[2] from DC Comics' Zuda Comics webcomic competition, as well as short comics like "Breakfast"[3] and "Haunted"[4] published by Top Shelf Productions on their Top Shelf 2.0 webcomic initiative. Ekstrom is also one of the founders of Imminent Press alongside comic creators Troy Brownfield, Eric Palicki, and Justin Peniston; he is the brand's de facto Publisher as well as the Editor of the Terminal Pulp Anthology[5]

Early Life[edit]

Steve Ekstrom was born November 11, 1976 at a hospital on Moody Air Force Base outside of Valdosta, Georgia. He developed an affinity for telling stories as a child from going to the movies, and enjoyed reading both comic books and newspaper comic strips. He specifically mentions Superman: The Movie as being one of the key motivators for his life-long love of the comic book medium. He has early memories of reading Marvel Comics' Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers and The Amazing Spider-Man.[6]


Ekstrom received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Literature with a minor focusing in Creative Writing from Valdosta State University in 2001. During his tenure, he served as editor of the university's literary magazine, Odradek, as both Editor Emeritus (2000) and as the Editor-in-Chief (2001). Ekstrom's work on the literary magazine brought about the inclusion of color photography and the re-publication of Op/Ed and political cartoons featured in the VSU Spectator, Valdosta State University's student-run newspaper as new forms of experimental content inside the magazine.[7]


Ekstrom started his writing career in the comic industry by developing an internet persona called "The Masked Comic Dork" on MySpace. Ekstrom was discovered by Troy Brownfield and recruited to write for Brownfield's entertainment blog, Shotgun Reviews, as well as for Best Shots,'s[8] industry-wide review column. Ekstrom moved from reviewing comics to reporting for the site in March, 2007, when he attended MegaCon in Orlando, Florida and interviewed comic book writer Mike Carey[9] about his work on Marvel Comics' X-Men line of comics as well as reporting on an award ceremony honoring noteworthy comic industry artist Dick Giordano[10]. Ekstrom left as a regular contributor in July 2009 after the departure of Site Founder, Matt Brady[11], but continued to help Site Editor, Mike Doran, with convention coverage until late 2011.

Ekstrom was initially published by 803 Studios in an anthology collection called Sequential Suicide: SLOP with artist Douglas Draper Jr..[12] "Breakfast" was published a second time in Negative Burn #20[13], a noteworthy comics anthology from Desperado Publishing produced via Image Comics. In July 2009, Ekstrom took third place in the Zuda Comics' web comic competition from DC Comics as the writer and letterer of The Ares Imperative with Swedish artist Mikael Bergkvist and colorist Jesse Turnbull. "Breakfast" was published a third time in 2009 by Tin Star Studios in their anthology comic Blister #1. "Breakfast" was published a fourth time and final time, with new coloring provided by Jesse Turnbull, on Top Shelf 2.0 for the week of Halloween in 2011[3]

In 2010, Ekstrom published the contemporary suspense short comic, "Haunted" with Top Shelf Productions for their webcomic initiative, Top Shelf 2.0. "Haunted" reunited Ekstrom with artist Douglas Draper, Jr. and colorist Jesse Turnbull.[4] "Haunted" was published a second time in 2013 when Ekstrom was a featured alum in Valdosta State University's 2012 Edition of the Odradek Literary Arts Magazine.[14]

In 2013, Ekstrom helped launch the entertainment blog with former MTV Executive Producer, Tom Akel. FreakSugar's staff was comprised of ex-employees of MTV's MTV Geek site. Ekstrom provided Op-Ed articles[15], Q&A Interviews[16], and comic book[17] and movie reviews[18] for the site until the end of 2018.[19]

In 2014, launched his first web comic, Cannibal Island, with Florida artist, Dionysios Adelinis. Cannibal Island was a fictionalized look at the atrocities of the "Nazino Affair". Ekstrom cites non-fiction sources Cannibal Island: Death in a Siberian Gulag by French Historian Nicolas Werth from Princeton University Press (ISBN 9780691130835 Search this book on Logo.png.) and the subsequent documentary, Cannibal Island, written by Nicolas Werth (book) and Cédric Condom as resources for his story that features American soldiers who accidentally wind-up on the island of Nazino during a fictionalization of the events during Nazino Affair based on Werth's research. During an interview, Ekstrom revealed that the lead character of the web comic, Walter Rohr, is based on Ekstrom's childhood friend, Walter "Chip" Allen Rohr, Jr. and, in the story, the Rohr's character has a garish scar on his neck from an injury sustained during a tour of duty during World War I as a symbolic nod toward Ekstrom's friend, Chip Rohr, and his longstanding battle with esophageal cancer.[20]

In 2016, Ekstrom formed the digital studio brand Imminent Press with fellow independent comic book creators, Troy Brownfield (Sparkshooter), Justin Peniston (Hunter Black), Eric Palicki (No Angel), and Vito Delsante (Stray). Imminent Press serves as a masthead for both the digital and print-on-demand publications of more than 25 comic book creators. Imminent has produced four projects to-date including Neck Beard: Hillbilly For Hire[21], the first two issues of TERMINAL Pulp Anthology, and Atlantis Wasn't Built For Tourists.[22]

As of March 2018, starting with Page 304, Ekstrom is the regular letterer for Sparkshooter written by Troy Brownfield and drawn by Kate Frizzell.


  • 2001 - Ekstrom was the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Award for his poetics at the collegiate level.
  • 2018 - Ekstrom was awarded an Honorarium from Valdosta State University as a featured alumnus guest-speaker who spoke to the English department faculty and students from the department about his endeavors as a writer.[23]


  • Not Quite What I Was Expecting: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous & Obscure – Harper Perennial, ISBN 0061374059 (February 2008)
  • Sequential Suicide: SLOP: "Breakfast" (with Douglas Draper, Jr.) - 803 Studios (March 2008)
  • Negative Burn #20: "Breakfast" (with Douglas Draper, Jr. - Desperado Publishing/ Image Comics (May 2008)
  • Blister #1: "Breakfast" (with Douglas Draper, Jr.) - Tin Star Studios (June 2009)
  • The Ares Imperative (with Mikael Bergkvist and Jesse Turnbull) - DC Comics/ Zuda Comics (July 2009)
  • "Haunted" (with Douglas Draper, Jr. and JesseTurnbull) - Top Shelf Productions/ Top Shelf 2.0 (October 2010) [Digitally Published]
  • "Breakfast" (with Douglas Draper, Jr. and Jesse Turnbull) - Top Shelf Productions/ Top Shelf 2.0 (October 2011) [Digitally Published]
  • "Haunted" (with Douglas Draper, Jr. and Jesse Turnbull) - Odradek Literary Arts Magazine/ Valdosta State University (August 2013)
  • Cannibal Island (with Dionysios Adelinis) - EKSMedia (2014)
  • TERMINAL Pulp Anthology #1 [as Publisher, Editor, Writer, Graphic Designer and Letterer]: "GRRzly+K!nX" (with Bob Rivard) - Imminent Press (September 2017)
  • TERMINAL Pulp Anthology #2 [as Publisher, Editor, Graphic Designer, and Letterer] - Imminent Press (September 2017)


  1. "Talking Comics with Tim | Steve Ekstrom on 'Cannibal Island'". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  2. "Nazis, Supersoldiers and More: Inside the Ares Imperative". Newsarama. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Breakfast / Top Shelf 2.0". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Haunted / Top Shelf 2.0". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  5. "Imminent Press Launches with Pulp Anthology Kickstarter, 'Terminal'". Forces of Geek. 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  6. Poling, Dean. "A Graphic Imperative". Valdosta Daily Times. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  7. "Odradek Submission Guidelines in the VSU Spectator in 2001" (PDF).
  8. "Newsarama", Wikipedia, 2019-02-23, retrieved 2019-03-17
  9. "Talking with Mike Carey at Megacon".
  10. "Megacon 2007 Flashback: Dick Giordano Panel".
  11. "Matt Brady: Hello, I Must be Going". Newsarama. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  12. "Published Work". The Illustration of Doug Draper. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  13. "Negative Burn #20 (Issue)". Comic Vine. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  14. "New Odradek Issue Unveiled Thursday, April 25 - Valdosta State University". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  15. Ekstrom, Steve (2015-02-28). "We Are Spock: Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015". Freaksugar. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  16. "Howard Chaykin Responds to Controversial Cover". Freaksugar. 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  17. Ekstrom, Steve (2014-06-03). "Warren Ellis TREES #1: A MUST READ 10/10". Freaksugar. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  18. Ekstrom, Steve (2015-04-24). "EX MACHINA: THRILLING, SEXY, & SMART". Freaksugar. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  19. "Steve Ekstrom". Freaksugar. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  20. "Talking Comics with Tim | Steve Ekstrom on 'Cannibal Island'". Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  21. Ekstrom, Steve (2017-03-22). "Kickstart This! Neck Beard: Hillbilly For Hire". Freaksugar. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  22. "Imminent Press is Back with Two Issues of their Terminal Pulp Anthology on Kickstarter". Graphic Policy. 2018-10-11. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  23., Dean Poling. "Comics writer to visit VSU". Valdosta Daily Times. Retrieved 2019-03-18.

External Links[edit]

Steve Ekstrom at Comic Book DB

Steve Ekstrom at Top Shelf Productions

Steve Ekstrom at

Steve Ekstrom at Imminent.Online

Steve Ekstrom on Twitter

I removed the citations from Facebook, iMDB, and Wikipedia per the initial rejection of the submission.[edit]

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