Steven S. DeKnight goes all in on comics with two new graphic novel projects

‘Beneath’ will debut from Comixology in August, while ‘Hard Bargain’ from Humanoids kicks off a crowdfunding campaign today.

While Steven S. DeKnight is no stranger to comics, he’s probably best known for his TV work, on shows like Smallville, Daredevil, Spartacus and many others. But that perception could change, as DeKnight has not one but two new graphic novels coming up that were both announced today.

Now up on Kickstarter is Hard Bargain, which features artwork by Leno Carvalho and will be published by Humanoids.

Hard Bargain has been a dream 30 years in the making. An idea that sprang from my love of two-fisted, hard-boiled detective stories and matinee creature-features of days gone by,” said DeKnight. “I’m thrilled to finally have that dream realized via the incredible artwork of Leno Carvalho and the good people at Humanoids.”

Humanoids describes it as a “dark supernatural thriller”:

Battling the forces of darkness is another day at the office for Frank Harding, P.I.—but his current case may just be the one that puts Frank out of business for good. As he investigates a case deeply connected to his own murky past—as well as L.A.’s all-too-real history of prejudice and discrimination—Harding is forced to reckon with the fact that the sins of one generation will always be paid for by the next… Combining the appeal of classic noir crime storytelling with a well-wrought fantasy world of monsters and magic, HARD BARGAIN pairs DeKnight’s crackerjack storytelling with Carvalho’s dynamic visuals to build a fast-paced, hard-boiled thriller that simultaneously reckons with the dark underbelly of bigotry, violence and revenge haunting gritty Los Angeles.

Here’s a look inside:

The campaign for Hard Bargain will run July 9-25. Humanoids is offering a digital edition of the OGN for $15, while a physical copy will cost you $30. There’s also several higher-priced tiers for hardcovers and collector’s editions, as well as several add-ons you can choose from.

In addition to Humanoids, DeKnight is also working with Comixology Originals on Beneath, a digital graphic novel featuring artwork by Michael Gaydos that’ll be released Aug. 6. The book features graphic design by Cindy Leong, lettering by Toben Racicot and was edited by Allison O’Toole. Kate Sánchez served as a cultural consultant and translator for the story, which is a supernatural horror story set at a U.S. detention center on the border of Texas and Mexico.

“My first original graphic novel just happens to be my first foray in the horror genre,” said Gaydos, who worked on Alias and Pearl with Brian Michael Bendis. “I love creating sequential art that is full of mood, suspense and very real character emotion. Steven’s story has all of this and more. I couldn’t be any happier with how the final product came together.”

Here are more details from Comixology:

In BENEATH, Deputy Sheriff Jess Delgado is tasked with transporting the sole survivor of a mysterious attack along the Texas-Mexico border to Core Civil, a for-profit immigration detention center that is about to be closed down due to wide-spread protests. Housing only a handful of remaining detainees and manned by a skeleton crew of disgruntled guards, the detention center becomes a desperate battle ground when something otherworldly emerges from deep below the earth. Deputy Delgado must pull together the guards and detainees – two groups that hate and fear each other – to survive the night or fall to the vengeance of the things that lurk beneath.

And here’s a look inside:

“I’ve always loved monsters—ghouls and ghosts, vampires and werewolves, zombies and giant radioactive creatures,” DeKnight said. “The best genre stories ask questions that often elude the easiest of answers. They make you think while presenting the prestidigitation of entertainment artfully forcing the viewer or reader to challenge their own perceptions and world view.”

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