I've written about it before, but there are few things in this fallen world more perfect than Paul Grist's Jack Staff. It's my favorite superhero comic, and I'm a big enough fan that I've made it a point to track down pretty much everything else Grist has done, from the bizarre superheroics of Mudman all the way to the stylish crime drama of Kane, and there's not a single one of them that's disappointed. Grist, along with frequent collaborator and colorist Phil Elliot, has an impeccable track record, and I'm always up for checking out something new.

So when I found out today that not only do Grist and Elliot have a brand new project called Demon Nic running in the pages of 2000 AD'Judge Dredd Megazine, but it's been going for two months, I was pretty surprised. What wasn't surprising, however, is that it's great.



As you might expect from that punny title, Demon Nic tells the story of, naturally, a demon named Nic, who finds himself framed for the murder of a priest and, like many of Grist's heroes, is promptly kicked in the face for his trouble. The problem, aside from the obvious, is that Nic is a demon with a soul, and someone wants him out of the way, and is willing to break an ancient treaty between the forces of Hell and the people of Earth to frame him.

If you're familiar at all with Grist's work, you'll know that he has an incredible gift for crafting engaging mysteries that take noir-ish storytelling style and graft it onto different genres, and getting to see him do that with the supernatural makes for a fantastic read. And, as usual, all the tricks with narrative and layout that make him one of the most innovative creators in comics are present and accounted for --- specifically the way that he gets away from panel borders and lets the action on the page direct the story.

The first chapter of Demon Nic appeared in last month's Judge Dredd Megazine #361 as part of a roster that saw four all-new stories launching at once --- including a Judge Dredd story by Gordon Rennie and Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra --- so if you've been on the fence about grabbing the 2000 AD app or grabbing a DRM-free digital version and checking out what they're doing, I'd say that makes for a pretty good place to start.

I mean, c'mon.



How can you not want to read that?