Geiger Webskin

Death Rides on the Wind in PRETTY DEADLY

March 20, 2014

DeConnick and Ríos team up for a supernatural Western from Image Comics

Ginny is Death’s daughter, a reaper of vengeance. She rides through the West on a horse made of smoke, her face tattooed with her heritage, and deals in revenge. She is the mysterious, elusive center of PRETTY DEADLY, the first creator-owned comics series by acclaimed writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Ghost, Osborn) and artist Emma Ríos (The Amazing Spider-Man, Osborn). The first five issues of the critically acclaimed title will be collected in its first trade paperback volume, THE SHRIKE, in April.

Simultaneously beautiful and savage, PRETTY DEADLY unfolds over the course of an ongoing story that DeConnick and Ríos developed together, creating a world and characters that are entirely their own. At the same time, DeConnick and Ríos say, it’s almost as if PRETTY DEADLY has a will of its own guiding the action.

“The book is absorbing us while breathing on its own,” said Ríos. “Sometimes I feel we are hidden behind a rock, gasping, watching the characters do their things.”

“This book has defied my directives at every turn, but made it up to me in a series of goosebump moments where things came together as if by magic,” said DeConnick.

Having worked together on Marvel’s Osborn, DeConnick and Ríos found common ground in their love of Westerns and Japanese cinema for PRETTY DEADLY. DeConnick was inspired by spaghetti westerns, Japanese “pinky violence” films, and Grimm’s fairy tales, while Ríos found her visual language for the series by absorbing both Westerns and samurai films. Colorist Jordie Bellaire (THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, NOWHERE MEN) maintains the earthy, dusty atmosphere of the art, as well as the magical tone of the story, thanks to a subdued palette punctuated with bursts of vivid color.

“We wanted a very Leone feel to it,” said DeConnick. “As we worked, I felt we were straying from that original notion and though I came to love the direction the book insisted on going, I felt a twinge of grief at the loss of the Leone connection. I don't know why, but I did. Then a friend of mine quoted this Leone line to me: ‘The important thing is to make a different world, to make a world that is not now. A real world, a genuine world, but one that allows myth to live. The myth is everything.’ So in the end, it seems we haven't strayed at all.”

DeConnick and Ríos maintain a PRETTY DEADLY website, where they post images from the creation process, fan art, and answers to reader questions.

PRETTY DEADLY VOLUME ONE: THE SHRIKE by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Ríos, and Jordie Bellaire will be in comic book stores on April 30 and in bookstores on May 13.

  • ISBN 978-1-60706-962-1
  • 120 pages, full color, paperback
  • $9.99
  • Collects PRETTY DEADLY #1-5
  • Available for pre-order now


“[Pretty Deadly] brazenly defies conventions of modern American comics while keeping with the traditions of Westerns, Manga, and folklore; it ignores the three-act structure to go back to older forms of storytelling and finds power in them. Dark, alluring, and original, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos’s Pretty Deadly gambles on itself and wins.”
– John Parker, Comics Alliance

“The cycles of life, death, loss, and discovery are played out through this spectral assortment of damaged souls, and the book’s visuals capture that sense of ephemeral doom. Ríos’ art conjures a delicate sort of beauty from darkness both literal and metaphorical, while Jordie Bellaire’s colors bestow even the bloodiest of events with a vicious, violent elegance. It’s rare to see the type of ambition behind a book such as this so artfully executed, but the creators behind Pretty Deadly have concocted an epic that demands to be read.”
– Melissa Grey, IGN

“There's a mythic quality to PRETTY DEADLY. It's so much bigger than the physical space over which its cast is roaming; there are lives and deaths and cosmic purposes at stake, and there's no clear answer to who's good, who's bad, and who's innocent. Kelly Sue DeConnick is proving, issue after issue, what a masterful storyteller she is, architecting a dusty, revenge-y fairy tale that has us hooked.”
– Jen Aprahamian, Comic Vine