Indie Comics Magazine editor Gary Scott Beatty recently announced K.J. (Kurt) Kolka’s long-running comic strip The Cardinal will appear in an eight-page story in the new comic book, scheduled for preorder in Diamond Comic Distributors’ January 2011 Previews catalog and available only through Previews.

“Kurt has a strong regional following and has been known in Michigan for over 30 years,” said Beatty. “We’re happy to show the rest of the world this popular indy strip.” Indie Comics Magazine is 64 pages of the best story and art from today’s independent comic book creators.

The Cardinal, which began as a college strip in 1978, is the story of a group of people living in a fictitious university town whose lives are touched by an ordinary young man who believes he has been called to be a super hero. Kolka began dealing with real life social issues, the difficulties facing people and crime in this college strip in 1978. It ran as a regional print publication from 1990 to 2006 and debuted online at in 2007. Two live action film adaptions of the strip were released in 2004 and 2007.

Looking at Kolka’s straightforward, retro-art style, it’s no surprise he lists comic influences from famous adventure strips like Mandrake the Magician, The Phantom, Annie and Dick Tracy.
“At its core, The Cardinal strip is about a man who sees people needing help and, unlike many of us, does not turn away,” Beatty explained. “Kurt uses Golden Age super hero conventions and spiritual themes to pull this off in the strip, and it works with an emotional intensity not often found in comic books today.”

Each issue of the new Indie Comics Magazine will feature eight full stories from eight different independent comic book creators, said Beatty. Short biographies and contact information are included with the stories so readers can easily seek out more of the creators’ work. Full-color strips of The Cardinal are online to view at

Indie Comics Magazine is available only through the Previews order magazine at your local comic shop. The first issue premieres January 2011. Find your local comic shop at 1-888-COMICBOOK (1-888-266- 4226) or online at Information about Indie Comics Magazine is online at

Check out more great articles

About The Author

A native of northern Michigan and longtime fan of newspaper comic strips, K.J. Kolka's The Cardinal is influenced in equal parts by Peanuts, Brenda Starr and Annie and mystery series Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Father Dowling. He created The Cardinal for his college newspaper, and the strip eventually grew into a regional favorite. In 2007 it became a weekly webcomic.