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Comic Book / Thieves & Kings

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From left to right: Soracia, Katara, Quinton, Varkias, Rubel and Heath

Thieves & Kings is an all-ages comic book series by Mark Oakley, with six volumes published and more to come. Not much is available online, though there are sample chapters, a few webstrips and a spin-off.

T&K is a Fantasy story, with a Fairy Tale feel, but surprising depth. The story format shifts back and forth from text with drawn background to pure comics, depending on which format suits the moment.


  • Black Bead Eyes: Usually. Every once in a while, a character's eyes will be drawn with more detail than usual to emphasize an important moment.
  • Born Winner:
    • Everyone with Fairy Blood is this.
    • Quinton. Soracia laments that even after spending a century practicing painting, she still couldn't do as good as what Quinton did on his first try. Using a stick he picked up from the ground, a nearby tent for canvas, and some berries mixed with mud for paint. His second try was even better, only he got bored in the middle of it, and walked away. That's Quinton for you.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Quinton takes this over the top. As in "I planted this tree 100 years ago because I knew I'd need it right about now."
  • Create Your Own Villain: Quinton accidentally became responsible for Locumire's Start of Darkness when he mistook her for one of the Red Sorceress's incarnations.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Heath defeats Jurid by trapping him in a bottle, which is apparently impressive enough to make Klachilies the Gorgon afraid of her.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: An In-Universe example: Soracia is the main villain of the first three volumes. Heath and Varkias think she's evil, but Rubel insists she's just a misunderstood Woobie who needs to be rescued from the real villains. Turns out he was only half right; Soracia is perfectly capable of rescuing herself.
  • Enchanted Forest: The Sleeping Wood is a Genius Loci that doesn't like humans very much. Or roads. Oh, and if you follow the path through it, you get to the Fairy kingdom.
  • Evil Old Folks: Jenny's mother, Vale. Her numerous Kick the Dog moments include using blackmail to force her daughter to get married, threatening to turn Heath over to Locumire, and killing Rubel's dog.
  • Good Costume Switch: Soracia's epic Heel–Face Turn culminates with the cutting off of her beribboned evil black cloak. It then forms up into a dummy shape of her and cries that it loves her. After that she wanders around in a fairly average cloak and skirt combo that still manages a certain amount of flair and swirl when she swings her longswords, but doesn't reek of black magic.
  • Guile Hero: Quinton is the master of this trope, to the point that we only have the word of Soracia and hints of his impossible age to give any sign that he's a wizard at all and not just some eccentric yarn-spinner. He seems to operate entirely on talent, force of personality, and bizarre luck.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Soracia and Kimithin.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Kimithin and Leahanna (before Kimithin's Heel–Face Turn, anyway) are an extreme example since they've been together for thousands of years.
  • I Have Many Names: Soracia is also known as "The Shadow Lady", "The Queen of Halves", and "Lady Salina". Her friends call her "Sally". Being much older than her, Quinton Zempfester presumably has a lot more (he was definitely called "Kaluvinar" in the long distant past).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The first five volumes are named after their covers' colour schemes; The Red Book, The Green Book, The Blue Book, The Shadow Book, and The Winter Book.
  • Impossible Theft: A major theme of the setting is that by dedicating yourself to living the ideal of larger-than-life fairy-tale existence, whether it be a thief, a knight, a wizard, or whatever, you can become magical yourself. Rubel is able to perform an Impossible Theft because he is a Thief (with a capital-T).
  • Intangible Theft: McGi has performed feats like retrieving a girl's lost memories.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: What Soracia's relationship with Rubel would be. Which is why she wanted to steal his soul, so they could be together forever.
  • Medieval Stasis: Without explanation — there have been (many, many) wars, mind, but Heath moves from centuries in the past to join the other main characters and no one even comments on her accent.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Jurid is a powerful monster, but spent a thousand years or so stuck in a glass bottle.
  • Soaperizing: The story focuses just as much on the characters' relationships as it does on the Epic Battle Between Good and Evil™.
  • Soft Glass: Averted by Rubel; he does go through a couple windows, but in the first case he is just opening the window, not breaking it, and in the second case, recognizing that going through a window can kill you but having no choice, he hides in a large iron pot.
  • Snarky Non-Human Sidekick: Varkias and later, Basil.
  • Talking Animal: Played with. Kimithin, Heath and Varkias can hear Basil (a cat) when he talks, but it just sounds like meowing to Rubel (who can only talk to dogs, horses and mice). When Kim asks Basil if Leahanna's cat can also talk, he says: "Not to humans."
  • Take That!: Several of the side stories start with Quinton getting a really bad idea (usually inspired by George W. Bush) and sucking gullible people into his (inevitably disastrous) plan.
  • Talking Your Way Out: When Quinton is imprisoned by trolls, he talks his way out by excitedly greeting one of the trolls as the spy sent to free him, thus creating suspicion among the other trolls that he actually is a spy, and setting in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the hapless troll finds that he is doomed to torture for his imaginary spy secrets if he does not go rogue and flee immediately. Rather than face this fugitive fate alone, Quinton offers the troll his assistance, if released, and the two make a break for it together.
  • Temporal Paradox: Heath and Katara are technically the same person (both being Reincarnations of the Red Sorceress), but exist at the same time due to Time Travel. It's implied that this is seriously messing with Katara's sanity.
  • Textplosion: Thieves & Kings is about 50% comic pages and 50% illustrated text.
  • Time Abyss: Quinton. To give you an idea of just how old he is, Soracia is young compared to him and she's ten thousand years old.
  • Undying Loyalty: Soracia's Lamp Knights are a literal example.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Quinton and Katara. The latter is implied to be a little bit insane, and as for Quinton... well, either he's genuinely very forgetful, a manipulative liar or both.