A look inside the Peaky Blinders comic book that almost was

Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders (Image credit: Netflix)

The British period crime drama Peaky Blinders is slated to return for a sixth season in the not-too-distant future, but it almost had a future as a comic book. Peaky Blinders is a long-running TV series that follows an urban crime family in Birmingham, England shortly after the first World War.

(Image credit: Rob G)

Comics writer Steve Ekstrom has revealed a rejected pitch for a Peaky Blinders comic series that he and Behemoth Comics were putting together called Peaky Blinders: The Bleakest Winter. Featuring artwork from Rob G, António Brandão, and Kate Frizzell, the prospective series was intended not as a continuation of the show - but rather to dive deeper into moments from the TV series that could be untold stories of their own.

"Honestly? I just wanted to write enrichment material based on open plots that already existed within the show's continuity," Ekstrom wrote on Facebook. "Stuff like what happened at the Soam and Verdun (and how the British were never at Verdun but the Shelby boys accidentally fell into a situation nearby) and what happened to Alfie after he was shot in the face…"

One of the stories included 'Old Man Shelby' (a play on the Old Man Logan stories at Marvel), which delved into the unexplored bit from the TV show where Tommy forbade any other Shelby from being named Arthur.

Here's concept art for Peaky Blinders: The Bleakest Winter by Brandão Frizzell:

(Image credit: Rob G)

This would've been interesting for several reasons, but for comics fans none more so to see the return of artist Rob G to comics. Breaking into comics in the early '00s with the indie series Teenagers from Mars, G went on to have a short run on DC's Detective Comics, then several creator-owned series including Dead West, Filler, and Repo. Rob G largely left the comics industry in 2007, and works in the restaurant industry.

The sixth season of Peaky Blinders is currently being filmed, with it set to air on BBC One and Netflix. Series creator Steven Knight said the series will then transition to a movie in place of a seventh season, with discussions about possible TV spinoffs of the Shelby family down the road.

Here's a ranking of the best Peaky Blinders episodes so far. 

[Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect Rob G's current status.]

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)