New Kickstarter Launching February 2nd

 

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I am happy to report that Rebecca and I have nearly finished prepping the next Kickstarter campaign page and we will be ready to roll on the 2nd of February. We are hoping that everyone who has supported us thus far will continue the journey with us and also help us spread the word. We’ll be offering issues 1-3 in this campaign and we will continue offering back issues for new readers in our future campaigns. Our hope is that by word of mouth we can continue to grow our fellowship. That is why we have also made a PDF version of issue 1 available absolutely free to our amazing educators of the world (see this blog entry). My college major was Secondary English Education and I have always been passionate about passing along the great literature of the world to the next generation. I believe comics can be so much more than men and women in pajamas fighting super-powered gorillas… not that that isn’t wonderful as well. But I’ve always held up the comics medium as one of seemingly boundless potential that intermarries art and literature. That is why I’ve spent countless hours researching, reading, and consulting with scholars to ensure that I’m not merely giving readers stories that entertain, but also that motivate them to seek out and experience the great classics. That is, after all, where the “deep magic” is to be found.

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The back matter for our Kickstarter Exclusive Edition third issue will illuminate the origin of our intrepid guide in Terra Somnium, Irving Rat. I am rarely asked questions by interviewers that allow me to speak about the formation of specific characters in my stories, so I am incredibly excited about sharing it with you in the pages of our book. And if you have any questions about characters, events, themes, or anything else in our story,  feel free to send them on to me at info(dot)hpcomics(at)gmail(dot)com. They just may show up in a future issue!

-Dwight

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Rockin’ and Rolling Into 2018

Happy New Year, friends! We have definitely started off the new year with a bang!

My interview is now live and available for your perusal on Culture Vultures. I believe it is exceptional and packed with behind-the-scenes tidbits and I thank interviewer Cassie Parkes (and our friend, James Caudill) for making it happen. You can read the interview in its entirety by clicking the image below…

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We have also been selected as one of 2G1‘s “Favorites of 2017!” Special thanks to our friend, Ryan McLelland for his kind words and support over the years. We are thrilled and thankful for the shout-out! You can read Ryan’s extensive article about Hocus Pocus Comics by clicking the image below…

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Finally, voting for the 2017 BareBones Awards ends on Friday, January 5th! If you were not aware, The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe has been nominated in the comic book of the year category, and we’d really like to win it! Thank you to everyone who has already voted, and if you haven’t voted yet, it only takes a couple of seconds and you can vote anonymously, so why not do that now? If you click the image below it will take you directly to the voting page.

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Finally, Rebecca and I would like to thank each and every one of you for an amazing first year. We honestly didn’t know how a new publishing company would be received. Sure, I’m not Ricky Random, but one can never know about these things unless one first takes that big step. With such an explosion in the comics market, it was a risk. A big one. But, thanks to you, we are so glad we stepped out and took a chance. Here’s to you, and here’s to a glorious second great year for Hocus Pocus Comics that exceeds all expectations!

Warm regards,

Dwight & Rebecca

Poe Takes Over ComiXology!

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Okay… maybe not.

But The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe issue 4, released on the last New Comic Book Day of 2017, has been featured on ComiXology’s main page! We are so thrilled and thankful! You can now read the entire first chapter of our epic tale by downloading issues 1-4 on ComiXology or Amazon Kindle, so we are chuffed to pieces about that!

This week we received a wonderful note from the mom of a reluctant reader gushing about how much her son loves our book and can’t wait for the next issue. “I’ve never seen him so excited about reading,” she said.  That, my friends, is what it’s all about!

One last note: please don’t forget to vote for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe for Comic Book of the Year on BareBones Entertainment’s site! Voting is only open until January 5th, so please do that now if you haven’t already done so. It only takes a few seconds and you can vote anonymously, so it’s pretty painless. There is one vote allowed per IP, so make it count!

Happy New Year!

-Dwight, Rebecca, and the HP Comics Crew

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2 Kickstarter Campaign Ends 382% Funded!

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You guys! We ended the campaign this morning at 10:00 AM and funded three times the amount we asked for! Now the fun part begins for us as we get final numbers to our printers and send the PDFs out to our amazing supporters!

Thank you for believing in our project, and for returning to continue the adventures of Edgar Allan Poe and his faithful guide, Irving Rat. We have a lot more fun stuff planned for the next campaign, which launches February 2, 2018. Until then, we will busy fulfilling orders and spending time with our families during this Christmas season.

From all of us at Hocus Pocus Comics, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Dwight, Rebecca, and the Poe Team

Roman Dirge to Cover Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2

dirgeI am thrilled to announce that my longtime friend, Roman Dirge, is providing a cover for the Kickstarter-exclusive printed edition of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2!

I don’t often tell the story of how I became friends with this brilliant creator and artist, but I would like to share it with you here because it is such an uncommon story.  Especially in the comic industry.

jim reaperBack in 2006 my black humor comic, Jim Reaper: Week One, was released by the now-defunct publisher, Silent Devil Productions. Around that same time I discovered the brilliant comic from Slave Labor Graphics called Lenore. Of course, I recognized the title immediately as an homage to Edgar Allan Poe, so I picked it up from my local comic shop. What I found inside was gorgeous art and spot-on comedic genius. I was an instant fan. As I said, Silent Devil had released Jim Reaper–which has a similar tone to Lenore–so I decided to contact Dirge, send a digital copy of Jim Reaper: Week One to him, and ask if there was any possibility that artist Mathieu Benoit and I could make a Lenore meets Jim Reaper strip for a future issue of Lenore. To my surprise, Dirge loved my comic and agreed to it right away. This was at the end of 2006.

Fast forward to early 2007. Dirge was busy in the animation field (including writing Invader ZIM with his buddy, Jhonen Vasquez) and artist Mathieu Benoit I had created the Jim Reaper spin-off, Lil’ Hellions: A Day at the Zoo, which was also published by Silent Devil Productions. In addition, I was embroiled in several comic and webcomic projects, including a little webcomic titled “The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo.” In other words, Dirge and I were both extremely busy doing other things. Mathieu and I had completed the Lenore meets Jim Reaper strip several months earlier, but it was just sitting in a folder on my computer. It had basically been forgotten. Or so I thought.

lenore_13In June of 2007, however, I saw Dirge post an update on his Facebook page that basically said, “Hey, who is the guy I promised a strip in the next issue of Lenore? I need the strip ASAP.” Of course, I quickly responded, and Lenore Meets Jim Reaper was published the next month in Lenore #13.

Since then, Dirge and I have both been extremely busy, but we’ve managed to stay in touch. I’ve never told him how much I appreciate him and the fact that he kept his word. Over the course of my decade+ in the comics industry I’ve been promised lots of things by a lot of people and been left holding the bag more times than I’d care to admit. But not by Dirge. And for that, I will always be one of his biggest fans.

So there you have it, folks. My ode to Roman Dirge. That’s why I am absolutely over the moon that he is illustrating the cover for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2. He’s a super talented guy, yes, but he’s also a man of integrity, and a friend that I value very much.

-Dwight

 

Check Out Our New Video!

Hey, guys!

Lots o’ comic mayhem going on around here these days! Check out our latest Facebook Live Chat video which has been uploaded to our YouTube channel and find out what we’re up to!

Lots of exciting news to come, so stay tuned!

Rebecca and Dwight

 

Memories of Deadlight Studios

 

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Dead Men Tell No Tales #1 Cover by Ben Templesmith

Since today is Flashback Friday, I was reminiscing about my early days as a comic creator. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was Deadlight Studios. It was 2006 and my first creator-owned mini-series, Dead Men Tell No Tales, had been published by Arcana Comics. It was a smash-hit, and I quickly gained a devoted (and awesomely crazy) following.

Around that time I was producing several webcomics, and I had signed one of them, Jim Reaper, to a deal at Silent Devil Productions (remember them?). I was also involved in several anthologies and had many comic pitches in production. I was thrilled to be making comics and I was anxious to reach out and connect with aspiring and established comic creators. But what I really wanted to do was to help newcomers break into the industry. If anyone had been through hell to get there, it was me. Surrounded by naysayers who were the closest to me, and living in a seriously messed up situation, I had done it. And I wanted people to know if they worked hard enough and didn’t give up, they could make it, too. What they needed, I knew, was positive people around them who would encourage and provide a bit of guidance–someone who had seen some success, had a critical eye, and would tell them the truth… even when it hurt.

Enter Deadlight Studios.

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What a magical time that was! With my trusty partner in crime, Darrell Mogg, we created a visually stunning website with a lively and thriving community forum. A couple of times I even got my buddies, Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, to drop by and say hello!

My good friend, Amer Kokh, provided the art for the site together with friend and Dead Men Tell No Tales colorist, Michael DeVito. I never could have made it happen by myself. These friends caught my vision and helped me make it happen. It was a magical collaboration and I’ll never forget the experience of bringing it together and giving it life.

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During the course of our conversation I brought up the idea of putting together a horror anthology titled Deadlight Theatre. The forums were abuzz and it was really a wonderful time as forum members put together teams and created several short horror stories for the anthology. Everyone was excited.

And then it was gone. People were shocked.

The truth of the matter is that I was being medically separated from the Army and at the same time, I assumed sole responsibility of my three young sons, so Deadlight Studios took a back seat to raising them. I was unable to keep it going and give my sons the care they needed, and as any single dad will tell you, they would have done the same thing. Some people understood, some people didn’t. But no one was more disappointed than I was.

Some people on the outside say it was a noble idea to create a community where comic creators help one other. I mean, there are others who have done something similar, but none of them were headed up by an industry insider. Some might say it was a dumb idea, that I should have concentrated on my own brand rather than worrying about other “schmucks” trying to break into the industry. Whichever camp you fall into is your prerogative. All I know is that I am still close friends with many fine people I met during the “Deadlight Years,” and I gained invaluable experience that I believe will ensure the success of Hocus Pocus Comics. So I will call it a WIN.

 

Rest in Peace, Deadlight Studios. You are gone but not forgotten.

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-Dwight

Kickstarter Success and More Poe-centric Goodness!

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What an incredible end to an epic journey! When our Kickstarter campaign for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe Kickstarter-Exclusive print edition #1 launched on July 30th, we could not have dreamed that we would find our project more than 500% funded when all was said and done. While we were quite surprised to find our project fully funded within 30 hours of launch, we had no idea that our awesome supporters would obliterate all of our expectations, pushing us to create new stretch goals to accommodate the overwhelming outpouring of support. It was crazy! I want to thank my dear friends, David Hartman, Juan Ferreyra, and Dave Youkovich, for coming through with such a crazy tight deadline despite being completely swamped with work. I love you guys, and I owe you big time!

And here we are… 528% funded! The next month will see us sending PDFs to our supporters, files to the printer, getting art prints made, and ordering more Poe t-shirts than we ever dreamed we’d sell! And we couldn’t be happier to do it! Seriously, we can’t thank you enough!

But the good news doesn’t stop there! Today on ComiXology and Kindle, the digital-first copy of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #3 drops, and we make a special announcement over on Line Webtoon for our weekly Terra Somnium (the companion book to IVOEAP) update! And we really want to thank all of our subscribers on Line Webtoon as well.  It is going to get a lot crazier in the Land of Dreams, so check it out, subscribe, rate it, and help us spread the word.

Here are the links for the digital-first copy of The Imaginary Voyages of EAP #3:

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KINDLE [Still “Publishing” 46+ hours later. Will update when link goes live.]

And here is the link to Terra Somnium:

READ FROM THE BEGINNING HERE! 

We truly appreciate each and every one of you, and we are so thankful you’ve decided to join us on this incredible journey. It’s only just begun!

Rebecca and Dwight

Mystery Stretch Goal

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Wow! We are up to $3,500! You guys have been so supportive of our Kickstarter Poe project! What is our stretch goal for 4k you ask? Well, let’s just say that it involves DC Comics…

Don’t miss out! PLEDGE RIGHT HERE! 

Dwight

More Press for Poe (and Me)

Happy Friday, friends! We made it!

Before you start what I hope is an amazing weekend, I have a couple things to share with you…

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Please check out my new interview with Nicole D’Andria of Comic Frontline. Nicole asked some excellent questions and I gave, what I hope, are excellent answers.

READ IT HERE!

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John McGuire of Tessera had some kind words to say about our Little Poe Kickstarter for his “Steampunk Friday” post! You can read that:

RIGHT HERE! 

Have a great weekend, friends! I hope you will be safe and happy, surrounded by the ones you love.

-Dwight