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

 

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Elevator Issue 3 Gets Glowing Review!

Elevator_003_cover_comixology

We’re going to just let this review speak for itself:

I’ve been very vocal about the first two comic book titles from Hocus Pocus Comics. I expected the new “director’s cut” of Edgar Allan Poo to be great because I thought the book was brilliant when I read it the first time around. I certainly haven’t been disappointed in the relaunch and love not only the changes that have been made to the story but the spectacular new artwork as well. When it comes to their other new book Elevator, it really is an extremely well done horror comic. The first issue was like a Porsche. You opened the book and it went from zero to a hundred pretty quick. But issue two was like taking your Porsche onto the Autobahn, gunning it to two hundred miles per hour, and just enjoying the ride. It really was mind-blowing.

Elevator #3 seems to have taken the poor kids who are stuck in hell and taken their destiny right out of their own hands. With their friend Matt gone, Richard and Edward aren’t so much circumventing hell as following this mystery angel who is guiding them from place to place. It’s kind of like you are at Disney World and get on the It’s A Small World ride. You are there on the boat, you can’t get off, and you’re stuck watching everything around you. At this point it is like that for Richard and Edward except, well, they are in hell.

Now the brothers actually get to learn something big about their past while in hell that I won’t describe in a review as it is way too spoilerish. I will say that what they learn helps them understand their past including things about their treacherous father (who is still roaming around hell looking for his kids). It’s a sad moment for the two boys. I have a feeling that this revelation will factor in greatly to the final issue.

This is coupled with another plot point that I would love to spoil but this reveal is way too big. Back on Earth, at the Helton Inn, that old creepy dude who lured the kids into the elevator to hell is busy making preparations. Basically people will be drawn to the inn, who he’ll put in the elevator, who will then be stuck in hell. Not the best place to spend the weekend…especially if there is a Holiday Inn down the street. We see old creepy dude finalizing his plans and then the big reveal happens on who he really is. Again – too big of a reveal to spoil it in this review. But it really will make you say, “Ooooooohhhhhhh.”

So most of the issue is the characters not really in control of what they are doing with a good bit of exposition here and there. I guess as issue two moved at such an incredible pace writer Dwight MacPherson needed to fit in more of the story somewhere. That somewhere is issue three. As next issue is the last issue of this miniseries I’m sure the explanation needed to come now so we can all fully enjoy the third act.

Because of this Elevator #3 is slightly disappointing. Now that doesn’t take away how amazing this book is. This miniseries has been outstanding. Even this issue is outstanding. It’s only disappointing because it slightly feels that the exposition had to be pushed in before the fourth issue hit. Now you are absolutely glad to know what you know once you read this issue. But my solution? Make the miniseries longer. I don’t know about everyone else but I would have certainly enjoyed reading five issues instead of four.

All in all this miniseries has been fantastic. The writing is just incredible and artist Randy Valiente does a stunning job bringing this book to life. The black and white artwork is particularly haunting so making the decision not to color this book was such the perfect call. Many of the panels have no background. It’s just white. This in no way takes away from hell. Rather it speaks to how bleak hell really is. You don’t need fire and brimstone to make hell scary. The creatures that inhabit it and the grim, desolate landscape really speaks volumes. I truly applaud this decision.

If you aren’t reading Elevator you should immediately jump on. It truly is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m fairly certain that the last issue of this book will completely blow everyone away and I truly can’t wait to see where this journey ultimately takes us.

RANK: A-

Click here to read our reviews of Elevator #1 and #2http://2guys1review.com/?s=elevator

Lots of Edgar Allan Poe Goodness!

Thumb_Ep_20Good morning, friends! I just wanted to drop a quick note to say hello and let you know that I am up to my eyeballs in awesomeness that I am dying to share with you. As soon as I can, you can rest assured that I won’t hold back!

If you have not already done so, please drop by Line Webtoon and check out the brand-new page of Terra Somnium by myself and artist, Louise Fitzgerald. We are nearing the end of the first chapter, and things have gotten extremely tense!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW

teaser_01In case you missed the big news, we will be launching a campaign for a Kickstarter-exclusive special PRINTED edition of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 on July 31st! We are absolutely thrilled! We get asked quite often about print copies of our books, so this will give us the opportunity to get our first printed book into our lovely, intelligent (shall I keep going?), attractive viewers’ hands (good enough?). So please, mark your calendars and plan to pledge. We will need to hit it fast and hard at the jump in order to reach our goal. We’ll also be sharing never-before-seen Poe-related art, videos, and other goodies with those who pledge along the way, so it’s going to be exciting!

As always, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you how much we appreciate the support and encouragement we receive from you every day. Sometimes it feels like a battle that would be easier to avoid or abandon, but YOU are always there with a word of encouragement, a share, a like, or an e-mail that steels our courage and presses us to redouble our efforts. We truly appreciate it. And to our patrons: you all are the best. We literally could not do this without you. If you have not yet become a patron, you can do that RIGHT HERE. $1 a month or $100, it all helps, and it all goes toward making comics. Patreon is being jerky right now, but as soon as it lets me, I’ll be sharing a top secret peek at the cover for I-Team #1 with our patrons, so now is a wonderful time to join us!

-Dwight

A Writer’s Wife


Contrary to what you might think from the image above, no, Dwight is not doing an adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” That woman would be me on any given day–and the birds are all the many thoughts thrown at me from Dwight when he is in the writing zone.

Being the wife of a writer is not easy, but it has many rewards. Any artistic lifestyle is hard as paying work is usually feast or famine, but I think being the other half of a writing team is wonderful. We are both voracious readers, and I feel a writer should read to be inspired–so our conversations are wonderful dialogs of mutually-admired books. He opens new worlds to me by recommending books and vice versa.

One of the most stressful times I can remember since we have been married was the month that we were a contestant in the Zuda Comics webcomic contest. Our offering, Sidewise, was number one from the get go–but we had to keep it number one throughout an entire month. Having to get everyone we know onboard took a lot of time, effort, telephone calls, and late night email reminders. Hearing that we won the contest took a huge weight off our shoulders. I think I finally exhaled that day; I was so wound up by the whole ordeal.

I especially love it when Dwight first gets a new project. After the seemingly interminable amount of time having to wait to talk about it (contracts must be signed first!) he is all bright-eyed and feverish. Then comes the deluge of thoughts and ideas–usually when I am talking about something completely unrelated to the current project! I could literally be in the middle of sentence such as, “I think we might need more milk,” when Dwight comes back at me with, “What do you think if I get rid of the tower in that last scene?” My perplexed look goes unnoticed as he is already on to another idea for the next chapter.

It takes a lot of focus to keep up with him!

Me furiously attempting to write notes as Dwight spouts it out!

We just got wind of a new project which, of course, I wish I could talk about… but can’t. The feverish look is in his eye and the printer is burning the midnight oil. It is all a part of the process and I would not have my life any other way. Besides, being able to work at home, he gets to drag the boys around to their various appointments. And I know that I am being biased, but I truly believe that he is one of the best writers around today. His work will be remembered long after he is gone. Not that he is going away anytime soon, God willing!

I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. Summer is almost here, so it is time to get your Summer reading lists together.

So… what will you be reading?

Cheers,
Rebecca