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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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:

COMIXOLOGY

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

Can We Count on You?

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MONDAY is the day, my friends! Monday, July 31st, we will be launching our campaign for the Kickstarter-exclusive PRINTED Special Edition of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1! This special edition will only be available in this form on Kickstarter, so you will want to make sure you get your copy! It features a beautiful new cover from David Hartman (see the teaser image above) and a special Making-Of section that is being designed by artist and HP Comics Production Manager, Tricia Martin. It is going to be gorgeous! We will also be including special prints produced exclusively for this project along with an Edgar Allan Poe t-shirt designed by series artist, Luis Czerniawski, and Tricia Martin. Trust me: you’re going to want one of these!

One of the (hard) lessons I learned about Kickstarter is that you need to have supporters pledge as early as possible. If there is a mad rush to pledge on day one your project has a much better chance of being noticed by Kickstarter staff and receiving additional promotion on their site. So I’m asking you to pledge as soon as you possibly can. Hit it hard and we’ll let Kickstarter know that we love a little Poe! And be sure to spread the love on social media as well. That helps us big time.

As soon as the project is live I’ll be all over social media breaking the news. And if you FOLLOW ME ON KICKSTARTER you’ll find out even before they do. So that’s definitely the best option.

We love you guys and thank you for helping us make comics! We very literally couldn’t do this without you!

-Dwight

Hocus Pocus Comics is Attending New York Comic Con 2017!

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Pro badges have been approved, and I am thrilled to announce that Rebecca and I will be attending New York Comic Con this year! We hope to see you there!

FIND OUR MORE ABOUT NEW YORK COMIC CON HERE

– Dwight and Rebecca

An Edgar Allan Poe Double Shot

As the title of this entry states, we have TWO Poe-related updates for you today!

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First, you can check out brand new Terra Somnium by artist, Louise Fitzpatrick, and yours truly, RIGHT HERE! We are now 16 pages into the first chapter of the prequel to The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, and things are getting weirder by the second!

And please, when you check it out, like it, subscribe, and share it with your friends. I can’t tell you how invaluable this is to the folks who lovingly produce webcomics.

 

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Cover by Mark Harmon

 

Second, The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2 is now available for purchase HERE ON COMIXOLOGY and HERE ON AMAZON KINDLE!

If you’ve read issue 1, you can see just how different it is from the graphic novel that was published by Image Comics. The reviews we’ve received confirm my long-held opinion that it needed to be revised both script-wise and artistically. The addition of artists, Luis Czerniawski and Andrea Messi, bring so much life and energy to these characters and environs–wouldn’t you agree?

 

In other news, we are wrapping up production on ELEVATOR #3 and we will soon send it to ComiXology and Amazon Kindle. Elevator artist, Randy Valiente, has really knocked this series out of the ballpark. Issue 3 is a real gut punch, so you’ve been warned!

-Dwight

 

 

I’m Bringing The 80’s Back!

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Photo Credit: Dwight L. MacPherson. All Rights Reserved.

We took some time off in the middle of a busy week to catch the U2 Joshua Tree show in Tampa on June 14th. Rebecca goes back a long way with these guys, from her time living in Dublin, Ireland, through her years of working in the music biz and hanging out with the band–which is another blog post in itself, one I have been trying to get her to write for ages!

The show was phenomenal in every way! I’ve always been told that U2 is a band you have to experience live, and they were right. This was my first time seeing the band I’ve loved since I first saw the video to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on MTV when I was a teen, so it was really a special experience. Rebecca and I danced and sang along as the band played a grueling set that lasted more than 2 hours. We were in the pit, so we could see the sweat dripping from Bono’s hands. At one point Bono remarked that it was “Muy caliente!” And it was. Hot and humid and Bono was–well–classic Bono, dancing and gesticulating through the Joshua Tree set (and especially during the encore). We were spent after the show, so I’m sure the band was as well! We are now all much older. This isn’t the ’80s, after all!

This experience was made even more awesome because I’m working on a comic that takes place in the 80’s–a time Rebecca and I feel very nostalgic for as pop culture and music was so unique, fresh, and fun. I am having a blast writing the story and I’m sure you are really going to really dig it. Especially if you are a child of the 80’s.

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Speaking of my ’80s superhero team, we are sharing our awesome artist’s, Emiliano Correa‘s, I-TEAM character designs exclusively with our patrons. So if you’d like to become an HP Comics insider, you can do that  RIGHT HERE! 

Dwight

 

Meet The I-TEAM!

logo_low_resWant to meet the I-TEAM before anyone else?! For as little as $1 a month you can meet the team and get some cool stuff and exclusive videos and art! Join the Hocus Pocus Comics Fam and you’ll have access to all of our TOP SECRET updates!

JOIN US HERE! 

-D

Breaking News: I-Team Announcement!

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COMING THIS FALL FROM HOCUS POCUS COMICS!

If you love classic X-Men and Teen Titans like I do, you will find this most excellent nostalgia blast just what the Professor ordered! (See what I did there?)

More news to come very soon, so be sure to stay tuned to this blog and hpcomics.net!

-Dwight