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

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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

Free Comic Book Day 2017

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Free Comic Book Day is a wonderful opportunity to not only get some awesome free comics, but also to show your support for your local comic shop. I like to pick up some free comics, but I also make a point of buying a few because no one has been hit harder by the “comic book recession” than our beloved brick and mortar stores.

Today I had the pleasure of  meeting Coliseum of Comics owner, Edward Uvanni, a great guy who was very complimentary and eager to meet up later. He was excited to learn that Hocus Pocus Comics is a local business, and we look forward to plotting world domination together in the near future.

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Dwight

The Time to Pledge is Now!

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Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits is the brainchild of Harvey-nominated writer, Dwight L, MacPherson. An all-ages adventure mystery with a breakneck pace and many twists and turns, Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits is ultimately the story of friendship, danger, magic, and sacrifice in the tradition of Gravity Falls, Stranger Things, and Harry Potter.
The Kickstarter Campaign is now LIVE and runs through March 2nd:

3 MORE DAYS!

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Only 3 more days until we launch The Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits on Kickstarter! If you have not created an donor account on Kickstarter yet, please do! And thanks again, in advance, for your support! We can’t wait to get this started!

Dwight and Rebecca

Hocus Pocus Comics is Having a Contest!

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ARTISTS, now is your time to shine! We are looking for several pin-ups to be published in our upcoming graphic novel. Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits. The prizes are having your art published in the graphic novel along with your name and a link to your site. We’ll ALSO send you a signed copy of the finished book hot off the press!

THE DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 29th!

REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING: 

LIKE our Facebook page , draw and color an illustration, and then send the high resolution TIFF image to info.hpcomics@gmail.com. We will then pick the top twelve images submitted and post them on this page with our judges (THAT IS ALL OF YOU!) deciding who the winners are! This is a brilliant opportunity for you to have your art published and seen by a large audience. Talk about a win-win! We can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!

-The Hocus Pocus Team

Calling All Cartoonists!

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I am looking for a talented cartoonist to illustrate a webcomic with me. We can discuss specifics if you send your inquiry and five sample sequential pages to dwightmacpherson(at)gmail(dot)com. As far as the topic, I can only say it has something to do with the gentleman featured on the left of this blog post.

Hit me up!

-Dwight