We’ve had quite a blast putting this campaign together! Getting to work with our long-time friends and fellow creatives again, The Corpse Crew, was a wonderful experience. Their interpretation of our story is the darkest thus far, but it is certainly a fitting tribute to the Master of the Macabre. They killed it! (Pun totally intended.)
To our returning supporters, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for continuing with us on this journey! And to all who are just now joining the fellowship, welcome to the world of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe– a nightmarish journey through the mind of the the world’s greatest fantasist. Buckle in. It’s going to be a wild ride!
Happy Poe Wednesday, friends! I just wanted to post a quick note to remind you that the Kickstarter campaign for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #3 will launch on Friday, February 2nd. And I’m thrilled to share with you now that the cover for this exclusive edition will be illustrated by my good friends, The Corpse Crew: Ken Haeser, Buz Hasson, and Blair Smith! I’ve known these talented gents for quite a few years and have wanted to collab with them on a project, so I am over the moon that they agreed to provide a cover for the book that is my pride and joy. And it is a real stunner!
Without further adieu, here is a teaser image just for you…
I’m also happy to say that everyone who supported our previous two Kickstarter projects should have their packages by now and the last batch of Irving Rat mini-busts have been shipped out, so you should have YOURS very, very soon!
Thanks again to all of our wonderful supporters all around the world. We appreciate each and every one of your immensely. We will have more exciting news to share with you as the Kickstarter launch draws closer, so stay tuned!
The Raven Lunatics Web Show Will Premiere February 28th, 2018
Harvey-Nominated Comic Creator Joins forces with Poe Museum Curator
Lakeland, FL: Hocus Pocus Comics Publisher, Dwight L. MacPherson, is teaming with Author and Artist, Chris Semtner, to produce a weekly web show. The Raven Lunatics will launch on Youtube on Wednesday, February 28th. Together, MacPherson and Semtner will be discussing nineteenth century poet, author, and Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, his work, and his impact on popular culture. This announcement comes on a significant date: Edgar Allan Poe’s 209th Birthday.
For more information contact theravenlunatics(at)gmail(dot)com.
Harvey Award-nominated comic creator, writer, and editor Dwight L. MacPherson has been one of the most prolific writing professionals for more than 10 years. A longtime advocate of webcomics and digital media, his steampunk webcomic, Sidewise (DC Comics), won the June 2009 Zuda competition. He has also seen his creator-owned properties published by Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and many others. His publishing company, Hocus Pocus Comics, is an independent publishing company specializing in digital comics, webcomics, and graphic novels. They have three series currently available on ComiXology and Amazon Kindle The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, Elevator, and I-TEAM. For more information: http://www.hpcomics.net
The Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Chris Semtner has written, co-written, or edited several books about Edgar Allan Poe, art, popular culture, and history. He has provided articles for Biography.com, Crime Writers’ Chronicles, The Edgar Allan Poe Review, and Resources for American Literary Studies. His most recent book is The Poe Shrine: Building the World’s Finest Edgar Allan Poe Collection, which is now available at Amazon.com. Semtner regularly speaks to groups around the United States about Poe, visual art, horror, and dark history and has been interviewed for documentaries airing on PBS, C-Span, BBC4, Military History Channel, and other networks. An award-winning, internationally exhibited visual artist, Semtner has works in public collections including the Virginia Historical Society, the City of Baltimore, and the University of Maryland. He has also curates exhibits for museums, libraries, and art centers across the country with his most recent exhibit dealing with the scientific analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s hair.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!