Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe Fan Art!

Hi, Friends!

Our Kickstarter campaign for the exclusive printed edition for The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 is going strong thanks to you! We met our initial funding goal in the first 30 hours (!), but now we are working towards unlocking the next stretch goal of 3k so we will be able to include Dave Youkovich’s incredible 3-page story. If you have already pledged, we thank you so very much– if not, please consider pledging so we will be able to include this fantastic additional content. I’ll be sharing some art from the story in the coming days and let me tell you…it is magnificent. Definitely something you’ll want to see in the book! Dave illustrated a cover for issue 3, so he’s no stranger to this property. The cover image hasn’t been released yet, but here’s a little teaser just for you…

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One of the most delightful things that can happen to a creator, in my opinion, is to see your beloved characters come to life through fan art. The page I have included here is from talented artist, Pablo Fernandez! I love it!

Something tells me Pablo and I will be collaborating very soon…

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–  Dwight

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Elevator Issue 3 Gets Glowing Review!

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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

Edgar Allan Poe *Exclusive* Kickstarter Print Edition is now LIVE!

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“Twisted and ominous, yet rich and charming. MacPherson has crafted a complex and enchanting story that blends the macabre and mythological into a strange dream land that is worthy of the great poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe.” – American McGee, Creator and Designer of AMERICAN MCGEE’S ALICE, ALICE: MADNESS RETURNS, and GRIMM

 

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“A beautiful and bizarre adventure into wonder, quirky, lovely and fascinating!” – Kurt Busiek, Multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of ASTRO CITY 

 

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“Together in one package, two of the great passions of my youth (that didn’t end there); comics and Edgar Allan Poe. A thrilling adventure with beautiful art. More, please!” – Roderick Gordon, Author of the New York Times Bestselling TUNNELS series 

 

Chris Semtner“A glimpse into the enigmatic dreamscape where the great chronicler of mystery and madness, Edgar Allan Poe, meets acclaimed comic creator Dwight L. MacPherson. Readers are in for one wild ride.” – Chris Semtner, Internationally Exhibited Artist, Author, and Curator of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA

 

Everyone loves a little Poe! We are thrilled to announce the launch of our limited-edition printed version of The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1–available only through this campaign–on Kickstarter this morning! Yes, this special edition features a brand-new cover by monster man David Hartman and a Making-Of section designed by Tricia Martin. So please click on the link below to join Master Poo and Irving Rat on their wild adventure in Edgar Allan Poe’s head:

>>>PLEDGE NOW!<<<

As we reach our goal, we will be sending more exclusive content through updates, so be sure to pledge early so you won’t miss a thing.

You asked for a printed edition and we couldn’t be happier to finally offer it to you. We give you our sincere thanks in advance for your pledges, comments, likes, retweets, shares and support. Together we can make it happen!

Dwight and Rebecca

 

 

 

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

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

Book Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

meddling_kidsI was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted by Michael Goldsmith of DoubleDay Books requesting a book review of a new Lovecraftian fiction book by author, Edgar Cantero. Oh, I’ve written a few comic book reviews in the past and a book review for International Justice Mission, but that was the extent of my reviewing creds, and, as I said, it was several years ago.  In the end I decided that, hey, why not? I love to read, and I count Lovecraft as one of my biggest writing influences. So much so that I co-wrote the young Howard Lovecraft Trilogy with my good buddy, Bruce Brown, and I have an original Lovecraftian mini-series in the works with brilliant artist, Dave Youkovich.  Not to mention a few Lovecraftian short stories, an adaptation of Lovecraft’s HE for SelfMadeHero, and several unsuccessful pitches I’ve written over the years.

So it was decided.

In the years since Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s life, Lovecraftian fiction has become a popular horror subgenre which stresses cosmic, unknowable terrors and mankind’s hopelessness and helplessness to combat–or even fully comprehend–them. At the core, it is the fear of the unknown that drives the stories in this subgenre, and that is something we can all relate to, whether we are fans of science-fiction, or horror, or neither. It is from this commonality that brilliant screenwriter, Rod Serling (also a big influence on my work), penned some of his most poignant and terrifying episodes of The Twilight Zone. And Serling is only one in a long line of authors who have played upon this instantly relatable theme.

But I digress.

Imagine, if you will, the Scooby-Doo Gang in a Lovecraftian universe. As young people, the gang solved mysteries and unmasked bad guys–they were the heroes–but, during the course of their final caper they inadvertently brushed paths with unspeakable cosmic horror. It is an oppressive evil that haunts their dreams, poisons their lives, and they ultimately became scared, irreparably (?) damaged adults. Ultimately, these fractured adults decide to team up one last time and face the horror head on. This is Meddling Kids.

Does this sound similar to the synopsis of Stephen King‘s It to you? Indeed. Cantero isn’t breaking any new ground here, but what he does is tell an entertaining story that will have you furiously turning pages until you reach the bitter end. And he does so with great panache and skill. Cantero is obviously a master wordsmith who tips his hand every now and then, but never comes off as an exhibitionist. Snappy dialogue, vivid descriptions, quirky characters, and the building sense of dread will keep you enthralled and leave you wanting more. And for fans of Lovecraft’s work, you will find just enough that is familiar, but not so much that it feels overstated or cliché. As I said, this Cantero fellow knows what he is doing.

If this sounds like a fun story to you, you may be a Lovecraft fan. Or, maybe not. I believe that any reader who is merely looking for an entertaining, creepy summer read will find it quite enjoyable as well. Who knows…it may even compel some readers to check out H.P. Lovecraft’s work, and that would be awesome, indeed.

-Dwight

 

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

Gormen–What or: How Dwight Learned to Love Mervyn Peake


Okay, I’ll admit it: I’d never heard of Gormenghast.

My wife Rebecca and I had an extensive conversation about great fantasy series one evening when she mentioned this classic–though widely overlooked–trilogy.

“What is Gormenghast?” I asked. She responded, “It’s a big book of words.”

Needless to say, I was intrigued. After all, aren’t all books tapestries of written words?

After delving into the first book in the series, Titus Groan, I could see what she meant. Author Mervyn Peake is a master of description, carefully choosing every adjective and adverb with great precision and loving care. His descriptive language alone makes this trilogy well worth reading.

After my disgust with Patrick Rothfuss’ trainwreck of a follow-up to The Name of the Wind, this is a welcome change of pace. This is a timeless classic I can pass along to my children–or even recommend to my parents and friends.

-Dwight

The Last Word

If you have not read the Gormenghast series yet, it is a three book (Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone) series devoted to the strange world of the Groans, staid monarchs in a fictional castle-kingdom (literally). The everyday duties and chores of the servants–and of almost every other person in Gormenghast, for that matter–is described in painstaking detail throughout the series.

I’ve always felt the subjects of the books were metaphors for life and how we perceive it, and how we live it.

BBC produced a splendid Gormenghast miniseries and really got the books. The sets and costumes were exactly as I had imagined, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers was a superb choice for Steerpike.

Gormenghast by Alan Lee

There are many artists who have attempted to illustrate Gormenghast, but my favorite by far is Alan Lee. I love his revelation of the vastness of the castle and the endless hallways and corridors of this cyclopean castle.

Back when I was working press with Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) and Craig Parker (Haldir) of The Lord of the Rings films, I was actually able to meet Alan and tell him how much I admired his work. Good times.

So there you have it.

-Rebecca

Who Art Thou, Judge Dredd?

Over the weekend, Dwight introduced me to one of his favorite characters: Judge Dredd. Not being a capes and tights type of person, I would have passed this comic up in a heartbeat while walking through my local comic shop–especially after seeing the horrendous Stallone film.

However, my mind has been changed since Judge Dredd is anything but your typical super hero.

Right now I am reading about him fighting some really nasty beings called the Dark Judges: Judge Fire, Judge Fear, Judge Mortis and Judge Death.

Judge Dredd takes no prisioners and his matter-of-fact style of looking at life is kind of refreshing. The whole idea of a Deadworld and humans being guilty simply because they are alive is a frightening concept–and right in line with my taste in horror.

I am really digging it. Who knew?

[I did! – Dwight]

Okay, I have to admit that I am really looking forward to seeing Karl Urban as Dredd. He was brilliant as Dr. McCoy in Star Trek, so I can only imagine his take on this iconic character. And I hear he will not remove his helmet. Dwight said this is proof that Urban gets Judge Dredd since he is the embodiment of the law, and, as such, should never, ever be seen in anything but the complete raiment of a Judge.

So there you have it. Judge Dredd is everything my husband said he was.

I guess that makes me one of the newest Judge Dredd fans.

[Drokk, yeah! – Dwight]

Rebecca

[I’m plugging away on a synopsis for a novel proposal and continuing my worldbuilding project. It never stops, folks.
Oh, and it’s been my long-time dream to write Judge Dredd. Just want to put that out there.-Dwight]