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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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

UPDATED: Elevator Issue 2 is Live on ComiXology AND Amazon Kindle!

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JUST RELEASED: Elevator Issue 2, Hell to Pay, on ComiXology and Amazon Kindle! Click on the links below to purchase, and, as always, if you like what you have read, please rate, review, and tell your friends:

PURCHASE ON COMIXOLOGY

PURCHASE ON AMAZON KINDLE 

-Dwight

Elevator Issue 2 Drops June 7th on ComiXology and Amazon!

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Elevator issue 2 will be available for purchase on ComiXology June 7th! Please be sure to comment, review, and rate the issue on ComiXology as well as on Amazon. This is a huge help to us!

You can still purchase issue 1 on ComiXology and Amazon if you have not already done so. Here are the links:

PURCHASE ON COMIXOLOGY

PURCHASE ON AMAZON KINDLE

As always, we thank you for your continued support! We can’t wait for you to read what happens next in our reimagining of Dante’s Inferno for the 21st Century!

Dwight

 

Not Just Another Poe Wednesday!

Happy Poe Wednesday, my friends! Two bits of Poe related news for you today:

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1. There is a new page of Terra Somnium that has been posted for your reading pleasure. You can view it RIGHT HERE!

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Cover by Mark Harmon

2. The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #2 has been approved by ComiXology and will be available for purchase soonish (if you’ve dealt with them, you know what I mean)!

So there you have it. Hope your Poe Wednesday is magical!

-Dwight

 

Happy Poe Wednesday!

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Good morning, my friends! It’s Wednesday once again, so that could only mean one thing…

Celebrate arguably the greatest American author, Edgar Allan Poe, with this sensational new page of Terra Somnium by myself, Louise Fitzpatrick, and Marco Della Verde!

READ IT HERE! 

-D

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe #1 NOW AVAILABLE on ComiXology!

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PURCHASE YOUR COPY HERE! 

What a crazy journey! When I first began writing this book in 2006, I had no idea that it would become my magnum opus. I’d been a fan of Poe’s work since childhood, but there are several authors who have inspired and shaped my work over the years. So why Edgar Allan Poe?

When I first decided to write this book, it was sort of a gag. A reviewer had commented that one of my books had “too many poop jokes,” so my response was to create Edgar Allan Poo–complete with outhouse “birth.” What this story has become surprises no one more than it surprises me!

As I’ve already said, I grew up reading Poe’s stories and poems and watching Roger Corman’s film adaptations of his work, so Poe has definitely been a major influence on my work. No doubt about it. But it wasn’t until I began studying Poe’s life that I felt more than mere admiration for his work; I felt an unexplainable bond to Poe himself. A man of sorrow and loss, he would never taste the fruit of success; never enjoy the level of notoriety and renown that he so richly deserved. At first this merely moved me. But as I read his work again in light of the incredible sadness, loss, and marginalization he experienced in his lifetime, I developed a strong bond that goes far beyond respect and admiration. I felt as if we were kindred spirits; brothers from out of time, somehow linked by this madness called “writing.”

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The “Birth” of Terra Somnium 

The inspiration for the land of Terra Somnium comes from a lifelong love for the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and J.M. Barrie. But I would also have to thank Homer, Virgil, and Dante as well. When considering what one of the greatest literary minds would dream about in a time of crisis–I imagined–it would be more lofty and nuanced than what an average man would dream of. So what may Poe have dreamed of? Well, I thought, he would have certainly dreamed of death, his disappointments, and his own work, but he also loved mythology, nature, and classic literature.  And so, by combining all of these elements, Terra Somnium was born.  And it’s only blossomed and grown as I continue to view its breadth and depth in my mind’s eye. As you will see over the course of the series, it only becomes richer and more exotic, and, yes, more disturbing, as the epic journey continues.

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And speaking of Terra Somnium, artist Louise Fitzpatrick and letterer Marco Della Verde and I have posted a BRAND NEW page for your viewing pleasure at Line Webtoon! Please do check it out:

READ IT HERE! 

An Epic Adventure

If you have joined us on this journey already, then you have my sincere gratitude. If you have not, I ask you to take a risk, purchase the book, and unite with us. Whether you love Poe’s work or just enjoy a good story, I’m certain you will enjoy the ride!

-Dwight

 

Gordon & Tricia Martin of Lucid Frame Joins Hocus Pocus Comics!

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The Hocus Pocus Family is growing! We are pleased to announce that Gordon and Tricia Martin have joined the team as our Media Relations Managers. The Martins are the owners of Lucid Frame Productions, a multimedia company which specializes in marketing videos, animation, professional photography, editing, graphic design, illustration, and VO recording.
Gor and Tricia have been friends and supporters for several years! We first met them on the Steve Niles forum (best forum ever!), and we are so thrilled to welcome them onboard as fellow creatives within our collaborative community known as HPC. Tricia illustrated and recently printed the delightful Midnight, Me & Bob Macabre, and Tricia and Gor are extremely talented in all areas of media and promotion, so they will be valuable assets for our team. We’re excited to share that we already have them quite busy creating PR videos (wait till you see the ELEVATOR trailer!) and upgrading our YouTube channel, so stay tuned for some incredible updates in the very near future!

-Dwight and Rebecca