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How about starting December with some good news?!?

I am absolutely delighted to be a part of this.

Hocus Pocus Comics Launches With Edgar Allan Poe and Houdini Comics: The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe marks debut for innovative digital media publishing company

Lakeland, FL: Start-Up Comic Publishers Hocus Pocus Comics will release their dynamic debut comic, The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe, and their website, hpcomics.net, on January 1st, 2017. This begins their first wave of properties to be sold on ComiXology, with the publishers releasing four additional titles throughout 2017.

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe is a rebranding of the Harvey and Eagle Award-nominated Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo created by Hocus Pocus Comics’ founder, Dwight L. MacPherson. The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe offers a twisted glimpse into the dream-life of America's greatest fantasist, Edgar Allan Poe, in the darkest time of his life. Book 1 will be reprinted as Book 1, Issues 1-4 (with an exclusive cover by David Hartman, Rob Zombie album cover artist and producer of Phantasm: Ravager). Book 2 will feature an updated script and all-new art by Luis Czerniawski (Transformers: Evolutions, Kolchak the Nightstalker: The Forgotten Lore of Edgar Allan Poe) and Book 3 is a brand-new story that will finally complete MacPherson’s magnum opus. As he says, “Many readers have asked me what happened to Book 3, as they loved the characters and story. I’ve often joked that it’s a ‘lost book.’ Well, the time is right to finally complete this epic, and I couldn’t be more excited to share this ‘lost book’ with the world!”

Hocus Pocus Comics’ second title, Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits, is described by MacPherson as “Harry Potter meets Gravity Falls.” The first issue will be released this spring, and it will feature a cover by David Hartman and interior art by Mathieu Benoit (Jim Reaper: Week One, Lil’ Hellions: A Day at the Zoo).

Speaking on Hocus Pocus Comics’ mission, MacPherson says, “I believe that telling incredible stories is fundamental to a successful publishing company. There are many publishers pumping out a whole lot of mediocre properties, but we would rather take our time, stay small, and produce 3-4 extremely well-written, beautifully-illustrated books per year that will stick with readers long after they finish reading. We believe that good stories are magical, and we will do everything in our power to conjure some truly unforgettable magic.” To that end, MacPherson has put together several stellar teams working on books of several different genres. Hocus Pocus Comics’ motto is Imaginatio est Magicae (Imagination is Magic). Their goal is to create the future’s myths and legends, one comic at a time.

President and Publisher: Dwight L. MacPherson
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. For more information, visit his website.

Editor-in-Chief: Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University, and specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies. The author of four books and over fifty essays, and the editor of six books, Sturgis has won awards for her scholarship (The Imperishable Flame Award for J.R.R. Tolkien Scholarship), journalism (Best Magazine Review/Criticism/Column Award from the Los Angeles Press Club), and podcasting (The Sofanaut Award from listeners of the Hugo Award-winning StarShipSofa). For more information, visit her website.

Creative Director: Bruce Brown
Bruce Brown is the creator and writer of Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, now a motion picture. He is also the co-writer (with Dwight L. MacPherson) of Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, which is now in pre-production. Several of Brown’s properties have been published by Image Comics and Arcana Comics. He has multiple properties currently in production as well as a spin-off to the wildly successful Howard Lovecraft series.

Production Manager: J.M. Bryan
J. M. Bryan is a writer and designer. He has an Associates in the Arts degree from Jackson College and a Bachelor of Theology w/minor in Language from Michigan Baptist Seminary. He spends his days with his wife and two children and his nights pouring his imagination onto paper. He is currently writing two comic series.

Vice President, Administration: Rebecca MacPherson
Rebecca MacPherson has over seven years of TV/Film and Theatre Production experience from her tenure at both Tribune Studios and Fox Studios. An NAACP Award for Best Local Producer nominee for the Los Angeles production of Stage Directions, she worked with Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington as Production Secretary on his directorial debut, Antwone Fisher, for Fox Searchlight Films.

For more information on Hocus Pocus Comics, please contact: info.hpcomics@gmail.com

Follow Hocus Pocus Comics on Twitter.
Visit Hocus Pocus Comics on Patreon.

My heart is breaking!

Beautiful Gatlinburg!

My heart is breaking for the people, the animals, and the mountains. I love this place.

We were just beginning to see an end to this nightmare here: the Party Rock fire is contained, Chestnut Knob is at 80%, and the Horton fire is at 85%. And now this.

All strength and safety to the first responders.

R.I.P., Ron Glass

R.I.P., Ron Glass (1945-2016). Our 'verse is a warmer and brighter place because of your touch.

While reading Christopher Morley's Book of Days for 1931 this year, I came across this quote.

"Between thirty and forty, one is distracted by the Five Lusts;
Between seventy and eighty, one is a prey to a hundred diseases.
But from fifty to sixty, one is free from all ills;
Calm and still -- the heart enjoys rest.
I have put behind me Love and Greed; I have done with Profit and Fame;
Strength of limb I still possess to seek the rivers and hills;
Still my heart has spirit enough to listen to flutes and strings.
At leisure I open new wine and taste several cups;
Drunken I recall old poems and sing a whole volume."
- Po Chu-i (A.D. 772-846), translated by Arthur Whaley

Po Chu-i conveniently doesn't mention the forties, in the smack-dab middle of which I now find myself today.

I most certainly have not put behind me Love, although I recognize Profit is a lost cause.

Wine, old poems, and song? I can get behind those with enthusiasm.

So here goes nothing. I'm grateful to all of you, my friends, for enriching my life. Here's to another year! And to all of you who have wished me happy birthday: thank you!
I've been quiet because these disastrous North Carolina wildfires are staging a full-fledged, up-close-and-personal reunion between my asthma and me. Good times. Have handful of inhalers, will travel.

I have an all-new appreciation for what the "Code Red" Air Quality Alert means. If I have a metaphorical boggart in my metaphorical cabinet, I'm pretty sure it must look like a cloud of smoke and ash about now.

Just to make it official: firefighters have now joined my Greatest Heroes List. They're up there with the all-time greats (veterinarians, librarians, and astronauts). Thank you, first responders, for all you have done and are continuing to do throughout this unprecedented tragedy.

And now for some news you can use, here are a few Calls for Papers:
- Women-in-Peril or Final Girls? Representing Women in Gothic and Horror Cinema
- Social Issues in Children's and YA Literature
- Revisiting Northern Exposure
- Psychopharmacology and British Literature: 1650 to 1900

I hope all is well with you, my friends!

"Hogwarts in America" Is Now Online

My latest critical essay, "Hogwarts in America," which focuses on the "History of Magic in North America" and "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" essays on Pottermore that serve as prologue to Fantastic Beasts, is now on online here at Reason.

(This is the essay to which I referred in my recent interview on the MuggleNet Academia podcast.)

Thanks for letting me share!

Links and Updates

A lot has been going on here, but pretty much everything pales beside the specter of the Western North Carolina wildfires. What's happening to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the wildlife there is absolutely tragic, and the heroism of the men and women fighting the flames cannot be overstated. We're currently in what's been classified as a Red Zone for "unhealthy" air quality due to the smoke and ash.

In happier news...

- I was interviewed for this article by Tiffany Gee Lewis of The Deseret News: The Cultural Impacts of Harry Potter on the Next Generation."

- My latest "Looking Back on Genre History" segment, which focuses on the work of Sheri S. Tepper, is up on the new episode of StarShipSofa here. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!

- Here are a few Calls for Papers that may be of interest.
--- Medicine and Mystery: The Dark Side of Science in Victorian Fiction
--- Serenity: Essays on Joss Whedon’s "Big Damn Movie"
--- At the Mercy of Monsters: Essays on the Rise of Supernatural Procedural Dramas

Lastly, on my trip to speak in D.C. a couple of weeks ago, I stopped off at one of my favorite places in the world, The Poe Museum. Here's Poe in the Poe Shrine, with the morning's pennies left by visitors.

R.I.P., Robert Vaughn (1932-2016)

Stop it, 2016. Stop it.

The world needs Napoleon Solo in it. Desperately. Please. Or Albert Stroller, at least.

R.I.P., Robert Vaughn.

Here is David McCallum's touching statement to TVLine.

I'm holding my fandom cousins close.

Happy birthday, Kurt Vonnegut!

Happy birthday to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (11 November, 1922 – 11 April, 2007)!

Here, have some Vonnegut.


R.I.P., Leonard Cohen

R.I.P., Leonard Cohen (1934-2016). What a loss.


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