Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Mike Roy

This week I’ve got yet another preview of the Hic & Hoc anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Endswhich is being released tomorrow at Floating World Comics! Mike Roy‘s story begins right here in Portland, where the infamous D.B. Cooper boarded a plane before hijacking it, demanding a ransom, and then parachuting away with the money, never to be seen again.

You can read Mike’s story, and many other nonfiction mysteries in our book, which will be available for purchase at Floating World Comics tomorrow night from 5-7. Be there or be square, Portland!

Unsolved Mysteries Previews: Steve Seck

Here’s another preview from Hic & Hoc‘s forthcoming anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends. Just a reminder – we’ll be releasing the book next Wednesday, the 24th, here in Portland at Floating World Comics. Hope to see y’all there! Anyway, the preview below was taken from Steve Seck‘s contribution to the collection. He regaled us with the tale of the legendary Nain Rogue, a creature said to appear as a harbinger of doom in Detroit, MI.

Steve makes a bunch of highly entertaining comics, some of which you can check out at his website. Don’t forget to stop by at our release party from 5-7 at Floating World next Wednesday if you live in Portland! I’ll be there along with some of the other contributors, including Julia Gfrörer, Sam Alden, and Graham Kahler. It’s going to be loads of fun and I’m super excited. There is a Facebook event to which you can RSVP, if you’re into that.

Unknown Origins & Unlikely Ends Portland Release Party!

Normally I wait until Tuesday to update the blog with anthology news – but I am just too excited about this to wait! The books have come back from the printer and I have heard that they look amazing! Floating World Comics here in Portland has been gracious enough to allow us to have our release party in their shop on the Wednesday before the Stumptown Comics Fest. Here’s all the important info:

Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends Release Party
5-7pm Wednesday, April 24th
Floating World Comics
400 NW Couch St.
Portland, OR 97209

Visit the Floating World events page for more information about the book and the release party. A few of the artists, including Julia Gfrörer, Sam Alden, Graham Kahler, and myself, will be in attendance to chat about the anthology and our work, as well as sign copies of the book that will be available for purchase. If you can’t make the release party, but plan on attending the festival, I will also have copies available to be purchased there. I’m so excited to finally get these books into your hands, and I hope you are too. See you at the release party!

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Andy Glass

This week’s preview of the upcoming (very soon!) Hic & Hoc unsolved mysteries anthology comes to us from Andy Glass. Andy sent us a short little comic about Gef, also known as “The Dalby Spook,” a talking mongoose that allegedly resided in the farmhouse of a British family in 1931. Now wait a minute, you might be thinking, I thought this was a book of nonfiction stories. A talking mongoose? You can’t be serious! Well, whether an actual talking mongoose existed or not, this family really claimed that one did, and journalists from the surrounding area flocked to their little farmhouse to cover it.

Thanks to Andy for bringing this very interesting story to our attention. For anyone interested in learning more about Gef, the “Man-Weasle,” I recommend this lengthy and well-researched article in the Fortean Times. You can read Andy’s story and lots more when our anthology is released in only a few weeks! Check back for more details about our release date and where the book will be available.

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Evan A

This week’s preview of the upcoming Hic & Hoc unsolved mysteries anthology comes to us from Evan A. Evan is a Finnish/Greek cartoonist whose contribution to our book tells the story of the unsolved murders of three Finnish teenagers, killed while camping near Lake Bodom in 1960. I love how Evan’s expressive inking gives this already creepy story a bit of a surreal, nightmarish quality.

You can read more of Evan’s work on his Issuu site, or follow him on Tumblr to see more of his work. We’re very excited to include his comic in our anthology! To read the full story, plus many more, check back for details on how to get your own copy of the book once it’s released.

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Nick Souček & Simon Moreton

This week’s preview of the upcoming Hic & Hoc anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends, comes from a story by Nick Souček and Simon Moreton. Nick and Simon work together often and go by the publishing moniker, Things In Panels. For our anthology, Nick wrote a story about Jerome of Sandy Cove, which Simon drew. His wispy lines and minimalist layouts are the perfect compliment to a story with so many obscured details.

Nick and Simon are two very busy guys, with a heap of different projects between the two of them. In addition to his collaborative comics with Nick, Simon runs Better, Drawn, a blog where people share stories about mental or physical illnesses in the form of comics. Nick publishes a webcomic, Misinterpreted Complications, in addition to his many print projects. Together the two of them organize the zine Bear Pit, showcasing the work of other artists based in Bristol, UK.

You will be able to read their story and many others when our book is released next month. More information regarding an exact release date is coming soon!

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Doug Slack

This week’s preview of Hic & Hoc‘s anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends, comes to us from Doug Slack‘s contribution. Doug took a humorous, tongue-in-cheek take on the story of the Axeman of New Orleans. Doug’s noir style is perfect for this type of creepy mystery story, but his cartoony line lends it more of a lighthearted feel. It’s a nice juxtaposition and I think it works well.

That is the actual transcript of a letter allegedly written by the mysterious Axeman that was published in New Orleans newspapers in 1919. It’s a very interesting story and Doug’s version is highly entertaining. You’ll be able to read the rest of Doug’s piece, as well as many other true mystery stories, in our anthology when it’s finally available. It’s looking like our release date will likely be sometime in April. Check back for more details in the coming weeks!

Behind The Scenes: Designing Our Cover

Last week I posted the final design for the cover of the Hic & Hoc Publications anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Ends (to be released very soon!). I thought I might show you guys the process of creating that design with a little behind-the-scenes action.

First I drew tiny thumbnails of a handful of (mostly terrible) designs and wound up with two that we liked. One was somewhat inspired by Jenn Woodall’s submission, and the other one was less specific and had a bit more of a noir feel.

We weren’t exactly satisfied with either design though, fearing that one of them was perhaps to similar to the cover of another Hic & Hoc book, and also wanting the cover to bear some thematic resemblance to our original call for submissions poster. The poster was super Edward Gorey inspired, so I started looking at Gorey book covers to get more ideas. Then I found this:

This one caught my eye because one of our designs had a house on the back, too. Really, a big spooky house just screams “mystery” and that’s what we were going for. With that in mind, we determined to put the house on the front instead, and make the cover wrap around to some sort of simple silhouette design on the back. So, hooray! We finally had a game plan for the cover! Then all I had to do was to go to The Internet to find a house that looked spooky enough. I thought this one fit the bill:

I stuck pretty close to what I had in the reference photo, only tweaking a few minor things for design purposes or to make it slightly easier to draw.

After I inked the image, I Photoshopped it up real nice with a few different color schemes to see which one we liked best.

We finally settled on the turquoise, and I took it back to Photoshop to add in some text, a fancy hand-lettered title, and all that jazz. You can’t tell at this size, but that boat logo has two teeny, tiny pirates on it.

And so, voilá! A cover! I don’t know if behind-the-scenesy things like this interest you guys, but if you like it I could do more. Or less. Whichever. I am trying to post more often so that I just don’t drop off the face of The Internet every time I’m working on a new project. We sent this book off to the printer last week so I should have a release date at some point soon. I am super excited to see this book in print, and hope you are too!

Unsolved Mysteries Preview: Danielle Chenette

This week’s preview of Hic & Hoc‘s unsolved mysteries anthology, Unknown Origins & Untimely Endsis taken from a story by Danielle Chenette. She tells the story of “the hum,” a phenomenon involving a persistent droning sound only about 2% of the population can hear in certain areas. The most publicized area where this occurs in the United States is in Taos, New Mexico. There is no scientific explanation for the sound at this time.

I have been to Taos, New Mexico and unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, never experienced the hum. There have been many reported incidents of people hearing a hum in and around Bristol, UK as well. Has anyone who reads this blog experienced this? I’d love to hear more about it.

We’re very happy to be able to include Danielle’s piece in our anthology and I can’t wait to see hers and all of our other artists’ stories in print! More information on where to get your own copy of the anthology is coming very soon.