Spotlight on 2014: Hic and Hoc announce schedule with van Sciver, Alabaster, Aulisio, more.

Hic and Hoc is a micro publisher out of New Jersey with a steady output of smart comics by indie cartoonists, some known some up and coming. They’ve just announced their 2014 line-up and it’s very promising.


Mimi and the Wolves Act I by Alabaster

First up is Alabaster’s self-published and much-loved Mimi and the Wolves, reprinted in a spanking new paperback edition, exclusively distributed by Hic & Hoc.  As Alabaster’s followup to her awesome debut The Complete Talamaroo, the first Mimi book begins an epic tale of affairs, alliances, and friendships in a quest for power and self-discovery.  Paperback, 64pp.  Due this spring.


Irene Volume 4 edited by Dakota McFadzean, Andy Warner, and d w

Each of the first three issues of the Irene anthology, co-edited by Dakota McFadzean (Other Stories and the Horse You Rode in On), Andy Warner (the Stumptown-nominated Complete Brief Histories of Everyday Objects), and d w (Abzernad), offered a sampling of the highest quality work being produced by emerging cartoonists, including some of their buds from the Center for Cartoon Studies.  Hic & Hoc is psyched to be distributing the fourth volume, which promises to be their best issue to date.  Just have a looksee at this lineup: Amy Lockhart, Emi Gennis, Jackie Roche, James Hindle, Georgia Webber, and many others (including the three fine editors).  Softcover, 168pp.  Due this spring.


Scaffold: The Collected Edition by V A Graham & J A Eisenhower

V A Graham & J A Eisenhower create the kind of comics that grab you by the eye, and then the brain — beautiful, sprawling spaces dotted with detail and motion that suck you right in to the weird and marvelous universe they’ve created.  The first collection of their Scaffold series tells the story of a migratory people living on a world-sized structure, which is itself constantly on the move.  Graham and Eisenhower draw at a fixed, ant farm-like scale, creating layouts  that form one big, continuous space, along with maps that allow the reader to follow the mazy narrative in its entirety from a birds eye view.  Softcover, 64pp.  Due this summer.  


Cheer Up by Noah Van Sciver

Hic & Hoc continues to push itself into the funnybook ghetto with Mad Magazine contributor Noah Van Sciver’s all-jokes comic book Cheer Up.  When a master artist, known for his long-running Blammo series and the fantastically nuanced Abraham Lincon bio The Hypo, offers up a comedy gold cover with an old timey gent getting a swift kick to the family jewels, how can you say no?  Comic book, 24pp.  Due this fall.


Infinite Bowman by Pat Aulisio
Yup, it’s all of ink maven Pat Aulisio’s Bowman stories collected in one handsome volume, with a bunch of new material to boot.  Aulisio’s manic spattery squiggly style pairs magnificently with his unique breed of inter-galactic toilet humor.  Softcover, 144pp.  Due this fall.

Looking Sideways Into the Future: What I Noticed in Comics in 2013 and the Years Ahead

So, it’s a few weeks into the new year.  Christmas trees are being recycled, merchandise is being discounted, and resolutions are being retconned.  That means I’d better get my ruminations done.

What happened in 2013? Continue reading Looking Sideways Into the Future: What I Noticed in Comics in 2013 and the Years Ahead

The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2014 Edition, Part 1 – Kickstarter, harassment, digital and more

Yep it’s the return of an annual Beat tradition that goes back nearly a decade, as comic folk from every level of the industry — creators, reporters, retailers, publshers—talk about the issues of the year past and look at the issues of the year to come. There are always a lot of thoughtful answers in this survey, but this year a LOT of very important and thought-provoking topics are looked at from crowdfunding to harassment.

And as always, there are previews and news scattered in the 2014 projects. So settle in and enjoy—there is so much more to come.

Dylan Horrocks, cartoonist

2014 Projects:  The Magic Pen.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2013? Here in New Zealand, the biggest story was Adrian Kinnaird’s book FROM EARTH’S END: THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS, published by Random House (NZ) last month. nearly 450 pages of the history and current landscape of NZ’s comics scene. Turns out we had a thriving comics industry in the 1940s-50s that died out partly due to censorship. Plus: stories (or excerpts) from 35 contemporary NZ cartoonists, chapters on the influence of comics on NZ art, writing and film-making – and more! Here’s the book: and here’s Adrian’s blog:

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2014? No idea, but it sure as hell won’t be supehero movies. Maybe crowdfunding? Already seems to have made a huge impact, but the recent Fantagraphics Kickstarter drive suggest to me it will only become more significant to comics publishing.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2014? It will almost certainly involve food. And definitely *won’t* involve superhero movies.
Continue reading The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2014 Edition, Part 1 – Kickstarter, harassment, digital and more