Small Press Finds From San Diego Comic Con 2016: Hex11 #7

This year at SDCC, I spent a lot of time at the Hex11 booth. I’m kind of a fan. I even hired their colorist, Samantha Carrasco, to work on my own book, Ion Grip. So, of course I picked up the newly released 7th issue of the series.

Issue #7 is the start of a new story arc that promises to explore the cryptically hinted at realm of the Hex-verse known as the Verge. As it is the very tip of a narrative iceberg, I don’t have much to say about it just yet, save a couple stray thoughts. But I’m intrigued, which is exactly what one wants from the first issue of an story arc.

Stray Thought Number One. While Hex11’s first story arc starts with protagonist Elanor struggling with her own disappointing orinariness, here Elanor can’t quite get comfortable with the fact that she might actually be quite extraordinary––a situation reversal that leaves her every bit as relatable as she’s always been. It’s a nice touch. She’s still a bit too self-conscious and self-righteous, but writer Kelly Sue Milano gives the reader’s own thoughts voice via the criticisms of heartthrob-demon-made-flesh Osrick who never misses an opportunity to call out Elanor’s faults.

Stray Thought Number Two. Speaking of said hot demon: this issue also pushes forward the dynamic between Elanor and Osrick, while keeping the tension in place. There’s a real Pride and Prejudice feel to Elanor and Osrick’s developing relationship––which, incidentally, is one of my favorite of the romantic narrative archetypes. (It’s far better than the star-crossed lover tragedies or the misunderstanding-that-keeps-them-apart comedies. Hell, if Nora Ephron had written a comic about a witch and a demon, I suspect it would look a lot like Hex11.) Now I’m not saying the two of them are definitely going to get together in the end, but there’s definitely more than a shipper’s dream going on there...not that I’m shipping those two...I’m just saying...nevermind.

You can pick up a floppy of Hex11 #7 at hexcomix.com or get the digital version a Comixology. And if you haven’t read 1-6 yet, the trade paperback is now available, so go ahead and pick that up too.


An independent comic by Lisa K. Weber (artist) and Kelly Sue Milano (writer), Hex11 stands out against the sea of digital comic offerings over there at Comixology. It's beautiful, it's engaging and it's fun. 

Hex11 Cover

The story centers around a witch apprentice, Elanor, who stumbles into deadly combat with a powerful demon. She unwittingly binds the demon, and in so doing disrupts the machinations of a powerful, secretive corporation pulling the demon's strings. The shady corporation is not amused and deploys their magical, sociopathic assassin, in response. 

Maybe the above sounds like fairly typical genre fiction fair, but it's immediately captivating and stands apart, due to the craft employed by Hex11's creators.

The world of Hex11 is a sort of magical ghetto--the exact nature of which is yet to be revealed. It's a hemmed-in place, a labyrinth of dark allies; you almost never see the sky and when you do it's a grey haze. The feat accomplished by Weber (no relation to me--that I know of) is that she makes this world one you want to inhabit. Wonderful lighting turns the environment from foreboding to intimate. But I think her biggest strength as an artist is evidenced by the charming, unique and expressive characters she's designed and populated the world with. 

These great characters are well written, too--in particular, Hex11's likable protagonist, Elanor. At the beginning of the first issue, she does a little self-conscious complaining/dreaming right before she kicks some major ass--which makes her the ideal proxy for all us every-men/women who wish we could do the same. 

I could go on; but you get the idea. I like this book. I've subscribed to the news letter. At the time of this writing, Hex11 is going for 99 cents an issue on Comixology. When you consider the care and craft with which this book was written, that's a goddamn steal. So just go buy it. Do it now.