Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name

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Name: Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name
Abbreviation(s): HiNaBN
Creator: Tess Stone
Date(s): 20092011
Medium: comic (print and web)
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: HiNaBN Wiki
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The official webpage of this webcomic is affected by a trojan virus, so visiting is not advised.[note 1]

Hanna Is Not A Boy's Name was a popular urban fantasy webcomic by Tess Stone. It was published online in 2009 and discontinued in 2011.



The comic ceased publication after February 14th 2011 without official notice from either Tess Stone or the publisher, 4th Dimension Entertainment. Rumors started spreading about rights issues and the publisher hindering Stone in his work.

Que some of [his] fans pretending to be 'close personal' friends of [his], telling the other fans that [Tess] wasn't updating because [he] was in 'a legal battle to get wages 4DE never payed [him]'. 4DE and some of the artists they rep. came out and said, basically, it was complete bull. (one of them being the author of The Meek)

4DE had to refund a ton of people for the artbooks/unsigned copies because [Tess] didn't do them. [He] had spent weeks begging [his] fanbase to buy them...then *poof*.

[He's] been spotted at cons selling art, and a few disappointed fans were snubbed by [him] when they tried to talk to [him]. [...] [He] has yet to make a statement as to why [he] left Hanna and [his] publisher with [his] debts. Amusingly, Hanna is the fourth comic [he] has abandoned.

anonymous commenter on the fandomsecrets DW, August 2, 2012

Tracy J. Butler, a fellow webcomic artist employed by the same publisher wrote the following:

This again? Really? No. Just no.

I don’t want to have to post about this again, but the response is so incredibly misinformed and potentially harmful to parties involved, I’m compelled to try to intercept. There was no decision whatsoever on the part of the publisher to take it away from [him] or to discontinue it.

It’s really nobody’s business why [Tess] stopped if [he] hasn’t decided to share that information. [He] doesn’t owe anyone any explanations, but that doesn’t mean you get to fill in the blanks with the myth of a slimy, sleazy corporate entity who, in a stroke of pointless cartoonish villainy, invoked some sort of mysterious lawsuit sorcery to take away your beloved comic. The publisher in question, 4DE, is also my publisher - a small, independent operation that struggles mighty hard to keep both customers and creators as content as possible (often an impossible task, I assure you). They had zero incentive to rip Hanna from the artist’s hands and every reason to try to keep [him] happily producing it. They were very invested in that comic, excited about it, wanted nothing but success for it and bent over backwards to try to keep it alive. Because they were so invested in it, in fact, it was very damaging for them when it ended,

I understand the evil corporation vs. the little guy trope is a popular one, but it has NOTHING to do with what happened here. Can we stop flinging around obnoxious, irresponsible accusations now?

Tracy J. Butler, January 30, 2013

Later out-there-on-the-maroon summarized the events from a fan's perspective as such:

Oh gods.

Ok lemme see if I remember this all correctly.

Hanna Is Not a Boy’s Name was a beautiful urban fantasy webcomic with unconventional panel designs and skinny white men being homoerotic with each other.

It was very popular. Like, goddamn, it was everywhere around 2009-2011 as I remember.

And then the artist [Tess] Stone just … vanished. Without a word. No updates, no contact, no nothing. Not even a message saying “hey I’m going on hiatus.” After a year, people were holding fucking vigils for [him] on [his] deviantart page, thinking [he] was gravely ill or possibly dead. Rumors flew. [His] publishing company was accused of shady dealings. People who’d ordered custom sketches never got their sketches, or their money back. I think there was a fundraiser for a book release that people donated to, and that never materialized. Eventually the publishing company paid the angry fans back for the books that never materialized. [Tess] didn’t pay them back with the money they’d sent [him], the company paid back [his] fans back with the company’s money.

This absence went on for FOUR. FUCKING. YEARS. (… was it five?!)

Then all of the sudden [Tess] went on to work for a new company and make a new comic for them. [His] fanbase largely followed [him], overjoyed that [he] was ALIVE … but confused about what the hell had happened.

Understandably a lot of fans felt rather upset by all this, burned, confused, or scammed. There has never been closure, no statement, no nothing. There were rumors of some kind of lawsuit between [Tess] and [his] original publishing company, but that was disproven. For a lot of fans, who were rather young, this was a very exciting and cool series, and then all of the sudden it just … stopped. Some had their money taken, no explanation. That’s hard enough for anyone to deal with, but especially so for a bunch of teenagers new to fandom and fandom life.

I mean, it’s not Dashcon levels of illegal but I’d call that a fucking scam. And [he] got away with it too! [He] has a career, a fanbase, never had to pay anyone back the money [he] took in exchange for the promise of sketches and books down the line.

So … *shrug* I was quite upset at the time. I remember seeing this unfold and thinking “wow, I’m glad I never sent [him] money” because there’s a good chance I’d have never gotten it back. It’s a shame the story itself never got resolved, it ended in the middle of a very tense situation, and lots of future plot elements had been teased. I’m more annoyed that [he] basically stole from [his] fans, many of them young, left them thinking [he] was sick or dead for years, and has yet to release a statement explaining what on earth happened.

out-there-on-the-maroon, July 26, 2016

Unauthorized Reuploads

Two reuploads are known:

Project Hanna was started by The Fabulous D in an effort to compile the entirety of the missing webcomic and release it as a torrent. According to the HiNaBN Wiki, it not only includes the covers and pages of the webcomic but also "transcriptions of the 'ask a character' threads on Tess's Deviantart, and the character profiles from the website."

Possible additions include non-comic art from the website and Deviantart, and other freely available source material. [...] Using a combination of archived early versions of the official webpage, the original Hanna blog, and Tess's Deviantart page, the vast majority of the comic has been located and saved. At this stage no missing pages have been identified, and the completion of the comic archive should proceed with no further problems.

The 'ask a character' threads are being transcribed to .txt document format to keep file sizes down, although these may be converted to rich text format at a later stage. The threads are being culled to remove usernames, comments to and from the author, and any comments or questions which did not receive a response. This process is ongoing: all the relevant information has been archived and identified but has not yet been transcribed into the desired format.

The character profiles have been archived, but will be reformatted for inclusion in the project.

The donation comics are not included in Project Hanna in order to avoid legal issues, as they were never freely available online.




Notes and References


  1. ^ Due to the trojan virus found on the official page of this webcomic, the link to this site will not be available in this article.