Comics Shots #48 with Ali Colluccio: Stove-top Hot Cocoa and ‘Hildafolk’


Each week the iFanStaff passes along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail (or beer, or wine, or booze) and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! Yes, it’s full of the insanity that only the holidays can bring. But it’s also a time to celebrate family and friendship and to share how you feel with the people you love. At Comic Shots, we love sharing the things that make us happy through out the year. But in the spirit of the holidays, here’s a pairing of the warmest and sweetest things I like to share.

Stove-Top Hot Cocoa

There’s nothing more comforting than sharing some hot cocoa with a good friend. Trust me. My roommate and I are expert hot cocoa drinkers. There’s also something extra comforting and a bit nostalgic about stirring up some hot cocoa over a warm stove on a cold day. It’s wintery bliss!

  • comicshotscocoa21/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (the unsweetened stuff, NOT hot chocolate mix)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup boiled water
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 mugs full of milk

I know what you’re thinking. “Can’t I just throw some Swiss Miss in a mug and add some hot water?” You could. But that’s the grinchy way to do things, and this is way easy.

Dump all the dry ingredients into a pot and add the hot water. Over a medium flame, whisk everything together. Grab your favorite mug, and a mug for your partner in hot chocolate, and fill them with milk. Don’t fill it to the top-top because you want to leave room to add some stuff later. Pour the milk into the pot with everything else and stir with the whisk until everything is warm and cozy. Pour into mugs.

Now here’s the fun part! Feeling playful? Add a bunch of teeny marshmallows? Had a bad day? Add some sweet bourbon. Just want to be a little more cozy? Add some Bailey’s. Last night I dropped in some SNAP for kick. Hot Cocoa is like a blank and delicious canvas, so have some fun with it.


hildafolkWritten and drawn by Luke Pearson
Published by Nobrow Press

One of the best ways you can get a comic is from a friend. Hildafolk was left for me by some close friends who recently moved across the country. I’ve been very slowly working my way through the pile of comics they gave me, but the girl in the scarf and the snowy mountains on the cover of this particular book really called out to me with winter starting up. It looked like the perfect comic to curl up on the couch with, and a warm reminder of my absent friends. And boy was it!

Hilda has a pet foxtalope and goes on small adventures in the fjords.  She loves to sleep in a tent outside when it’s raining so that she can really appreciate her coziness. Basically, I love her.

This 23-page story is an introduction to Hilda and the quirky, fantastical countryside she calls home. Her day starts out simple enough, she’s reading a book on trolls and trying to get rid of her pesky neighbor, who’s a man made of wood. Next Hilda goes off on an adventure like only a child can. She’s running around the fjords drawing pictures of rocks when she runs into a troll rock (which is really a troll that’s turned to stone because it’s daylight, duh!). Hilda gets a bit panicked and loses her way home. She ends up getting guidance from her Wood Man neighbor.

It’s a short and simple comic, but it’s immensely enjoyable. Hildafolk is charming and sweet and overflowing with child-like wonder. The whole thing is just full of innocence and optimism and hope;  it’s a fantastic complement to the holiday season. Pearson’s cartooning pulls you into the strange but familiar world, and his visual storytelling is top notch. Like a cozy, worn-in sweater, you just want to live in the world he’s created. It’s very hard not to love this comic to pieces.

I’ve already made two people read this book and went to my comic shop specifically to demand ask very politely for more Hilda. Those are the kind of comics we like highlighting here. The stuff that you just have to share with everyone, just like a warm mug of hot cocoa on a cold day.

Happy Holidays!


Ali Colluccio enjoys comics, cocktails, and curling. She is full of  child-like wonder dammit! and never says no to an adventure. 

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never, ever, ever drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy and share them with your friends.


  1. This book is lovely. So good.

  2. Last year I bought Hilda and the Midnight Giant as a Christmas present for my non-comic reading girlfriend. She loved it, and even asked me to get her Hildafolk for some more Hilda goodness. This year it’s Hilda and the Bird Parade wrapped up and sitting under the Christmas tree (shushhhhh! Don’t tell her.), I hope it lives up to its predecessors quality.

    Both The Mountain Giant and Bird Parade are handsome large size hardcovers that sit nicely alongside Drawn and Quarterly’s Complete Moomin comic strips, with which Luke Pearson’s work is reminiscent.