[Heathen City] The King is sleeping, long live Fred Savage!

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Alex F. Vance

May 25, 2010, 7:59:26 AM5/25/10
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Dear everybody.
Some bad news. Despite the efforts of the Heathen City We-Are-Amazing Club over the last year, and the last few months especially, the third volume of Heathen City will not be ready for Anthrocon. One artist was unable to produce publishable-quality material and had to be replaced, by which time the printing window was already expired.
The responsibility for this lies entirely with me. As producer of Heathen City I should have been more cautious; I should have recognized the signs and discontinued the arrangement with the artist much sooner; if I'd replaced him two months ago, we'd be good to go and Anthrocon would be awash with HC promotion.
The other artists, which include Zooshwolf, Ssirrus, Phantastus, Ayato, Fel, Charha, Krahnos, West, Blue_Panther, Alectorfencer, Kaji, Spexwulf and Edgewolf all produced excellent material, many of them working themselves to the bone and taking time off work or skipping sleep to finish their work before the deadline, and to make it way, way more awesome than I could have hoped. We've all been dying to get the book onto the shelves because, well, it's really good shit.
The announcement still stands: Summer 2010. When, exactly, we can't say, as the replacement artists have only just started rolling. From what I've seen in the pre-production work, though, one thing seems clear: it's going to be better, and that's quite a gleaming silver lining.
So, does that mean Bad Dog Books has nothing to offer at Anthrocon? Far from it. We've actually been quietly reaching out to some other creators in the community to acquire and polish new graphic material to appeal to the massive audience we've built with HC, and we're pleased to announce that the new comic series Fred Savage: Soldier of (mis)fortune will see its debut at Anthrocon!
Fred Savage is an Australian soldier-for-hire with a charismatically cynical attitude, keen instincts and a penchant for lollipops. No man ever looked so cool sucking on candy. The story is set in a politically tumultuous African nation circa 1982 during the spark of a fresh civil war. Fred must dodge bullets, betrayal and heartbreaking ethical crises on a journey through war-torn streets. Bad deals, worse roomservice and the odd mistake or two keep our Fred on the knife's edge of morality.
The first issue of Fred Savage is now available for preorder at http://fredsavage.furplanet.com and is discounted from $13.95 to $11.95. Full color, 36 pages and splendidly illustrated, that's quite a steal, so go grab it!
And here's another twist. Fred initially came to my attention because the artist was posting the pages on FurAffinity (http://www.furaffinity.net/gallery/jodimest) and the entire run can be found there, so if you want to try before you buy, click on over and see what the fuss is about! There are a few differences in the print version, such as polished lettering and the replacement of some of the non-English dialog with English equivalents to make for a smoother reading experience, since American audiences typically can't read French.
Publishing a book that has already appeared in full online is quite a gamble, for Bad Dog Books as well as our friends at FurPlanet, and to do it so cheaply even more so. But it's the twenty-first century, and we feel it's important to try out new models to learn more about our audience.
On top of which, Fred Savage is a bloody good read. Comedic and serious at turns, it's as cheeky and hilarious as it is heart-breaking and thought-provoking, and there's a lot to be said for creator-driven creativity. Aside from some editing on my own humble part, the whole story and all the art from cover to cover are by the young whipper-snapper who concocted Fred: Steven Swanson, aka Jodimest.
So if you're craving your fix for gritty, mature and cool anthro comics, I'm pretty confident that Fred will do a damn good job of whetting your whistle. Check out the gallery on FA, hop on over to the pre-order page or look for the FurPlanet table at Anthrocon!
- Alex F. Vance

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