State of the Union

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Alex F. Vance

Oct 12, 2011, 3:44:41 AM10/12/11
All right, gang, gather around. Time we had a talk.
As you know it's been a dog's age since I posted any new on here and it's about time I let you know why, what's been going on, and more importantly what to expect.
Those of you who follow me on TubeFace or Twitster or whatever know that I've been anything but slothful over the last year. Voice acting, photography, web design, and I even sold a promotional video. I've been exploring all sorts of Cool New Shit... at the expense of my standing commitments.
Heathen City 4 is a year late. I don't have any artists contracted, and even though I have thirty-nine unfinished or rejected scripts, I don't have a single one I'd call 'finished'.
Here's how it is, guys. Producing HC got harder every year.
If you'll recall, HC3 was delayed a few months. That's because an artist whom I won't name kept pushing the deadline, responding to my messages only sporadically, and eventually assuring me that if I pushed the deadline for them just one more month, right up to the edge of possibility for the announced launch date, they'd have their shit finished.
Of course they didn't. In fact, it was only then that they revealed that they had less than half their stuff finished, and that the half that was done was actually kind of not good. So, well past the planned deadline, I had to completely scrap their contribution and scramble to find new artists to do in two months what the first artist failed to do in nine.
The thing is, this artist is a good person. And I don't feel any rancor toward them. Same deal with the artists who pulled the same shit on me in HC1 and HC2; they were good people and I did my best to do right by them and convince them that, really, I don't care if you're not going to meet your deadlines or if you feel you can't handle it as long as you let me know so I can fix it instead of saving it all up for the deadline so I'm left with no product and no options.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that every week since HC3 launched, there's been a moment where I've thought "Right, this is the week where I finish the scripts and get myself some damn artists." I know I can do it; I've done it before. I don't know which artists I'll get or what I can get out of them, but I know that it's possible.
But guys, here's the thing. Every time I think that, I know that the second I start, that's it. I'm in this for another year. Another year of stress and frustration and disappointment and it's worse every damn year because I want to keep pushing the standard, raising the bar, giving you guys more bang for your buck.
You deserve it; you've stuck with me, you've invested in the crazy coots slathered over HC's paper. No compromises; you deserve the best I can give you and I don't want to give you anything less.
But I know what that'll cost me. How it'll wear me down and sap my time and energy away from all this Cool New Shit I've been so enjoying over this last year. So every week I put it off another week. "Just one more week won't make a difference; if I start next week I'll still be able to finish the book before [some con or another]." And then that deadline slips too.
So from the bottom of my heart, guys, I'm sorry I let you down. HC3 announced HC4 would be ready in 2012 and it won't be, and there's no-one to blame but me.
Now, it hasn't all been doom and gloom. The magnificent Alector Fencer made this spectacular piece of gift art ( wherein we see a version of Tiber Ferrum preaching in front of the Sargasso Building (you might recognize it from the last page of HC3; a reconstructed version of the 2001 building we saw in HC2) and if you have a listen over here ( you'll find a motherfucking overture composed by Fox Amoore.
These two have been such an inspiration, by the way. At Eurofurence we drank the night away and gazed at a thunderstorm together and they reminded me that there's more to collaborative creativity than disappointment and stress. There's fucking magic there. I've allowed myself to forget that, but now that I remember, I want it. I want it so badly.
I want to see Owen and Ruy come to life under the strokes of a brand new artist's brush. I want to see Caulfield rise from the ashes and claim his unexpected destiny. I want to find out what it means to be a 'survivor' in Maranatha. And I want to show it to you guys, so badly.
So all I can tell you now is: I'm working on it. I'm sorry I let you down, but the only way I know how to make up for it is to just try and get things moving again. And I'll do everything I can to make sure it was worth the wait.
- Alex Fucking Vance
PS: Actually, as of yesterday, I succumbed to a whim and decided to adopt a proper, stupid, made-up furry name. I want to get back into the fun and the silliness of this fandom; I've been taking myself way too seriously for way too long. So now I'm Khaki Dog. Or @khaki_f_dog on Twitter. Dumb, right? :)

stuart mccarthy

Oct 12, 2011, 7:46:03 AM10/12/11
Hi, Alex.

I was wondering-will you be looking for artists to contribute to HC4? If you are, then I certainly would certainly be interested-honoured, even! I just thought I'd use this opportunity to get my foot in the door.

Do you have my e-mail address?


Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:44:41 +0200
Subject: [Heathen City] State of the Union
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Joe McSean

Oct 12, 2011, 9:47:55 AM10/12/11
to Heathen City
Hey dog, thanks for letting us know. And no worries, no reason to be
mad about. Just take your time instead of trying your time to push it
all through with violence. I really like the comics. Good luck and a
lot of fun with your other projects. :D

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