Where in the world is Hercule Cubbage?

Lucy and Hercule Cubbage

Well, this is awkward.

It’s been exactly one year since the release of the latest chapter of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage. In the meantime, I’ve had a few queries on the status of the comic, as well as a couple of comments declaring the comment to be dead or stating that “it’s been years“, not to mention the large number of people that surely have forgotten all about it by now.

Let me start by addressing the worries in those comments directly. No, Hercule Cubbage is not quite dead just yet – not while I’m around, at least. But yes, it has been a long while since a new chapter, and while Valve may be able to get away with not mentioning a new Half-Life game for eight years, I don’t feel comfortable with leaving people hanging for so long. Plus, it’s not like I have a big fanbase, so I don’t want to disappoint the few people who genuinely care.

What happened is what I believe usually happens to enthusiastic comic makers who grow up: life caught up with me. I finished my studies, went job-hunting, got a full-time job and got stuck in a routine that leaves me exhausted and with limited time to do anything. It also hasn’t helped that there’s so much pre-production (i.e. maps, models, plans, etc.) necessary that I couldn’t just jump in and make them, instead getting stuck in a weird “map designer’s block”. Finally, the last but not least noteworthy factor: comic making is a hobby, not a paying job, and that means sometimes you want to get away from it for a while, and I did.

That said, I’m not a quitter. The series is not done and I’ve never intended to just give up on it; even if it takes a few more years, I’ll have it reach the end. Plus, the last 12 months weren’t a total loss for Hercule – in that period of time, I finished plotting the rest of the series, meaning I have the entire story written down and ready to go. I really just need to make them.

I’ll be honest, I put off this post for a week because I wanted to have something concrete to show, but just couldn’t make the time. My plan was to make posters representing the new cast of characters that will join the series in chapter 6, but thanks to a very busy week, I couldn’t even get that done. Perhaps I’ll do it later and put them online, but I’m afraid of hyping the series before I even have any semblance of when the next chapter will be up.

Still, so you don’t walk away completely empty-handed, here’s a few teases and tidbits about the second half of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage:

  • More of a reminder than new info, but the series has four chapters left to go. Chapters 6-8 will be 20 pages each as usual, whereas I plan on having Chapter 9 be a 40-page finale, bringing the series to 200 pages total (excluding covers);
  • The series spans the time period of Half-Life 2. That means it won’t follow the events of Episode One, Two or Three (haha, riiiight). That doesn’t mean it necessarily ends at the same time as Half-Life 2. Make of that what you will;
  • All of the remaining chapters take place in City Seventeen during the Uprising. However, you won’t just be seeing the same old places from HL2 (otherwise I wouldn’t need a batch of detailed custom maps);
  • Whereas so far we’ve focused on Hercule Cubbage and his unwitting ‘sidekick’ Lucy, the cast of main characters will grow to encompass four brand-new characters. The focus will still be on Hercule’s hero journey, but they’ll be a major part of it. In fact, one of them will be directly responsible for the events of the finale;
  • I know we all love Colonel Odessa Cubbage, but he may not have as big a presence in the final chapters as you might expect;
  • The G-Man will NOT appear in The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage. Period. Even though I would have good excuses to have him cameo (after all, we did see him talk to Odessa in Half-Life 2), he won’t show up at all. I find having the G-Man involved in our ‘fan-fictions’ too big of a cliché, and a bit of an artificial means of pretending our stories are important to Half-Life lore. The guy’s too busy with other stuff to care about Hercule Cubbage;
  • I’m really happy with what I have planned for the final chapters of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage, so it will definitely see the light of day at some point. Sooner or later!

I guess that’s enough for now (perhaps more than enough), so I’ll stop right here. Let me just add an apology to everyone who loves the series and wants to see it continue, I never meant to disappoint you. You will see Hercule again, I’ll make sure of it. Other comic makers may have quit, bu I’ve been around for eight years and don’t intend to give up so soon, even if the Hercule Cubbage saga ends up being my final comics.

I promise I’ll bring news ASAP. Stay tuned, thank you very much for your patience with me, and follow Cubbage!

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