Years ago I wrote a column about science fiction shows I wanted to see. One of them was Hiatus, a show that was universally accepted as brilliant and critically acclaimed and which would be cancelled before the pilot episode’s closing credits. Fans of the column responded to it, so I wrote another column listing little known facts about the show. After that friends started posting news about Hiatus at other forums and websites, reminiscing over this show that never existed. And then they started writing fan fiction for it, and coming up with Windows wallpaper, all for a show with few named characters, no actual plot or situation, no nothing. I encouraged it shamelessly, starting a blog and spreading rumors about the show’s comeback. One of my NaNoWriMo novels was to be about fans trying to save the show. I was having a ball putting it into different formats without ever getting pinned down as to what, if anything, Hiatus was actually about.
Over the years of Serenity fandomness, I had seen the work of Adam Levermore. He did the Can’t Stop the Serenity posters. He did the Browncoat Ball posters. He came up with his own brilliant Firefly-inspired designs for his CafePress shop, Black Market Beagles. He created the Little Damn Heroes artwork.
And then he jumped into the Fans4Writers campaign with both feet, and suddenly I was talking to him every day. And then we met during the Mutant Enemy Day weekend, adn we got along pretty well, and we got to talking about doing a project together some time, and he mentioned he always wanted to do a webcomic but didn’t want to write one. We were both obsessive fans who had spent the last two years fighting to save and promote shows, and I already had this idea about other fans trying to save a nonexistent show, so…
Save Hiatus began in February, 2008, and it ran every Monday and Friday for seven months — with a burst of seven days in a row during the San Diego Comic Con. We got a decent amount of attention, got some good reviews, Adam’s already amazing art, was improving, my writing was tightening up… and we had to stop. Life, as they say, intervened, and fun as it was, “Save Hiatus” was taking much too much time for something that wasn’t making any money. We took a breather, I filled in for a few weeks with the prose-only novelization of the Hiatus pilot episode, and then we came back in January of 2009.
And we came back strong! We dropped color and big strips in favor of 4-panel B&W strips but we added an extra strip a week and a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. It worked nicely, the plot moved along faster, we got to keep playing in our world… and then life dumped on us again and we had to go on — sigh — hiatus.
For now it’s in limbo. You can see all the strips at savehiatus.com, and we hope to come back to it someday. We both love the characters and there are plenty of storylines planned that we never got to (and stuff keeps happening in the geek world that I keep wishing I had a webcomic to comment with!) and as soon as we can fit it into our lives and make it work, financially, Hiatus will fly again. Or hover in a synchronous orbit. Whatever it did.