Manufacturer Update / Ray Dillon Issue
First, allow me to thank you all for being patient with us as we have continued to sort out the issues with the manufacturer. I know that it has been a while since our last update, but I have some new information that shows we are still moving forward. So without further ado, this is where we are with the project.
As some of you may already be aware (from chatting with you guys in the comments sections), there has been some continued delays with the manufacturer over the past several months. This is probably an understatement but the best explanation that we have gotten from our liaison is that, well, that they don’t really understand why the manufacturer has been taking so long. As I mentioned in the last update, we have been working directly with one of the owners of the intermediary company, Lisa. Well, in June I received a response from Lisa’s husband, Charles. This is what he had to say:
“I have been partners with (the Chinese manufacturer) for almost 15 years. Not once have we ever had a circumstance like this.
It is inexplicable and embarrassing and I am very sorry.
I am told by (the Chinese manufacturer) that we will be receiving production samples the first week of July, I am holding my breath until I have a tracking number for you. He also told me, without letting us know prior, that hard copy proofs were not being done and that he was bypassing them to go directly to production samples. We were led to believe by him that hard copy proofs were being sent, but then finally he told us they were not going to be useful because foil printing would not be on them.
I will keep you posted.”
Ok, so while sort of explains the delays, it also informed us that they would be going straight to production samples because of the metallic printing (he said foil, a similar term).
Well we had waited through July and there was some uncomfortable radio silence. After we had not heard from the manufacturer again over this time I continued to blast them with emails until finally the Chinese manufacturer contacted both Charles and I directly saying (this is a direct quote from the Chinese so the English is a bit choppy but gets the point across):
“Yes Charles is right, all production is made by us and too many issue, all fault is from us because we tested so many times, colour could not match for your foil quality we are still testing it every day almost and try to match
I already completed all components since last year, only printing did not finish
I will resolve ASAP and send 2 samples each to you and charles ASAP”
OK, so this helps assure me that some form of progress is still being made. I can’t make any judgments as to the absolute nature of the complications, however, until I have the production sample in my hands.
Now fast forward to today.
I have finally received some images of the updated “tray lid” addition to the box!! YES! Progress that I can actually see! Here is an image of the lid design physically in the box! NOTE: It will not be red in the final production, it will be the same color as the rest of the trays.
So, the last image still shows the quad-fold board in the box, but this will be the correct bifold board in the production samples. I’m really excited to see everything finally packaged correctly and the issue of loose pieces in the box will be forever behind us.
I will keep you guys updated the moment I have the tracking number for the production samples shipment! Thank you for your continued patience! I appreciate you all so much!
In other update news, I have to inform you that we have an issue with the illustrious Ray Dillon, the artist behind finalizing the Graphic Novel; well, "he who was supposed to be" finalizing the Graphic Novel, to be more precise.
I am trying to determine how best to explain this very long story in the shortest and most informative way possible. Perhaps a list would be best?
- September 17, 2015, Ray Dillion and Renae De Liz (Ray & Renae) signed a Graphic Novel Artwork Agreement with us to deliver ten full color graphic novel illustration pages by December 31, 2015. These were the “pitch” pages, and these EVENTUALLY were delivered (but not according to the deadline). These 10 pages have been seen by you in the online previews.
- October 15, 2015, Ray & Renae signed a Graphic Novel Artwork Agreement with us to deliver 42 more of full color graphic novel illustration pages by June 30, 2016.
- August 23, 2016, Ray & Renae entered an oral agreement with us to deliver the final 8 full color graphic novel illustration pages by October 15, 2016. This would be the final pages to complete the full 60 pages.
- Contrary to the terms of the all 3 agreements, and despite being paid in full, Ray and Renae failed to deliver the all the completed pages on or before the respective deadlines.
- At the time that Ray and Renae entered into the Agreements they had breached contracts to provide stories, artwork, inking, coloring, and lettering for graphic novels and comic books, and had also breached numerous contracts for commissioned artwork.
- At the time Ray and Renae entered into all 3 of these agreements they were also under contract with DC Comics to produce a graphic novel called Legend of Wonder Woman.
- Ray & Renae never informed us at Incarnate Games that they had breached contracts to provide stories, artwork, inking, coloring, and lettering for graphic novels and comic books, and never informed us that they owed commissions and other work product to numerous different clients. Specifically, by September 2015 Ray and Renae’s backlog of commission work dated to 2008. Further, Ray & Renae had yet to fulfill obligations owed pursuant to a successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign to write, color and publish a graphic novel called Peter Pan.
- Ray & Renae’s inability and/or unwillingness to honor their contractual commitments is discussed in detail in a blog post titled “The Ballad of Ray Dillon and Renae De Liz” posted on the website Bleeding Cool at https://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/12/19/the-ballad-of-ray-dillon-and-renae-de-liz/. We did not become aware of Ray & Renae’s sordid history until after we entered into the Third Agreement.
- Incarnate Games has repeatedly demanded that Ray & Renae complete the work required by the Agreement, Second Agreement, and Third Agreement. Each time, Ray & Renae have promised to provide the required work product. Each time, Ray & Renae have failed to do so.
While the facts remain, Ray has repeatedly informed Incarnate Games that the responsibility for the remaining work rests solely upon Ray’s shoulders, and his wife Renae has completed her portion of the contracts in full and that Renae has nothing to do with the reality that the final pages have continued to not be delivered.
Current Status of Graphic Novel
As of this last weekend, after repeatedly (ad infinitum) requesting the final files since the final deadlines, Ray Dillon has uploaded all of the files that he has for the project to us in their current state. HOWEVER, these files are incomplete in that there are copious edits that are still required to be completed before the final graphic novel can be compiled and finalized for printing.
Now, having all that said, one of the most recent email exchanges between Ray Dillon and I is as follows:
<From Jason Allen to Ray Dillon>
I see that you have uploaded the files, it looks like this is probably all the files that you have, I'll double check. I appreciate you doing that.
SO then, the million dollar question is...
Are you going to actually finish this or do I need to find someone else to finish this?
This is really the most important thing I need to know because I have to tell my Kickstarter backers what is going on. Please let me know your answer, thanks.”
<Response from Ray Dillon to Jason Allen>
"I would really love to, but I’m afraid of taking too long to get on it and get through it with everything going on in our lives. I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. It’s bad enough that I’ve caused this much of a delay. So it’s a good idea to hire someone else to revise and whatnot . :(
It’s pretty close so someone with more time could probably wrap it up in a week or less. Especially if they're young and hungry.”