My gosh, how time goes by….and how much has happened!
On this day one year ago, the first version of the Alien Encyclopedia was released after roughly 6 months of writing. Back then, the Encyclopedia was 57 pages large and featured basic coverage of the Alien movies… yeah, that was some time before Prometheus would hit cinemas. But hey, you gotta start somewhere!
1. This year in Alien history
While I sometimes moan not having launched this project at a time when there was significantly less stuff to cover, I believe that the timing hardly could have been better. 2012 was the year of Prometheus, and although the movie was not without flaws, the contribution for the Alien canon, especially in form of its excellent promotional campaign, cannot be denied. But it was also an exciting time for the Encyclopedia itself: During the first year, the Encyclopedia has left the original movies behind and now also includes complete coverage of two of the new Dark Horse novels and detailed information about the USCM equipment used in Aliens. On March 17, 2012, the Facebook page for the AE was launched and has been updated regularly since. Another important milestone was a newspost at AvPGalaxy.net featuring the Alien Encyclopedia. Wanna take a look?
2. A new breed of allies
This project started out as a one-man show. However, during the last 365 days, I’ve met a number of great people who have given invaluable input for the Alien Encyclopedia. There’s Scott Middlebrook, who allowed me to use his research work for dates and size estimates and who was also kind enough to proofread my first release. Then there’s Michael Seigler, who contributed scans for material from the Kenner action figures. Of course, this list would not be complete without Frans Hattingh, who proofread version 3, also took a look at the version 2 entries while he was at it and, just because he’s awesome, gave an overhaul to the cover design. Right now, he’s busy proofreading version 4, and I couldn’t ask for a better guy for the job.
Recently, a glorious bunch of talented artists have joined the small club. There’s Rado Javor, whose stunning artwork graces the cover of the Alien Encyclopedia. And Samantha, Mike and Space Jockey gave me their kind permission to use their artwork for the scale charts, a feature that will be introduced in the upcoming version 4 of the Alien Encyclopedia.
3. The shape of things to come
Speaking of which! The release of version 4 is just around the corner, featuring 145 pages, with 46 new pages largely dedicated to Prometheus. Originally, I planned to release version 4 today to celebrate the anniversary. Alas, I underestimated the flood of information to cover. However, I am confident to say that version 4 will be the definite source for information about the events of the movie and from its promotion campaign. And there’s barely enough time to catch your breath. Less than two months, to be precise, until the Aliens Colonial Marines video game will finally answer questions like: What happened to the Sulaco? And what happened to Hadley’s Hope and the Derelict after Ripley had left?
Times will continue to be exciting for Aliens fans, and I am proud to say that the Alien Encyclopedia is going to be a part of it. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the project. I also want to thank you, the reader, and hope you will be part of what’s coming. See you on the other side!