Aliens, TPBs, early influences
When you write sci-fi (when you write in general, really) you never know when your brain is going to demand that you parse out some little sliver of information it's been holding onto forever. Like tonight. For some reason I've got the Alien franchise on the brain, and that throwaway line about a "bughunt" came to mind, and I wanted to know what it meant. Of course, the internet always has an answer.
This then, of course, led me on a hunt for a couple of old Alien trade paperbacks published by Dark Horse Comics, some of the first comics I ever owned: the grim and moody Book 1, told in eerie black and white, about whatever happened to Hicks and Newt if they ever got home to Earth; Book 2, a luxurious airbrushed marvel, like a film come to life on the page; and Earth War, shredded with Sam Keith's signature artwork, a post-apocalyptic end to a series that took a very different turn on the screen. I lost all three in a fire over twenty years ago. I remember trying to salvage them, sooty and moldering.
I mention this because I can easily and immediately recall entire panels and pages from these books. Iconic imagery, each volume distinct but burned into my mind forever. The storytelling left a lasting mark on me as a writer. I've joked about how the only way I knew how to communicate what I needed when I've directed films in the past was due to what I learned reading comics, but picture books can turn you into a writer eventually. They leave cave paintings on your brain, waiting to be unearthed.
A great suggestion was just made to me about the August comic cons I'll be tabling at. Are you planning on attending Boston Comic Con or TerrifiCon™ - Connecticut's Terrific Comic Con at Mohegan Sun next month? Are you waiting for one of the shows to get your copy of one or more of the books? We don't have the setup to do official "pre-orders" online, but if you contact me about which books and in what numbers you need before the stock is ordered this week (and which of the two shows you'll be attending) I will set aside those copies specifically for you. You can direct message me through this site here, or feel free to ping me on the Facebook or Twitter accounts instead.
In terms of timing, the orders will need to be in for the shows by the 6th or 7th of July, so if you know you were planning on picking up your copies at Boston or Terrificon, don't wait--just shoot me a quick message in the next few days. I'm not accepting pre-payments... this is totally on the honor system for existing readers (I'll hold copies for purchase at the con rates for you).
I know some folks weren't able to get their Book 3's last year because we sold out fast, so this is just a way for me to try to make sure nobody goes home unhappy.
Also, as always, if you've already got your copy and want it signed, just bring it to the table--I'll always personalize a copy at a convention, any time.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.