While attending this year’s Comic-Con International I was able to sit down with writer Chris Roberson and he happens to be attached to one of science fiction’s favored sagas.
UTF: The first question I think I’m going to have ask you is: what brought you to the Aliens franchise?
Chris Roberson: Scott Allie called me up and asked if I wanted to do it. I said yes. Because I’d be foolish not to. I’d wanted to work with Dark Horse [Comics] for the longest time and I’ve been a huge fan of all those franchises, Predator, AVP, Prometheus but Alien in particular since I was a kid, so it was a no-brainer. All the other writers were already friends of mine. So it’s barely work. It’s been great.
UTF: How closely are you guys working together? Is it similar to Project Black Sky?
Chris Roberson: The way it was described to me when we first started out was that Scott Allie really wanted to do a writers’ room approach. Much like a TV show, where a single writer might be responsible for that week’s episode, it’s all made in collaboration with other writers. So we meet, for a while it was once a month or more, at times as long as six hours. It’s all five writers, Patric Reynolds, who’s the artist on Aliens: Fire and Stone, and the editorial team. So even though we were individually responsible for our own bit, we contributed to everybody’s stories.
UTF: That makes perfect sense. So what can you tell us about Fire and Stone? At what point does it take place? And are there any familiar characters involved?
Chris Roberson: There’s no familiar characters as such, but it’s familiar locations. Aliens actually takes place before the other books and about halfway through the second film. It follows a group of Hadley’s Hope colonists, who managed to get just far enough away to not be cocooned by the Xenomorphs. But they didn’t get far enough. So basically it’s about what happens to them. That puts in motion all the stuff that the other titles deal with.
UTF: When it comes to comics, it can be a challenge to see the written word get a visual treatment. On this book how did the illustrations done by Patric Reynolds turn out?
Chris Roberson: Oh, he could have done better.
No, I’m absolutely kidding. Patric is fantastic, I’ve wanted to work with him for the longest time. Since moving to the capital of American comics, Portland, Oregon, I knew him before from the work he’d done on that Serenity book. He’s just fantastic and enthused about both the setting and the tech aspects of it. His acting, like the way his characters emote and move is just so expressive that I couldn’t be happier.
UTF: Excellent. As the franchises get back in motion are there any ideas that you might want to approach down the line?
Chris Roberson: Man, I tried really hard to get this one thing and I probably shouldn’t say. Well, I can. I’ll say this much: I really, really, really wanted to get a moment in where somebody sat on a Facehugger, because I was like, “What would happen there?” Because even though they call it a Facehugger, it probably doesn’t really matter. It just needs access to the inside of your body.
Chris Roberson: That became an entire evening’s worth of conversation around the writers’ table about what a Butthugger would do. It almost got on the page. It was in two drafts of the script and then we just had to cut it for real estate purposes. Maybe next time.
UTF: One last question. As a writer there are many fanboys and fangirls that come to our site and they just want to be an author. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for them?
Chris Roberson: It’s easier now than it’s ever been before. If you use the right definition regarding breaking into comics. Writing Spider-Man or Superman or whatever are rare opportunities and they’re hard to keep once you get them. But if you want to make comics, the Internet exists now. So if you can draw, make your own. If you don’t know how to, teach yourself. Because it took me 18 years to break in as a writer. If I’d spent that time teaching myself to draw, it probably wouldn’t have taken that long. It’s a skill you can learn. So, just make them and post on Tumblr or use comiXology submit and just do it. There’s nothing stopping you.
I want to take the time to thank Mr. Chris Roberson for chatting with me. It was a great pleasure to talk Aliens: Fire and Stone and I for one can’t wait for this new round of horrifying shenanigans of LV-426!
So what did you think of the interview my fellow fanboys and fangirls?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!