The following is an interview with Paul Scheer and Nick Giovannetti, the writing team behind the BOOM! Studios comic book series Aliens vs. Parker. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Scheer and Giovannetti about their interdimensional inspiration for creating the series, their plans for future issues, and the differences between writing for the TV and sequential art mediums.
This interview was conducted on December 13, 2013.
Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: In the November issue of PREVIEWS, comic book fans were excited to learn that your comic book series, Aliens vs. Parker, would soon be released as a trade paperback. What inspired you to write this sci-fi action comedy, and how would you describe its premise to readers who may be unfamiliar?
Paul Scheer: We were inspired by a divine interdimensional force, which we call Hijicki. He appears as a multi-tentacled creature with an insatiable hunger for human blood. He commands us, and we must do whatever he orders, no matter how specific and/or random like this book Aliens vs. Parker. If we don’t appease him, he will destroy the world. Luckily, his command to write a funny action/sci-fi comedy in the vein of Ghostbusters and Shaun of the Dead was right up our alley.
Nick Giovannetti: Yeah, we were really lucky he allowed us to work on AVP. Before this, he had us writing Doctor Who slash fiction. Our 50th anniversary special was much more sensual then the one that just aired.
BD: Fans of Shaun of the Dead and Aliens will certainly feel at home in this series. Do you feel that Aliens vs. Parker is an homage to these films, or is it simply reveling in the same styles of humor and action?
PS: It definitely is an homage to Aliens as much as Shaun of the Dead is an homage to Dawn of the Dead. Nick and I grew up in this intersection of great comedies and amazing action films, so, hopefully, we’ve combined them well.
BD: Given your experience in writing for television, did you find it challenging to transition your writing from a live-action medium to sequential art?
PS: It was exponentially harder. Writing for TV is a three-step process: you have the script; then you shoot the script; and then you edit your footage. In each stage, the script grows and changes with performances, rewrites, etc., and in this medium we really had to stick to the script and massage jokes to work in tandem with our images. It was really interesting to even finesse the actual lettering to make things pop.
BD: Will the series continue in further issues, and, if so, do you have a certain number of story arcs (or a series conclusion) in mind?
PS: We love these characters, and if Hiijicki commands us, we will write more.
NG: We seeded a few ideas in this book on where we might be going if we made a sequel.
BD: Being that we focus on all things “geek” at Fanboy Comics, would you care to geek out with us about your favorite comic books and graphic novels?
PS: This is a very small list, but I’m a huge fan of Brubaker’s Criminal, Sleeper, and Fatale . . . and I’m loving Velvet! Gerry Duggan and Posehn’s Deadpool. Loving the new Guardians, Waid’s Daredevil, Fraction’s Hawkeye, Brian Wood’s Star Wars, East of West, Thor, and new Batman. Plus, anything Gail Simone writes, I’ll pick up. She’s the best.
NG: That’s pretty much my list, as well. Just add All New X-Men and New Avengers. Hickman’s take on the Illuminati is so good!
BD: What is the most important piece of advice that you can offer to our readers who aspire to work in the comic book industry?
PS: Comics are a medium with no limits. Use that to your advantage in every way possible, because you’ll never get an unlimited budget like that in any other field. But, remember that with all that freedom, you still have to keep the characters alive and real. Our humanity obviously makes us weak and easy to conquer by forces from another dimension.
NG: I’d say create characters with dead parents. Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, Daredevil, Superman, Flash, Hulk, and Cyclops. They’re all orphans. Why? Because superheroes are wish fulfillment, and what people really want is super powers and dead parents. Especially kids, they gobble this stuff up.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Aliens vs. Parker?
PS: Humanity depends on you purchasing this book. If you don’t, you better get ready for a rain of fire and maggots.
NG: Praise Hiijicki!
BOOM! Studios has generously provided Fanboy Comics with a sneak preview of Aliens vs. Parker, which may be viewed below! Enjoy!