Boom! Studios along with Archaia have been working hard for ten years now to bring top notch writers, artists and comic creators together in order to tell compelling and fresh stories. One such story is a new sci-fi series called, “HaloGen”, which is slated for release this March 4th, 2015.
The book is written by Josh Tierney, illustrated by Afu Chan and co-conceptualized by Giannis Milonogiannis, and takes the reader on an interstellar trip to Cityship Q, which is home to two cities during a time in which the huge body of a dead god is found floating in the emptiness of space. The story’s heroine Rell, is an agent of the HaloGen Corporation on her first mission, who must stop at nothing to retrieve the dead god’s body using her natural ability to create hyperrealistic holograms.
SciFi Pulse was lucky enough to talk with the book’s writer Josh Tierney, about his experience working on the book, which hits newsstands tomorrow, March 4th, 2015.
In the article’s interview Josh speaks openly about creating the book, coming up with HaloGen’s characters and the fun he had with his fellow creators Chan and Milonogiannis, while working with their editors at BOOM! Studios and Archaia.
- What was the impetus or spark that brought about the idea for HaloGen?
JOSH TIERNEY: HaloGen began with a sketch Giannis did of a girl with a tilted halo. As soon as I saw it, I thought of Rell, her holographic powers, and a quest for the body of a dead god. I then took these ideas and the sketch to Afu, who worked with Giannis to finalise Rell’s design, and all the other pieces started falling into place.
- Is HaloGen more about social commentary or about the relationship between religion and politics? Or is it important that the story come across as an amalgam of both? Or what else is HaloGen about from a creative perspective if I missed the mark on the story’s scope?
TIERNEY: HaloGen is about a quest for meaning in an absurd universe. All the characters are after the same god, but for different reasons.
- Is creation and Religion a central theme towards tying in Det’ Houva and finding the dead god’s body within the story arc or is it secondary to a more social/political action thriller themed story?
TIERNEY: The themes are tied together through the different goals of the characters. Some are after Det’houva for religious reasons, while for others it’s political. The most central theme, in the end, is one of introspection.
- With respect to Rell’s suit, will its capabilities likewise meet with a sort of metamorphosis that is somehow integral to the story or are the suits abilities merely a means to an end from the perspective of moving the story along?
TIERNEY: The suit helps channel her holographic power, which assists her in performing her duties as an agent. The power itself is connected to the overall story in a way that will be revealed later on.
- Will the importance of the Halo around Rell’s head take on more significance, or is the Halo more aesthetic rather than having something to do with who the book’s main character is or will become?
TIERNEY: The halo’s important, and that importance is something else that will be revealed later. Right now, Rell is working for HaloGen in return for their research on it, as she currently has no explanation for why she was born with one.
- From an art perspective, the illustrative style was I thought compelling and fun with somewhat of an Aeon Flux feel. The pencils seem to be more loose rather than tight and precise like the technological themes the book surrounds itself with. It would seem that the choice of who would pencil the book was based upon getting the feel for the kind of society the story takes place within and the message the story resonates with, rather than the fact that the story takes place in an advanced society traveling through space. Is this take on the choice of artist on point or am I totally off the mark?
TIERNEY: We all formed the project together, filling it with our characters and ideas. So, it’s not necessarily a choice of artist, but more a desire to do something with friends who share similar tastes, have great ideas, and make art that’s super cool.
When it comes to illustrating, Afu always manages to capture the exact essence of what’s in the script, while making it infinitely more exciting through his mastery of action, detail, and design. My writing is very character-focused, and Afu is perfect at getting that sense of character across.
- Strictly from a creative perspective, was the artist given creative latitude when creating and designing things like Rell’s suit, Verdigris, Cityship Q, the cities on both sides of the ship, as well as Det’ Houva’s remains for instance, or was this a collaborative process?
TIERNEY: Afu and Giannis have full freedom with their designs. Characters like Rell, Mason, and Hale are collaborative designs between the two of them, sometimes with input from myself, like with Rell (I even tried an initial sketch of her suit in MS Paint, but we probably shouldn’t talk about that). Some characters are created from descriptions, as with Cityship Q. Some characters such as Verdigris were already fully created by Afu, and we have some of Giannis’s characters joining in.
Sometimes it feels like we all brought our action figures to the schoolyard and are making them team up and battle each other. It’s one of my favorite things about the project.
- How much of the story arc is already planned out and does the creative team have some kind of endgame where they envision the story going or is the overall game plan for Halogen still evolving?
TIERNEY: We have milestones planned out, but I like to keep what comes in between open, as it leaves room for fresh characters and ideas from each of us.
- How much fun was it for the creative team members to work on HaloGen with Archaia and BOOM! Studios?
TIERNEY: It’s been a fun learning process as we discover what works and what doesn’t. Rebecca Taylor and Whitney Leopard, our editors on HaloGen, have done a great job of getting in tune with the story and bringing out its more unique qualities.
Working on HaloGen in general has just been an unbelievable amount of fun. I’m thrilled with how the first issue has turned out and I hope readers will check it out! *
“HaloGen”, is scheduled to hit newsstands March 4th, 2015, and promises to be out of this world!