Stories of alien abductions are usually met with ridicule.
But XenoHolics, a new comic being released in October from Image, gives the phenomenon some serious consideration.
OK, maybe not that serious.
Written in a tongue-in-cheek style comparable to the hit comic Chew, XenoHolics tells the story of a group of people abducted by aliens who end up taking a journey to prove that aliens are real.The creator-owned comic is by up-and-coming writer Joshua Williamson, who's also writing DC's new pulp-adventure comic Uncharted beginning in November and wrote Superman/Batman last year. XenoHolics is being drawn by Seth Damoose of I Hate Gallant Girl fame.
Newsarama talked with Williamson to find out more about XenoHolics and whether any aliens actually show up. (Why yes, they do.)
Newsarama: Josh, what's the basic premise behind XenoHolics? How would you describe it?
Josh Williamson: XenoHolics is about people who believe they were abducted by aliens. They get together for group sessions weekly to talk about what happened to them. Sharing their weird stories of being abducted and experimented on… sometimes sexually. Something happens in issue one that sends them on a journey to prove that aliens are real. If they prove aliens are real, maybe people will believe that they were abducted.It’s like Fight Club meets Fire in the Sky. Like a white trash Contact.
Nrama: Where did you get the idea?
Williamson: My own personal obsession with aliens, really. I’ve always found the idea of someone, or something visiting earth outer space or another dimension to be really interesting. It’s weird to me that people who think aliens are out there are sometimes written off as crazy, but it’s no different, to me, than believing in most religions. It’s something that people have faith in that they can’t prove.When I started coming up with the idea, it was about one guy’s obsession during an alien invasion, but then it morphed into the group setting. There are people out there who believe they were abducted and they really do get together and share their stories. What would happen to those people if space ships started landing? If you watch a lot of movies involving aliens, they always show the cops, or FBI’s take on what’s going on. Or some scientist. But remember those people on the rooftops with signs in the movie Independence Day that were happy to see the aliens? I wanted to know their story.
Nrama: It sounds like it's got a lot of humor. But is it dark humor?Also, Rob Guillory’s art on Chew could be called cartoony, and Seth’s art on XenoHolics could also be called cartoony.
Nrama: Tell me about about Seth's art. What does he bring to the comic?
Williamson: Seth brings life to the characters. His artwork is so animated and his facial expressions are so well acted, that it really helps with the humor and telling the story. When I first started talking to Seth, and the art started coming in his style really changed the shape of the book for the better. In some ways the book is a character piece so it’s great to work with someone who can actually draw characters who “act” on the page. But at the same time, he draws the humor and action stuff really well.
Nrama: Who are some of the characters we'll meet in XenoHolics?
Williamson: The main two guys are Bob and Kyle. Bob is an ex-cop who was forced to retire after he disappeared for a few days and when he was found claimed it was because aliens took him and probed him. He acts as the eyes of the reader in this story. Kyle is a mystery whose back story is revealed in issue one, but I don’t want to say here because I don’t want to ruin it. The rest of the cast is Mavin, an ex-boxer, Ginger, a wannabe pop star, Paige a house man, Garfield, a retired Marine, and the Professor, who leads the group. All of them believe they were taken by aliens at some point, and really… it destroyed their lives. Wives and husbands left and careers are over.They stick together because no one else believes them.
There are a few other characters like the bad guys and the aliens, but I’ll save that for issue one. I’m really interested in what people think of all the different aliens. One of my favorite groups in the book are the "Men in White.” A team of people chasing the XenoHolics.
Nrama: What's the plan for the series long-term? Is it an ongoing story?
Williamson: It is planned as an ongoing, with us hoping to make it to issue 20. That’s the length of our whole epic story. That would be our stopping point. It might start slow, but it really builds into some crazy stuff. If we make it to XenoHolics #20, I’d be extremely happy. Which is of course… all based on sales. So please let your comic shops know you want to read it and pre-order. Pre-ordering is so important.Nrama: Then to finish up, Josh, is there anything else you want to tell comic readers about XenoHolics?
Williamson: If you’re looking for a fun comic that is a bit outside the box and isn’t just superheroes beating each other up, XenoHolics is for you. Also… it’s got lots of aliens. Who doesn’t love aliens?Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!