Mark Waid & Rockne S. O'Bannon on Boom's Farscape

Cover from BOOM!'s upcoming Farscape comic book series

As Newsarama has been keeping tabs, Boom! Studios landed the rights to produce comics based on Farscape, the Australian-produced cult-favorite Sci-Fi series which ran on the network earlier in the decade. Much like Joss Whedon helming the continuing adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Dark Horse, The comic book version of Farscape will be written by series creator Rockne S. O’Bannon.

Boom! E-i-C Mark Waid sat down with O'Bannon to talk about the upcoming series for Newsarama.

Mark Waid: For latecomers to this amazing show, tell us what Farscape is about--not just the comic, but the series.

Rockne O'Bannon: Farscape is the saga of Earth scientist/mission specialist John Crichton who goes up one day in a one-man spacecraft to orbit the Earth a few times and conduct a couple of experiments -- with every intention of touching down and going out to dinner with friends that night. Doesn't quite happen that way. Instead, while orbiting Earth, a sun flare hits, a wormhole opens up, and Crichton is catapulted to some other part of the universe, becoming the first human to make contact with alien life. But unlike Spielberg's Close Encounters where the aliens were gentle and benign and come in peace, the life forms that Crichton encounters are anything but these things. Over the course of the four years of the television series, Crichton faced down a rogues gallery of the most extreme, deadly, scheming, strange creatures the Jim Henson Creature Shop could build. Oh, and he also managed to fall in love -- albeit, with one of the aliens.

MW: The fans are definitely a driving force behind the show and this new series. What would you say to fans about this book to fire them up--particularly to Farscape fans who aren't normally comics readers

RO: Farscape lives! We're using this fantastic opportunity to keep the Farscape world alive and the saga continuing. I'm personally looking at this as if it were the next season of the series. I would hope that fans will approach the comics as if they are reading scripts from upcoming episodes -- except that there is also great art accompanying the words. And the possibility of paper cuts. Other than that, it's very much the same Farscape.

MW: How are you adapting Farscape to fit into the comic medium? Is it a challenge? What parts translate the best from TV to comics?

RO: I'm finding that adapting the Farscape world to this different medium is actually quite freeing -- because unlike producing episodes for weekly television, I don't have to limit my imagination at all. Environments, creatures, events that I might have had to tone down or eliminate altogether on an hour TV budget are all readily available to me now.

MW: Which characters are you concentrating on? When does this take place in relation to the series or Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars? What's happened since we last saw the crew?

RO: The story contained in the first set of four comics focuses on Crichton and Aeryn and their newborn son, as well as those characters who stayed aboard Moya at the end of the Peacekeeper Wars mini-series. Talk about continuing the saga from the television series -- the comics pick up immediately after the close of The Peacekeeper Wars. It's that contiguous.

MW: Tell fans how this project came to BOOM!

RO: Farscape is a very carefully protected asset of the Jim Henson Company. It's Brian Henson's baby. And if we were going to continue the saga in this different medium, we were only going to do it with a partner who knew and respected the original series. The folks at BOOM! are crazy-passionate ‘Scapers. Scary, really. Marry that to BOOM!'s reputation as an wildly original, creative, truly bold comic producer, and we knew we'd found our partner.

MW: What about this industry we call comics do you like? Have you always been around comics?

RO: I'm a life-long comics fan and I've always wanted to write for the medium, so I'm totally stoked that my first foray into the graphic world is via Farscape.

MW: Can you give us a sneak peek into the series? What can we expect from the first issue?

RO: Don't want to give too much away -- but I can say that one of the places we're able to go in the first story is Rygel's home world of Hyneria. If you think four television seasons of one Hynerian was wild, wait until we pay a visit to an entire civilization full of them.

MW: How're our artists doing? Happy with what you've seen?

RO: It's exactly the mix that I personally really like. It's evocative of the look of the television series, but filtered through some truly original artists' eyes. I've been loving what I've seen so far.

Farscape #1 is written by Rockne O'Bannon with script by Keith R.A. DeCandido and interior art by Tommy Patterson. Cover art by fan-favorites Dennis Calero and Joseph Corroney. The Diamond order code for the first edition of the Farscape comic is SEP083803. There will be 3 different covers released in a 50/25/25 ratio. Don't forget to talk to your local comic shop about the 1 in 25 variant cover.

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