Interview: Writer Peter Hogan Discusses RESIDENT ALIEN

There is a new Doctor in the sleepy town of Patience, and while he may look normal to the residents of the town, make no mistake: he’s an alien. The series began as a recurring tale in Dark Horse Presents and was recently upgraded to a full mini-series under the guidance of creators Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. Peter took time out of his schedule to discuss the new series and what readers can expect from Resident Alien.

Aaron Long: Let’s start at the beginning: how did Resident Alien come to be? How long had you been developing the title prior to its appearance in Dark Horse Presents?

Peter Hogan: Steve Parkhouse and I did five issues of Vertigo’s THE DREAMING together some years ago, and after that I was keen to work with him again. Steve had told me a long time ago that he wanted to do something involving aliens, so that kind of sat in the back of my mind and simmered for a year or so while I worked on other things. Eventually I came up with the basics of the Resident Alien idea, and then Steve and I did about five pages of finished script and art and sent it out to publishers. Dark Horse’s Mike Richardson saw them and liked them, and gave us some really good editorial pointers, which kind of beefed up my original idea, and it all took off from there. In comicbook terms, once it got rolling it all came together quite quickly.

AL: It was recently announced the title has been upgraded to an ongoing series. Do you have a set number of issues in mind to tell Harry’s tale?

PH: It’s actually an ongoing series of miniseries, a bit like the way Hellboy has been done over the years. I have a rough idea of how long it’ll take to wrap up the big storyline, but it’s also possible it could take us much longer. We’ll see how it goes, but it’s a fairly long-term project whatever happens.

AL: Can you discuss Harry’s motivations? Originally he seems to be a hermit, but the town and it’s mysteries seem to intrigue him….

PH: Yes, Harry’s been laying low for about three years, while he waits for a rescue ship that he’s not even sure will ever come. Then he gets lured out into the world, and decides he likes his new life – he’s been very lonely, and very bored, and he likes all this new stimulation. He starts playing amateur detective, and he likes that too – in a way he’s falling in love with Earth and its people. Not quite going native, but definitely getting acclimatised.

AL: As the story progresses will readers learn more about what brought Harry to Earth?

PH: Yes, definitely – but it’ll happen very gradually. In Resident Alien there are really two aspects, two storylines. There’s the big over-arching storyline – which is Harry’s alien past, and his mission here, and his eventual fate – and that will all unfold gradually, as I said. Then there are the smaller storylines, because each miniseries will also contain a mystery for Harry to solve, and those will each get wrapped up in that particular series, while the bigger story slowly rolls onwards.

AL: Any final thoughts or comments you’d like to pass on to Comicosity’s readers about Resident Alien?

PH: It’s the best work I’ve ever done, and it gets better as it goes along, I think. Hopefully it’s something fresh, or at any rate a bit different, and so far the readers seem to be responding well to that – and this is only the beginning.

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