On this episode of Pages and Panels (( Closed Captions On )) we will be taking a look at the first issue of the new Boom! Studios series, HaloGen. To help me break down the issue we are joined by creator and writer of HaloGen, Josh Tierney. Thanks so much for joining us Josh!
I personally am a huge fan of Spera and individually you, Afu and Giannis. I was extremely excited for HaloGen and had really high expectations. For me the first issue exceed expectations. I loved the rich world and lore you guys created. The story was wonderfully paced with a steady build in action and information. Afu's art was beautiful and provided an extra layer of life to the already bustling story and world you had written.
1. What was the original idea that gave birth to HaloGen? How has it changed since its inception on your end?
- JOSH: Giannis drew a sketch of a futuristic girl with a tilted halo, which gave us the inspiration for Rell and her quest for the body of a dead space god. The project's biggest change came when we decided to implement shounen-style rivals who are also after the space god, giving us the opportunity to include other visually striking characters that had previously only existed in the sketchbooks and standalone illustrations of Afu and Giannis.
2. With such a rich and dense new world for readers to inhabit how did you want to balance bringing them into the first issue?
- JOSH: We wanted to immediately introduce the concept of the dead space god, then work through the other elements from there. There are so many different elements, from Rell and her halo (and other holographic abilities), to the rivals, to the twist on the god itself, with all of it stemming from that first introductory image of Det'houva. Det'houva is the anchor of this issue.
3. Is it easy to put yourself in the head of character's in a series like HaloGen where the substance of dialog often contains heavy sci-fi elements and ideas created by the team that are unique to this world? I think all the interactions in the issue feel genuine especially the open with Krallix and Rell?
- JOSH: It's pretty easy for me to get into a character's head since I understand the world they're in as much as they do. They're not as in awe of the world they exist in as the reader might be, so it's possible to make them feel natural while they talk about all the big sci-fi concepts at play.
4. With this series only being a four issue arc, as the writer do you have ideas of the world and lore that expand beyond that scope that might inform the way you write these issues?
- JOSH: We intend this mini-series to be the first arc of HaloGen. Whether it continues will be up to sales and other factors, but we do have many ideas that didn't quite make it into this first arc in order for it to feel more complete on its own.
5. I think the first issue is paced wonderfully. Was it clear in your mind how to start and stop this issue? Did you work out from the larger story of HaloGen then break it down into the four issues or do you focus mainly on the issue at hand with an end goal in mind?
- JOSH: I prefer to write issue-by-issue, so that there's always room for a new idea or character. With the first issue I wrote it so that all the hooks and plot points keep following after each other, letting us dive into the story while providing the reader a good sense of what HaloGen is all about.
6. Afu Chan is brilliant right? Do you have a favorite panel or page from the first issue that Afu might of stole the show on in your opinion?
- JOSH: Afu is absolutely brilliant! Every page is so great. I have a feeling that opening image of Det'houva floating in space will be haunting readers for a long time to come.
7. Do you highlight moments or scenes for Afu or is he free to roam on the layouts. I think of one panel with the man's hands clasped behind his back in that military stance, would that be something called for in your scripts or a choice by Afu?
- JOSH: I can be particular about detail and character blocking, but I try to give general enough direction for Afu to add his own touches and really bring the world to life. For that particular panel, all I wrote was that it would be a close-up of Traygen's hands held behind his back. The feeling that comes from it is pure Afu.
8. I personally am a huge fan of Spera, one of the most underrated series out there. Is there any difference to creating/writing a book like Spera than one like HaloGen?
- JOSH: Thanks! There are many differences, and all of them are conscious. I really wanted us to be a small team for this and work closely together. I also wanted us to do something with a well-defined plot that is constantly driving the story forward, unlike Spera which is largely defined by the characters, who sometimes like to leave the plot behind. Of course, going from fantasy to sci-fi lends itself to perhaps the biggest difference in how we approach the project.
9. With the issue making its rounds and now out on stands how does it feel for you personally? Looking back through the issue how do you feel about the issue on its own (cause its pretty amazing)?
- JOSH: (Thanks, Kyle!) I look at HaloGen #1 and see all the elements that represent Afu, Giannis and me and our love of sci-fi, and I can't help but be proud of what we've accomplished. It's filled with characters we've been drawing or thinking about for years now, and seeing them all finally come to life in a comic has been a very special experience for us.