Aliens, Comix & Videogames

Asteroids Comic Strip, Page One, colored pencil, 20 x 30″ (1983)

I have been a fan of sci-fi and fantasy all my life, and I was an avid reader of Heavy Metal Magazine since around 1978. I loved the French artists like Moebius, Bilal, and Drulliet which were featured in Heavy Metal in the 70’s and 80’s. They were a big influence on me. So it was natural that I wanted to get my own work published in Heavy Metal, and I created a three-page comic while I was still in college. I decided on a videogame theme, but using the spaceship model that I was designing at the time. (This model can be seen in other blog posts) On page one, the pilot is blasting an asteroid….

Asteroids Comic Strip, Page Two, colored pencil, 20 x 30″ (1983)

On page two, the ship is entering hyperspace. I tried to go crazy and have some fun with the visuals of hyperspace.

Asteroids Comic Strip, Page Three, colored pencil, 20 x 30″ (1983)

On the final page, the ship emerges from hyperspace only to be attacked by the alien ship (which happened all too often in the game!). The alien is a very organic ship, as if the ship itself were a living organism.

The three pages took a few weeks to sketch, ink and color, in between school work. I was an art/photography major, so the workload wasn’t too heavy! When it was done, I photographed the boards and sent them off to Heavy Metal magazine as a submission. A month or so later, I received a very nice handwritten letter from the Art Director of Heavy Metal. He praised my work, saying that it was of “high enough quality for publication in the magazine”, but that they were not accepting videogame themes for strips.

It was disappointing, but I was happy that he liked my work and encouraged me to try again. I did start working on a new comic strip, in collaboration with two college friends (Chris Adams and Barbara Manui of Yamara fame), but that never went anywhere. I also discovered that I wasn’t cut out for the comix scene because I don’t like the sheer repetition of doing comix. I prefer to do different things every time. Comix would have driven me crazy!

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