he's a legal alien – Padraig talks to Peter Hogan

Published On October 21, 2011 | By Padraig | Comics, Interviews, Pádraig's interviews

I like Peter Hogan. We met over the ‘net when I interviewed him for this very blog (see here), and we immediately got on. I found that he was involved in all sorts of interesting things that struck a chord with me, like the British comic magazine Revolver, of which I still cherish fond memories. What I thought would be an interview largely taken up with my asking him how he felt about taking over from Alan Moore on Tom Strong turned out to be a much longer and more wide-ranging piece. We’ve kept in touch since then, and he recently sent me some pages from his new project, Resident Alien, which is really good. I’m not just saying this because I like him – and indeed artist Steve Parkhouse, whose Bojeffries Saga with Alan Moore is one of The Master’s most underrated works – I’m saying it because it’s true. I strongly recommend you pick up the first instalment, to have a look at it, and after that I think you’ll pick it up because you want to.

So, as we’d done the big long interview the last time, I only asked him about Resident Alien (currently running in the Dark Horse Presents anthology) this time…

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: So, what’s the premise for Resident Alien?

Peter Hogan: The clue’s in the title, really: there’s an alien called Harry, and he’s been living here for a few years. He’s marooned, waiting for a rescue ship that may or may not ever come, and he’s been living like a recluse until our story kicks off, when events conspire to draw him out into the world.

But no one knows he’s an alien – we show him that way throughout, but everyone around him just treats him like a normal person, so evidently that’s the way they see him, because he’s sort of hypnotized them into doing so. Anyway, Harry ends up kind of liking his new friends and new situation – and he’s also intrigued enough by a series of murders that are taking place in the small town where he lives to start playing amateur detective. He’s very good at reading body language and micro-movements of eyes and muscles, as a result of which he’s pretty confident that he can catch the killer.

So, it’s kind of a strange blend of sci-fi and murder mystery, with a few other threads to it as well – like the fact that the government seems to know about Harry’s existence, and is actively searching for him. Anyway, we’ve discovered that you get really interesting sparks when you rub two different genres together like this, and both Steve and I think we’re doing our best ever work here.

(art from Resident Alien by and (c) Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse, in Dark Horse Presents)

PÓM: When do we get to see this in print?

PH: There are three 8-page instalments running in Dark Horse Presents (#4 – #6) at the moment. Next Spring those will be reprinted in one issue as Resident Alien #0, and that’ll be immediately followed by a three-issue miniseries.

PÓM: Is this supposed to be an ongoing story, or do you have an end in mind for it?

PH: It’s ongoing, and we’re hoping it’ll be enough of a hit with the readers for it to last for quite a while – I’m knee-deep in writing the second miniseries at the moment. In terms of Harry’s story – who he is, how he came to be here, how he’s survived, whether he’ll ever get back home again – all of that will unfold very, very slowly. But in terms of the murder mystery plot that kicks off in the Dark Horse Presents episodes, all of that will be resolved in the first miniseries.

PÓM: This isn’t the first time you’ve worked with Steve Parkhouse, is it?

PH: No. I’ve always loved Steve’s work, ever since I first saw his Bojeffries stuff, and so I signed him up to do a strip for Revolver, Happenstance and Kismet, which was written by Paul Neary. And then when I started writing for Vertigo I requested that Steve be the artist for ‘The Lost Boy’, the first story I did for The Dreaming … and we did another Dreaming story together a few years after that, the Blitz story ‘London Pride’. Steve and I stayed vaguely in touch after that, and at some point he told me that he’d always wanted to do a story about aliens … so I went away and thought about that for a very long time, and eventually I came up with this.

PÓM: I still have a soft-spot for Happenstance and Kismet, and there’s still a gap on my shelf that needs a collected volume of that to fill it.

I have to say, I really loved the colouring on Resident Alien, as well as Steve’s always gorgeous art. Is that Steve as well, or someone else?

PH: Yeah, it’s Steve. He’s doing his own lettering as well. I don’t think the man ever sleeps!

(art from Resident Alien by and (c) Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse, in Dark Horse Presents)

PÓM: Is there any news on that other Tom Strong series you were supposedto be doing for DC?

PH: Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril. Yup, still happening, next year sometime but not scheduled yet. But it’s all written, and Chris Sprouse is about two-thirds of the way through drawing it.

And I think most people probably know by now that the Planet of Peril is Terra Obscura…

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About The Author

Pádraig Ó Méalóid has a long history of promoting good comics and science fiction works, from organising conventions in his native Ireland to extensive writings and interviews with creators such as Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Kevin O'Neill and more

2 Responses to he's a legal alien – Padraig talks to Peter Hogan

  1. Matt Badham says:

    That looks good.

    I think I’ll pick it up.

  2. Pingback: Hogan and Parkhouse’s “Resident Alien” returns