Boom! Studios has been quite hot these days, unleashing a bevy of touted creator-owned books and becoming one of Multiversity’s favorite publishers over the past few years. It’s easy to see why, with them taking chances on lesser known creators like Josh Tierney, Afu Chan and Giannis Milonogiannis like they did with “Spera”, a highly regarded and Eisner nominated fantasy series released over the past few years. Now, the trio is back at Boom! with their new sci-fi series, “HaloGen”. Written by Tierney, illustrated by Chan and co-conceptualized by Milonogiannis, this series has earned strong advance reviews with a very intriguing premise:
“There’s a rumor on Cityship Q that the gigantic body of a dead god was found floating in space. Rell, an agent woking for the HaloGen organization, is tasked with finding the location of the god and retrieving it by any means necessary. Using her ability to form hyperrealistic holograms, Rell is about to take on the first mission she might not be able to finish.”
We’re hooked, just like that. Thanks to our friends at Boom, we have a chat with Tierney and Milonogiannis about the book as its release – dropping on March 4th! – continues to approach. Read our conversation with the duo below and feast your eyes on some art from Chan, and keep an eye on this and other Boom! debuts throughout the rest of the year.
Josh: We share a lot of the same interests, and I think one of the reasons for that is we don’t limit ourselves. We’re always searching for comics, movies, games and music that feels fresh and exciting, stuff that seems totally different than what came before—even if we have to dig back a couple decades to find it.
The comics we work on are a way to share with others what excites us so much about art and entertainment. We want to give readers that same feeling of discovery we get when we find something just right for us.
HaloGen’s a pretty original take in an increasingly busy genre in comics, sci-fi. Where did this idea come about, and what makes you all so excited about bringing the story of Rell to life?
JOSH: Setting a story on a cityship is something I’ve been wanting to do since I was a teenager, but I couldn’t quite work out what I wanted that story to be. It was seeing a sketch Giannis did of a girl with a tilted halo that gave us that story: instantly I thought of Rell and rival characters seeking out the body of Det’houva, the dead space god. The more of our characters we added to the mix, the more fleshed out the story became.
Rell’s story is that of her place in the universe. In order for her to find out what that place is, she has to learn about the universe itself—and what better way for her to do so than to find the god that supposedly created it? We can take what are typically ambiguities in real life and make them concrete in comic form, and I find that to be one of the most exciting aspects of HaloGen.
JOSH: Due to her holographic halo, Rell’s life has been defined by the imagination of others. Some people think she’s an angel, and some wonder what other secrets lurk within her. The HaloGen organisation falls largely in the latter category, and they have tapped into her holographic power using a special suit.
Sometimes the holograms she forms say more about her thoughts and emotions than the words she uses, and for me this is one of the most unique and interesting aspects of her character. It lends itself well to something as visual as comics.Continued below
I love the idea of Cityship Q, and the fact that this population lives on a space-faring ship built to travel the stars. I know you’re all big on world-building. Are there other Cityships? How deep down that rabbit hole did you get as you developed this story?
JOSH: There are other cityships, and the characters will be heading to various planets as well on their missions. We want the universe to feel expansive.
JOSH: There are spiritual elements that will carry throughout the series, including in this first arc. Rell, HaloGen and their rivals are each after the god for different reasons, some more spiritual than others. What a god means to someone—whether it’s alive or dead or something in between—is going to be different for each person, and is something we’ve been exploring in HaloGen.
Spera was certainly a very visually driven series, and this book appears to be no different. What appeals to you about this project so much visually?
GIANNIS: For me personally, the biggest joy in this project is seeing Afu and Josh bring ideas from my sketchbook to life in their own amazing way. What Josh built around what was initially a random sketchbook character, and seeing Afu adjust and create his own characters in this world makes me very happy as a creator. It’s a really new way to collaborate and it helps that an great comic book is being made in the process.