Fox’s The Orville will now boldly go where it has not gone before; to comic books. Dark Horse Comics will be releasing a new four-issue series this summer about the ship and crew of the TV series. The series will be written by executive producer and writer from the television series David A. Goodman, with art from David Cabeza and colorist Michael Atiyeh. The comic will focus on two new and different adventures set between the show’s first and second season.
To learn more about this new mission for the crew of “The Orville” we were able to speak to writer David A. Goodman and artist David Cabeza. The team discussed bring the series to the comic medium, bringing the characters played by real people to life in a comic, and what fans of the show can expect from the series. A huge thanks to David and David for discussing their new book and you can find the new “The Orville” comic in comic book stores July 17th.
Set between seasons 1 and 2 it would seem you have a little freedom in what story for the Orville crew you might want to tell. What does your story explore? As creators what did you want to explore of the Orville world in this comic?
David Goodman: We only do thirteen episodes, so there’s still plenty of room to explore, and our show isn’t serialized. This also gave us a chance to see a little more of Alara, and fill in some blanks between season 1 and season 2.
David Cabeza: Well, the story has been set by David Goodman, so I can only answer in terms of the art done for these comics. I’ve tried to be faithful to every likeness and detail of the TV series and to make what’s being designed for the comics something that does not clash with what’s seen on TV. And personally, try to improve my art and storytelling with each page.
An obvious challenge has to be that you are working from real people with real voices, tones and looks. How do you attempt to capture the characters and make them feel real but still translate them to print?
DG: It’s never going to be an exact transition from TV to comics, but as one of the writers of the show, I’m familiar with the dialogue rhythms of the characters and the actors who play them, and David Cabeza was really able to capture their looks.
DC: David has contributed a lot to how the characters are, so his writing follows the feel of the show. My work was to complement his words by trying to capture the likenesses and most importantly the expressions and behaviors of the characters. It can range from being difficult to easy depending on the character. And then there’s the ship too. It is a key element that has to be depicted faithfully.
While much of today’s television is an adaptation of comic properties I feel like there has to be positives going from TV to comics. What does the comic medium provide that you can’t get from TV?
DG: Even though visual effects and make-up have advanced a great deal, there are still limits to the kinds of aliens and planets you can portray on television, whereas with the comic medium there really aren’t any, and that’s something we take advantage of in the first issue.
DC: Good question, and difficult to answer! Maybe it’s establishing your own rhythm. It depends on the kind of reader you are. But it’s also the chance to do things that probably would not work on the show because of technical or budget reasons.
The show draws some inspiration from works like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. Was there anything you brought into this comic version as an inspiration from comics?
DG: As a huge comic book fan, I’ve probably been influenced in many different ways by other creators but nothing specific to this book.
DC: As an artist in development I only want to draw the best pages I can and try to improve. So, my inspiration are my favorite comic book artists like Frank Cho, Chris Sprouse or García López, to name only a few.Continued below
For fans of the show what can they expect from the series? In addition is there something in it for anyone who may want to pick it up who may be unfamiliar with the show?
DG: There were a few questions for fans of the show that they may have had at the beginning of season 2 that I try to answer, a few little Easter eggs. For anyone unfamiliar with the show, I hope reading the comic makes you want to watch the show.
DC: While most would think these comics are focused on who’s already a fan, I think new readers will also be happy picking them up for the first time. I try to always have in mind something I learned from Paul Martin Smith: “Every comic book is the first one for someone”.