Aliens are definitely one of those things that are always interesting….Whether a wild-haired historian is arguing for their existence or you’re blowing them to pieces in Saints Row, aliens are just fun. As a kid, I was totally enamored by the movie Signs. I would watch it over and over again to the point where some of my family members still can’t watch it without getting annoyed (I may, or may not, have it playing in the background as I write this). As an adult, X-Files quickly became an obsession of mine. So, I guess you can say I kind of grew up with aliens…But only in the best way! This week’s Indie Corner will feed your need for a little alien lore in your life with the graphic novel, Trespasser.
Trespasser, by Justin Ryan and his team, centers around a father, Hector Ramos, and daughter, Maria. Society has collapsed; the air is deadly and the food is scarce, but Hector keeps his family alive. However, their peace is disrupted when an alien visitor trespasses onto their property. Does this interloper have the answers? Is it friend or foe? Time will only tell! Despite the collapsing society and alien invaders, this is really a story about the relationship between a father and daughter. As the novel progresses, we get the chance to see how their relationship changes and evolves in a desperate situation.
When I first saw Trespasser on Kickstarter, I immediately loved everything about it. After asking Justin what his inspirations were while making it, everything made total sense. While the two are very different story wise, Ryan appreciated the way Signs, “used the alien invasion narrative to tell a more tightly focused, character-based story.” So he modeled his own alien invasion story in a similar way. Continuing the trend of bringing family’s together in post-apocalyptic scenarios, Ryan also said that The Walking Dead graphic novels were a source of inspiration. And after seeing some of the artwork from Trespasser, I can totally see the connection.
Trespasser, which started off as a much smaller project before being picked up by Alterna Comics, has been in the works for over 2 years now. And it all started from Ryan’s image of an alien stuck in a bear trap. This was the first project the team had worked on together, and obviously, it went quite well. Justin Ryan is the team lead and script producer, Kristian Rossi (Moonshine) made all of the beautiful artwork, and DC Hopkins (Darkwing Duck) developed the logo and handled the lettering for the novel. Ryan had this to say about their experience, “I’d like everyone to know how hard everyone worked on Trespasser to make sure it was the best it could be. We tried to make it unique, entertaining, and the kind of story which would linger with the reader for a long time after they finished it.” The team is continuing to work together on a project called ‘Fifty Teeth’ which is included in one of their Kickstarter’s stretch goals.
When I write these articles, I always love to see the most difficult and most rewarding parts of a creator’s process. From games to novels, every creator has a different story to tell and a unique way of telling that story. As a writer myself, I felt like Ryan’s remarks were a good reminder to anyone out there striving to make something wonderful:
The most challenging part is overcoming doubt. Every decision made in the writing process is like a fork in the road. You eventually have to settle on just one path, but all the other options, all the other ways the story could have gone, occupy just as much of your mind when you’re writing as the ones you chose. In the end, all you can do is just try to go forward and be confident you told the story as best you could.
The most rewarding part is hearing from readers. Thankfully almost all of the feedback we’ve received on Trespasser has been positive, but good or bad, if someone takes the time to tell you how they felt about it or write a review, it serves not only to justify the time and effort our team took to produce the story but it also gives me the information I need to grow as a storyteller. I write to share, and the reader response is my most valuable compensation.
It’s no surprise to me that Trespasser’s Kickstarter quickly reached its funding goal and they still have 5 days left! However, they have some pretty amazing perks in their stretch goals from posters to new stories from the world of Trespasser featuring new characters. While the Kickstarter has some really awesome perks at pretty reasonable prices, for $15 you can get a signed print copy of the graphic novel. But the team has gone above and beyond to create some pretty cool merch to go with novels. (I, for one, think Stumpy is a pretty cool bonus.)
This is the first graphic novel I’ve covered in an Indie Corner and I think this was the perfect one to start with. Everything about this graphic novel is interesting and beautiful. From the artwork to the unique storyline, it’s obvious that so much love and care has gone into making Trespasser possible. I’m a huge fan of narratives like Signs, The Walking Dead, and The Last of Us that focus on family situations in a post-apocalyptic world. And I am so excited to add Trespasser to that list! I’ve put in my pledge already, and I hope you do too!