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DF Interview: Brian Haberlin keeps optimism alive in sci-fi with Faster Than Light
By Byron Brewer
Does each sci-fi adventure, every space opera have to be set in a post-apocalyptic world? Not according to Brian Haberlin, the writer-artist-chief critic and cheerleader for a unique book, Faster Than Light.
What makes it unique? Join your DF interviewer as he goes where no (okay, a few) SF interviewers have gone before: a chat with the creative Brian Haberlin.
Dynamic Forces: Brian, this Image comic fascinates me. For the uninitiated, tell us how this series as a whole came about.
Brian Haberlin: This is a sort of dream project for me. The idea came to me well over a decade ago, actually batted around by my then-writing partner Evan Somers when I ghost wrote an episode of Deep Space Nine with him. The idea that, what if Star Trek happened today, not in some far flung future? It’s us now dealing with the unknown … out there waaaaay before we’re ready to be.
DF: What can you tell the valued “new reader” about what has gone on before in Faster Than Light? Can you bring us up to date please?
Brian Haberlin: Well, in the first five issues the crew of The Discovery met the most dangerous organism in the galaxy, sat down with giant intelligent bugs and were almost destroyed by what seemed like sweet bear-like aliens and their miniature slave masters for an object we acquired that we don’t even know what it is. At the end of issue #5, The Discovery heads home for a much-needed refit as, we have found out first-hand, though it’s wondrous out there it is also deadly.
DF: One of the things that gripped me about this series as a reader was that, although it had the normal grit and darkness you have in all modern comics (has a post-apocalyptic world became an SF trope yet? lol), FTL also demonstrated all the idealism present in the original Star Trek, an excitement about man’s first visit to the stars. Will this new arc beginning in issue #6 continue this sort of thing (I hope)?
Brian Haberlin: Absolutely. That is one of the things Captain Forest brings, the attitude that while their mission is serious there is no way to accomplish gathering allies, finding new technology, getting information on the possible oncoming threat without smelling the roses at the same time. The universe is a wondrous place.
DF: In the new arc, Captain Forest stands accused of tech theft as Grissom is put in charge of The Discovery. Without giving away any secrets, can you hint (in a non-spoilery manner) at what impact storywise this will have and what changes we may see?
Brian Haberlin: We’ll see a deeper bond between Grissom and Forest as things move on after the outcome of issues #6 and #7.
DF: Can you compare and contrast Forest and Grissom?
Brian Haberlin: Forest has many miles under his belt. He knows when to take things seriously and when not to. Grissom is still mostly always “on the go” all the time. If you’ve ever seen the show Longmire I often think of Forest matching up with Longmire (not quite as dower though) and Grissom matching up a bit with Vic Moretti (great show if you haven’t seen it). In other words Forest can relax with a beer after a mission but Grissom can’t yet…but she’ll learn.
DF: You, like Starlin and Kirby, are a one-man band creator. BUT … does Writer Haberlin ever have doubts about some of the decisions of Artist Haberlin, or vice versa? Which role do you take more naturally to, writer or artist?
Brian Haberlin: I can do the art chores very naturally…I have a Masters degree in screenwriting but the writing is still the thing I more stress over. For example, I can do art with a movie on or music with lyrics. With writing, I can’t have those distractions … even to the point where I can’t listen to music with lyrics while writing, only soundtracks and classical.
DF: FTL has such a unique feel among SF comics adventures. What are your particular inspirations, if I might ask?
Brian Haberlin: I’m a HUGE sci-fi geek. Having read or watched almost everything out there. I’d say Faster Than Light pulls mostly from original series Trek and the work of Larry Niven. But I’ll also confess that some tiny bits of it come from an old space role playing game that my friends and I used to have fun with back in my teenage years.
DF: Does either Writer H or Artist H have any current or future projects you would like to discuss?
Brian Haberlin: Well, we have Anomaly 2 coming out the fourth quarter of this year. Fury Formula, a new comics series, should be getting off the ground in a few months … need to get a couple more issues done before solicitation. More Digitalarttutorials.com stuff will be coming out at the end of the month … that’s where I teach all things digital art. And it looks like my old co-creator Brian Holguin and myself will be bringing Captain Wonder back to life sometime soon!
Oh … and … can’t believe I almost forgot … the first Faster Than Light trade collection comes out this week and next week we debut some free stand-alone issues of Faster Than Light … the first is with my old Spawn partner, David Hine, in the writers chair in a story featuring Hippie called “The Hermit”. The free issues will be available at: http://www.experienceanomaly.com/faster-than-light/intermission-comics
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Brian Haberlin for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Faster Than Light begins a new arc with issue #6, which hits stores May 11th!
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STONE: THE AWAKENING #1 - SIGNED BY BRIAN HABERLIN
STONE: THE AWAKENING #1 - SIGNED BY BRIAN HABERLIN
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