“I just love the idea of a Victorian gentlemen being flabbergasted by an alien spacecraft” Samuel George London talks Victorian aliens in Milford Green
Tell us a bit about the inspiration for Milford Green?Samuel George London: Last summer my wife, daughter and I were walking on Beacon Hill in Hampshire (which over looks Highclere Castle aka Downton Abbey), when out of no where a vision of an alien spacecraft shot across the sky right in front of me. I didn’t think too much of this vision at the time because I have quite an overactive imagination but the following day I went to a place called Milestones in Basingstoke, which is a mock-up Victorian village, and the vision of the alien spacecraft came back to me. This is when I began imagining aliens walking the streets of a Victorian village. That evening, I started writing a script of the Victorian alien adventure that is, Milford Green.
This is your first Kickstarter, so what encouraged you to finally take the leap and produce your own comic?
SGL: I’ve always been a fan of storytelling but it’s only been over the past few years that I’ve become a comic fan. However, in that time I’ve read copious amounts of comics, and it’s only now that I’ve felt comfortable enough with the medium to put something out to the world that I’d be proud of. Also, your confidence dramatically increases when people like yourself put out exceedingly useful articles about how to run a successful Kickstarter, such as in issue 6 of The Pull List.
It has a very English sensibility about it, is that important for the story or just important to you as a writer?
SGL: It’s important to the story, in fact I think it’s integral, but it’s probably more important to me as a writer. There are lots of comics out there set in America, which is cool and I really enjoy, but in Milford Green and in any future projects I’d like to showcase what Britain has to offer the world.
And why set it in Victorian England and not the present day?
SGL: Having been inspired in environments that are set around or near enough the Victorian era I found it difficult to imagine anything else. Also, I think it really stuck with me because as far as I’m aware there isn’t a comic out there that has Victorians and aliens together, and I just love the idea of a Victorian gentlemen being flabbergasted by an alien spacecraft.
Tell us a bit about how you contacted artist Mikael Hankonen – his webcomic looks amazing, I’m assuming that was a major draw! What do you think he will bring to the book creatively?
SGL: I initially contacted Elli Puukangas of Tistow (a sister webcomic of Mikael’s), but it turned out that she has too much going on this year but she recommended Mikael instead. I read his webcomic Year In Hereafter, and after that I was sold. His art has such a fantastical look to it but realistic at the same time, I don’t know how he does it but I love it. Mikael’s ability to draw very creative creatures and detailed Victorian scenery enables him to create a world where it’s believable that Victorians could have met aliens.
Was it important to find an artist with the right tone as the book feels quite delicate and precise – not your average loud and shouty kind of comic!
SGL: Absolutely. I’ve never seen a comic where Victorians meet aliens, and in some ways it feels like that they’re almost polar opposites. It was imperative to the project to find an artist who could pull it off. I literally spent days scrolling through DeviantArt trying to find the right artist but when I saw Elli’s and in turn Mikael’s art, I just knew it was perfect.
Can you give us an insight into some of the characters that will appear in the book, as you don’t have final pages yet?
SGL: Alfie Fairfield, Mary Wells and George Essex are our main human characters and they’re in a bit of a love triangle. Although very socially awkward, Alfie has managed to become one of the best inventors in Southern England. In part, this was to distract him from never being able to drum up the courage to ask his next door neighbour, Mary Wells, out for a romantic rendezvous. Mary, has been in a relationship with George since she was a teenager, and so hasn’t had the opportunity to discover who she truly is as an individual. However, opportunities in Milford Green do arise which will allow her to discover who she is on her own two feet. Finally, George is a local handy man in Milford Green. Most would describe him as handsome, reliable and strong but behind closed doors he’s insecure, jealous and short tempered.
We also have four alien characters, split into two species. First up is, Special Agent Fandalg, who is charged with one mission; retrieve the Weran (a potentially planet destroying object) from the Cinux and bring it back to the United Galactic Alliance for safe keeping. Second, General Katov, Sergeant Nulas and Corporal Sudal, from the Cinux. An alien species who only know how to do two things; command and conquer. 10 feet tall and with the strength to crush a human skull with their jaws, they are not to be trifled with.
And finally, will this be a one-shot or part of a wider universe?
SGL: I really wanted to focus on making a complete story, so for now Milford Green is just a one-shot. However, it does have an open-ending, giving it the possibility for being part of a wider universe if it’s a success, which I really hope it will be as I have quite a few ideas.