What’s waiting for us out in the stars? Are we alone in this universe? These are questions most of us ask ourselves at one point or another. In the case of sci-fi fans, probably a lot mor than most. Stargazer, a new series debuting next month from Mad Cave Studios, looks for some answers with some twists and turns along the way. I caught up with writer Anthony Cleveland and artist Antonio Fuso about the project.
Years ago Shae, her brother Kenny, and two childhood friends experienced a traumatic, unexplainable event that left Kenny scarred for life. Kenny commits himself to the belief that what they experienced was an alien abduction. Twenty years later and the friends have since drifted apart, but the sudden, mysterious disappearance of Kenny leads the group to reunite and discover the truth of what took place all those years ago.
James Ferguson: I guess the easy question to ask first is “Do you believe in aliens?”
Anthony Cleveland: I think UFOs are real. There are too many sightings to ignore. But are aliens piloting them? I’m not sure. The question is great imagination fuel either way.
Antonio Fuso: I don’t know how correct it is to speak of “aliens”. Let’s say that given the vastness of the universe, the percentage of possibility that other forms of life exist is not indifferent.
JF: What is the dynamic like between the kids in the past and how has it changed in the present?
AC: Like most of our childhood friendships, we drift apart and often we grow to be someone dramatically different. I think sometimes we’re afraid to reach out to our old friends just because we know we’re not the same anymore. There’s some of that in Stargazer.
AF: What we are as adults is often very different from what we were as children, but it is precisely what we experienced as children that worked for years, on a subconscious level, to form the adults we have become.
JF: Much is implied without directly saying it in Stargazer #1. How do you walk this fine line in a story?
AC: I think there’s enough in Stargazer to understand the “who?” by the end of the first issue but there’s very little on the “why?” and “how?” Those were the questions I wanted to use to hook the reader.
AF: Much is implied and it’s true! Anthony did a great job of suggesting without saying, showing without pointing. And this is where Stefano [Simeone] and I come into play, making the characters “talk” through their expressiveness, their posture, their clothing and through the way all of this has changed over the years, from childhood to adulthood.
JF: How did the creative team come together for Stargazer?
AC: Mad Cave Studios set up the team. I wasn’t sure what art style they had in mind. When I saw Antonio and Stefano were attached, I was really excited and I knuckled down even tighter with the writing to match their impressive skill level.
AF: Chris wrote me a couple of lines about the story. They were enough to hook me. As
I said, Anthony’s script is great and it’s a pleasure to work on. The characters and situations are described so well that it is easy for me to visualize them and transport them on paper (actually on the screen of my Mac).
JF: What else can fans expect from Stargazer?
AC: Each issue gets bigger and bigger with some questions answered and some even bigger ones introduced. It’s a ride and I can’t wait for readers to go on it.
AF: Well, we haven’t talked much about it so far but, hey, there will be a spaceship too!
Comicon would like to thank Anthony Cleveland and Antonio Fuso for taking the time to speak with us. Stargazer #1 is set for release on September 2nd, 2020.