Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Aliengaged! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series’ premise, and what (or who) was its inspiration?
Colin Ingersol: Thanks so much! The series centers around 3 friends who wake up one day to find themselves in the beginning throes of an alien invasion. Echo from Literati Press described it perfectly as the "love-child of Mars Attacks and Shaun of the Dead you always wanted but just didn't know it."
Greg White: Yes, thanks! I would add that the book is also about how love can blind you, even to an alien invasion, as one of our characters is so focused on proposing to his girlfriend, he doesn’t notice the chaos all around him. As far as the inspiration for it, I don’t recall exactly what sparked the initial idea, but it was something that struck us both as funny to contrast the small, personal stakes of our characters with the planetary stakes of an alien invasion. For example, how something like a breakup can feel like the end of the world, but having that play out as the end of the world is actually occurring all around them.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process of bringing this story to life?
CI: Our collaborative process involves long, in-depth talks about story background, character involvement, and the general tone and temperature of a scene. I co-author the book. Greg pulls double duties in co-writing and all of the art, I don't know how he does it.
GW: I do it with lots of coffee, ha. Yeah, we tend to work out the broad strokes together. We’ve been writing together for years, so it’s easy to just bat around ideas and try to make each other laugh. Then, we go to our separate corners to work out details and dialogue, compare notes, and then combine the best ideas together into a new draft. We’re in contact all the time, sending character and story ideas back and forth and testing to see what can make the comic better.
BD: How many issues do you have planned for the first story arc of the series?
CI: The first story arc is 3 issues. The original idea for the story was to do it in a single issue, but as we started writing more and falling in love with the characters more, we decided to turn it into 3 full issues. We are now planning on taking the story even further with a second arc.
GW: Yeah, I certainly wasn’t originally thinking we would get as much story from where we started, but once we worked through volume one, it was clear to both of us that there was a lot more story we wanted to tell.
BD: What makes Literati Press Comics & Novels the perfect home for Aliengaged?
CI: Literati Press has been fantastic. The whole team is incredible to work with. They've done a lot for the local writing and comic scene in Oklahoma, providing an outlet for creators, hosting ink and draws, and dragging people like me out of the woodwork to help contribute to what they are building.
GW: Agreed. They were a perfect fit for us. The fact that they would take a chance on our debut book was a huge opportunity. They’ve really provided a lot of creative support, helping us to make the very best story we can, while also allowing us the freedom to explore ideas independently.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Garrett’s story will connect with and impact readers?
CI: Despite our comic being a comedy, at its core is a story about friendship and miscommunication. It'd be easy to dismiss our main character as an oblivious flippant fool until you realize just how much he cares about his two closest friends, and the chaos that he's willing to put himself through to help them. It's a story about cultivating friendship through vulnerability, and that is a story that I believe a lot of people can relate to.
GW: Yeah, Garrett’s story started off originally as kind of a running gag. But as we dug into it more, we realized it was a story about love and friendship, and the difficulties, insecurities, and anxieties that can accompany those relationships when life begins to change. In spite of all the slime and tentacles and explosions, it’s really a story about 3 people trying and often failing to connect and communicate with one another. Until they learn to do that, their relationships (and possibly the rest of the planet) are doomed.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CI: We are currently wrapping up issue 3 of Aliengaged, which will finish this arc, and then we'll take a short nap and jump into arc number 2.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Aliengaged and your other work?
CI: The Literati Press social media accounts (@literatipress on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook) are a great place to find information; they're always posting on their projects. Kickstarter is another place to find the current info - we are currently in the middle of the campaign for issue 2.
GW: More of my work can be viewed at my website (gregwhiteillustration.com) or at my Instagram (@tightywhite).
GW & CI: Thanks so much for taking the time to interview us. We’re honored.