Home > Books, Novels & Writing, Film, TV & Radio, Graphics & Illustration, Things I Like... > Alien – The Illustrated Story: Original Art Edition

Alien – The Illustrated Story: Original Art Edition

October 24, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

CoverI found this online at virtually half price recently (here) and couldn’t resist it…

It’s the Original Art Edition of the 1979 graphic novel, Alien: The Illustrated Story, and it is a truly wonderful thing to behold. Made possible because the artist Walter Simonson kept all his original art boards, these have all been faithfully reproduced at their original size. There are also some additional early mockup pages and all of Archie Goodwin’s typed out script pages are set out at the back. These are fascinating to read, creating a totally different experience on their own without the pictures.

P1000801_aI first saw this huge, hard back book about a year ago at Forbidden Planet. Despite spending about half an hour reading it, I managed to persuade myself that I couldn’t afford the full price at that time. It’s a decision I’ve never regretted, but I must say that now I actually own it, I can’t believe I didn’t just buy it there and then…

The standard size coloured version of the comic is an absolute classic. Issued in 1979 and based very closely on the story of the first film, it was the first graphic novel to make it onto the New York Times best seller list. I’ve enjoyed it for many years now but I must say, I think this black and white version is actually better than the coloured version, even accounting for the size of it.

In many respects it’s more expressive, and with the differing weights of the pen lines clearly discernible, you can actually imagine Simonson drawing and inking it all in. I like that you can see all the mistakes and changes, redrawn over the Tippex, and the differing colours of paper where new bits have been stuck over a wrongly drawn face. There are even coffee stains and bits of sellotape on some pages, all of which just add to the magic of the whole thing…

Now as And has pointed out, there’s just the matter of finding somewhere for it to live…









  1. October 24, 2013 at 10:59

    Very cool. I love that pic with the original next to the reproduction. You see that a lot with British comics these days, that the trade paperback is smaller than the original comics so the artwork is slightly cramped.
    I love Walt Simonson’s work, but then, doesn’t everyone?

    • October 24, 2013 at 18:28

      Hi Alastair
      I have a friend who knows about comics and he tells me that the originals are always drawn larger and then shrunk down to give the lines a better quality… Walt Simonson is certainly very good at drawing
      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  2. moi
    October 24, 2013 at 11:37

    I was looking at this book as I am a big alien fan (I think on amazon), I also saw it on forbidden planet but that place seems so expensive, but even on amazon now it is £58, much more than I would pay

    • October 24, 2013 at 18:31

      Hi Moi
      Follow the link at the start of the post and it can be yours for about £36 inc. postage..
      Can’t be bad…

  3. Darrell Curtis
    May 14, 2014 at 17:41

    This book did nothing to quell the sense of dread that enveloped me whenever I laid my hands on something related to the film back in 1979! The artists evoked all of the horror and drama into their work.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: