I’m a huge Sci-Fi fan and I love nothing more than to give to crowdfunding campaigns so indie artists can get a running start on their ideas. Raymond Fields and his book Earth Alliance is a perfect example of both a great Sci-Fi book and an opportunity to give to a nice Kickstarter. Here is a few words from Raymond Fields himself about Earth Alliance and his Kickstarter for issue two.
Ian: First can you tell us a little bit about your comic Earth Alliance?
Raymond: Earth Alliance is a Science Fiction Comic book written by me and published under my indie label Future Earth Entertainment. Issue one was illustrated by Marc Olivent and colored by Rachel N. Ward. Issue two is being illustrated by Soussherpa, with Rachel returning to do the colors. The story is set in the year 2190 and centers around a human race that is thriving accept for the fact that all fossil fuels have been depleted on Earth. Ten nations with advanced space flight capabilities have discovered a mineral called Elirium on alien worlds. Elirium once refined serves as a replacement for fossil fuels.
Humanity soon discovered that we were not the only ones that covet elirium. A humanoid alien race called the Khutarri also uses elirium as a fuel source. The khutarri claimed several planets that house elirium causing a territorial dispute with Earth. This dispute has kept Earth and the Khutarri home-world on the brink of war for a decade.
Ian: Earth Alliance is a Sci-Fi book but there are multiple layers to it, can you first describe the family dynamic of the main characters the Ryan’s and how it relates to the Sci-Fi aspect?
Raymond: Great storytelling is often grounded in family dynamics. For example Star Wars, we see the Skywalker family, Leia and Luke and the connection with their father Darth Vader. That dynamic brought much to the Star Wars universe. The same can be said about Star Trek, while Kirk, Bones and Spock are not blood family, they serve a dynamic that is very much a family. Thomas Ryan is our primary protagonist and as the story unfolds he will become very central to the story. His father Admiral Benjamin Ryan was developed out of my admiration for great military leaders. We find Thomas as a troubled teenager and he will go on a journey of self discovery that will be incredible to watch. Elizabeth Ryan Thomas’s mother is also a important character. The Ryan family dynamic grounds us in the fact that in the distant future humanity will still have the same issues we have today, love, fear and the desire to see our children grow, learn and become positive contributors in our society.
Ian: Second, can you explain the political slant from both the humans and the Khutarri aliens?
Raymond: Today the nations of Earth spend far to much time trying to keep or gain supremacy over one another. This is obviously true when it comes to control over resources. The pursuit of fossil fuels has kept mankind on the constant brink of war for a long time. I wanted to talk about that in a way that Sci-Fi allows. Instead of America fighting against China for example. I wanted to tell the story on a intergalactic scale. Elirium serves as a substitute for fossil fuels. I thought it would be fascinating to show that as we explore space we might find that other humanoids might desire the same fuel source as humanity and how we deal with that conflict.
Ian: Third, can you explain how these two aspects of the story intertwine?
Raymond: The central question to Earth Alliance is, how will humanity respond to an incredible threat from a alien race? Will we fight alone or as separate nation states? Will we form an alliance like we did when we invaded Iraq in 2001 or during WWII? Also I wanted to show how different factions behave during the run-up to war and what their motivations are. For example how will business leaders, in this case elirium executives that stand to profit from war behave. How will they use their power and clout to put forth their agenda. How will our political leaders respond to pressure.
I wanted to show the same vantage point from our alien adversaries. I didn’t want to show the typical hideous aliens attacking for the same reason that has been shown over and over in Sci-Fi. I wanted the Khutarri to have layers. What is their process of deciding to go to war. Do they have a senate that must approve war? Do they have factions that oppose war? What is their diplomatic process? I think all of this make Earth Alliance unique in Sci-Fi and comics.
Ian: As a huge Sci-Fi fan I love Earth Alliance and the intelligent thought behind the world building, is Earth Alliance something you have been working on for a while?
Raymond: Thanks for the complement. Earth Alliance has been in my brain for over twenty years. A few years ago I wrote a screenplay based on the story. I have always been a fan of comics and decided to develop a comic version. I wanted to tell a story that details my vision of humanity’s future. I wanted to tell a story about how we might be living, are we thriving? Did we destroy our civilization? I personally think we will be thriving 200 years from now. We will not be living in some post apocalyptic horror. We will still have problems but we will have experienced incredible progress.
Ian: What other Sci-Fi stories or shows have given you the most inspiration while writing Earth Alliance?
Raymond: Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica.
Ian: You’re 50/50 with Kickstarter campaigns, can you tell me what you think made your first Kickstarter successful?
Raymond: I think the story resonated with folks, the feedback I got was that people really crave thoughtful Sci-Fi.
Ian: Can you say what you think made the second campaign unsuccessful?
Raymond: I took two years off from creating comics, in retrospect that was too long of a absence. Earth Alliance issue #1 campaign was completed in 2014. Coming back two years later I probably set the goal too high. I need to rebuild my brand again. I’ve comeback with a smaller goal. I need to get a few small successes behind me and build from there.
Ian: What kinds of rewards are you going to offer backers?
Raymond: 11×17 prints signed by the entire creative team, T-Shirts with the United Earth Logo, printed editions of the book, logo patches, A companion book that details the world of Earth Alliance, personalized sketch cards of a individuals likeness or any character they choose.
Ian: Where can people get a hold of the Earth Alliance?
Ian: Where can people get a hold of you?