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Paul Cornell talks 'The Completed Saucer Country'

Comic Books

Paul Cornell talks ‘The Completed Saucer Country’

The UFO conspiracy series is currently crowdfunding via Zoop.

Election 2022 may be over (unless you’re in Arizona…), but there’s still heaps of politics to explore. Especially if you like yours with the added twist of aliens.

Saucer Country, from writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Kelly, ran at Vertigo from 2012 to 2013. In the book, we followed presidential candidate Arcadia Alvarado as she grappled with aliens and a corresponding conspiracy. With the series ending mostly unresolved, the creators have reconvened for a final story, which is currently crowdfunding via Zoop. (The campaign ends December 8, and is already at $20,541 of its $20,000 goal.) This final chapter promises that “all mysteries answered! All the arcs resolved!”

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Cornell was kind enough to answer a few questions, including working with Kelly, his skill as a political Nostradamus, and what might come next for Saucer Country. And if you’d like to help the book push further past it’s goal, head here.

AIPT: For the uninitiated, what is Saucer Country all about?

Paul Cornell: This is the story of U.S. presidential candidate Arcadia Alvarado, who gets abducted by aliens and then uses her political clout to find out the truth of what happened. It’s an exploration of the immensely colorful variety of UFO mythology over decades, and a political thriller about Russian interference in American politics. But… it looks like aliens are real!

AIPT: Similarly, how much should people know before jumping into the series proper?

PC: Nothing! This is a complete edition, so you get the whole story from the very beginning. We’re also offering our new conclusion separately for readers who’ve already bought all the previous issues.

AIPT: What is this concluding chapter all about, and how does it wrap up the story? (Feel free to be as spoiler-heavy or -avoidant as you wish.)

PC: We were cut off at a cliffhanger, so we’ve used the Finale to answer all the remaining questions, including our central mystery, resolve all the arcs and bring everything to a satisfying conclusion.

AIPT: Does this newer chapter feel different to you in terms of its look or scope or tone? Was it challenging to return to the material after time away?

PC: I’d always known what the ending of the story was going to be, so only in terms of the pressure to satisfy an audience of loyal readers. I hope we’ve maintained our tone right to the end.

AIPT: Why was it so important to finish this story?

PC: I need to finish the stories I’ve started. I hope readers feel the same.

Saucer Country

AIPT: How has the collaboration with Ryan Kelly changed over the course of this entire title?

PC: He’s an amazing artist, and is currently in high demand. He’s got a wonderful combination of excellent character acting and weird alien special effects, which is exactly what we need for this book!

AIPT: Given that it’s a midterm year, was there something extra important about doing this project right now?

PC: The timing worked out for us, but it’s accidental. Great bit of extra PR, though! Well done there, U.S. political system!

AIPT: What’s it like being so ahead of the curve with the Russian election malarkey? Any more big predictions made with this last chapter?

PC: It’s a great feeling, that the guesses we made played out. Vladimir Putin will make his second guest appearance in this title in the Finale. And no, perhaps the truth of what we reveal as our central thriller conceit will one day be discovered by historians, but no more predictions other than our big one!

Saucer Country

AIPT: Could we ever see new stories from this title/universe? Or is this The End?

PC: Maybe stories set in flashback, but no, this is one and done in a huge softback.

AIPT: Where do you stand on the possibility of aliens? And has this book shifted your beliefs on the extraterrestrial at all?

PC: I’ve always been hugely immersed in this mythology, but I’m neither believer nor sceptic. I think an open-minded fascination is where I stand.

AIPT: Why should anyone contribute to this Zoop campaign? And what’s your reaction to all the support it’s received so far?

PC: They’ll get a huge softback telling one big, complete story that serves as both a satisfying thriller and a primer about the history of UFOs. It’s good fun. We hope they like fairies, grey aliens doing kung fu, Philip K. Dick and Vladimir Putin guest roles and talking rabbits! I couldn’t be happier with all the support. We’re going to get to finish this story I’m so proud of!

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