In NEW ROMANCER, the new scifi-tinged romantic comedy from writer and Vertigo stalwart Peter Milligan and artist Brett Parson, Lexy, a gifted young computer coder finds things heating up (though perhaps not how she might have expected) after she reconstructs and accidentally unleashes some of the greatest lovers from throughout history. However, not all these lovers are interested in romantic pursuit. There’s always been a fine line between extreme passion and fury, and Lexy’s about to discover that it’s all too true what they say about love and war.
Fortunately, we didn’t need to unleash any lascivious Romantic poets to get Milligan and Parson to agree to answer a few questions for us. All we needed to do was ask! (And maybe bat our eyes.)
Tell us, briefly, how you would describe NEW ROMANCER:
Peter Milligan: It's a supernatural romance set in the world of Silicon Valley starring a bright young programmer and some of history’s greatest lovers.
Brett Parson: While trying to save a failing dating website, a brilliant computer coder named Lexy accidentally unleashes history’s greatest romantics into modern day California, including the man of her dreams, Lord Byron.
There are sex, murder and sci-fi elements in it, but it’s very much a romantic comedy. If Pretty in Pink and Scanners had a baby it might be something like NEW ROMANCER. Cute and fun, but with a weird twisted dark side and a subtle ’80s vibe in there somewhere.
What's the theme of the series?
Brett: Perhaps it’s the struggle to find true love (if it even exists) in this strange chaotic world that we live in.
Peter: The main themes of NEW ROMANCER are romance and the dubious pleasures of getting what you always thought you wanted.
If you set your series under water, how would the characters change?
Peter: They'd drown, but look bloody good as they did.
Brett: I’m not sure. Maybe instead of bringing Lord Byron to life, it’s Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?
If you set your series on the moon, how would the characters change?
Brett: I’m sure for Lord Byron, being thrown from 1824 into Silicon Valley must feel almost as weird as being on the moon.
Peter: Lexy and Lord Byron are my two main characters. Somehow they'd get on just fine all alone.
How does inspiration most often strike you?
Peter: Unfortunately, at 3:00 in the morning. Or maybe that's a cramp...
Brett: Seeing other artists’ work is always inspiring, and watching movies and cartoons. Art books are my weakness. I have stacks and stacks of coffee table art and photography books that I constantly pull out when I’m lost.
How has comics changed since you’ve started working in the medium?
Brett: It seems like the trend of successful film/television based on comics has gotten a lot of creators even more concerned with making books that are marketable to those mediums. Not that it’s either good or bad.
Peter: The rise of social media has changed how it's talked about and how it talks about itself.
What's your favorite shade of black?
Brett: Flat black. Or maybe “really old T-shirt black,” like when they get faded and washed out.
What’s your favorite non-comics pastime?
Peter: Chewing the grass on my lawn.
Brett: Playing guitar, filmmaking, and carpentry.
You're can have one final coffee with 2 people, one living and one dead, before a zombie apocalypse. Who are they and what do you discuss?
Brett: My brother Ben, and maybe Paul Newman. We’d talk about movies and salad dressing, then try to come up with some kind of plan. I’ve always planned to steal a boat if there was a zombie apocalypse…everyone knows zombies can’t swim, they just sink. (On a side note: Imagine if Paul Newman had made a zombie movie when he was young!? It would have been badass!)
Peter: Jesus Christ and James Joyce. I'd discuss football.
If you could adapt something from another medium into comics form, what would that be?
Brett: The Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose.
NEW ROMANCER #1 will be available on December 9, 2015 in print and as a digital download.