Declan Shalvey Interview
Posted by William Robbie on March 25, 2023 (Updated: 25-Mar-2023)
The following interview was conducted by William Robbie and first published on the Weyland-Yutani Bulletin. It is republished here as a guest editorial. Declan Shalvey is the writer of Marvel’s upcoming third volume of Alien comics. The first issue is currently scheduled to release on Alien Day 2023! We hope you enjoy!
Firstly, congratulations on the upcoming Marvel ALIEN entry! I just wanted to start by introducing you to the readers. Declan hails from Ireland and joins an esteemed pantheon of Irish based talents who have lent their creativity to the ALIENS comic legacy. Kilian Plunkett and Robert Carey, to name a few. I’d like to also add that you’re no stranger to the ALIENS comic scene, having illustrated 2 covers under its banner: The Immortal Hulk/Aliens crossover cover, as well as the ALIEN Annual variant (#1 coverB)
Now I won’t waste your time with silly, tenuous questions, I’d like to get right down to the nitty gritty and most lavishly geeked-out queries a fanboy can conjure. Let’s have some fun, shall we…?!
William Robbie: What’s your favourite ALIENS comic, and why?
Declan Shalvey: I’ll throw out a small handful if that’s okay… Aliens: Salvation, such a tight story by Dave Gibbons, with incredible art my Mike Mignola, Kevin Nowlan and Matt Hollingsworth …it’s just such a great comic, not to mention an Alien comic by a powerhouse creative team. I loved Superman Vs Aliens when I read it as a kid as I’m a massive Kenin Nowlan fan. Stormwatch vs Aliens by Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse showed just how ruthless an Alien stary can be even in what might presumed to be a ‘safe’ licensed crossover book. Also, a nod to Alien: Labyrinth by Jim Woodring and fellow Irishman Killian Plunkett.
WR: As far as the films go, do you have a favourite?
DS: Aliens. I love the slow crawl and imposing dread of the original, but Aliens takes that and adds another level of complexity and characters that is just so satisfying.
WR: Who in your opinion draws the most fascinating rendition’s of Giger’s original “xenomorph” design? Which creature film design is your favourite: ALIEN Big Chap, ALIENS warriors, or Alien³ runner?
DS: I’m a stickler for the original, I have to say. I like the tweaks to the design for the Warrior, but I still prefer the original Big Chap, personally.
WR: Do you have any particular memories of being disappointed or severely underwhelmed with a specific direction the franchise has taken, either in film or pulp? Or, if you can change anything about the franchise…what would it be?
DS: Ah it’s hard for me to say really, the first Alien film I saw was Alien 4 in the cinema. It took me years to go back to the source. I tend to prefer the installments that have a cast of characters that you can get behind and root for, and let the Alien mythology take a backseat, to keep them scary as they ruthlessly stalk the characters we’re invested in. I’m in a nice position to tell a story that most literally is what I would do with it. That is the coolest thing about getting to work on this book; the Aliens universe is a very cool place to tell stories, and there’s no shortage of them.
WR: What’s your favourite memory regarding any of the ALIEN films and/or expanded universe?
DS: It’s probably watching Aliens for the first time at my mate’s house. Big projector, big action, big stakes, big laughs. I do also remember that bit with Ron Perelman and the spider in Alien 4… laughed my ass off.
WR: How has your experience been so far working on ALIEN: Thaw (I believe that’s the title of your series)?
DS: It’s been really great. It’s a bit of a different experience as you’re working for two bosses; Marvel and 20th, and makeing sure you’re telling a story that you’re engaged with while satisfying two bosses can be a bit worrying, but both have been great and I’m really glad they’ve been on board with my take on the franchise.
WR: What character do you associate with most out of all the films? Here’s an introspective question…Which character do you think your friends or family would describe you as being?
DS: Hudson and Hudson, I’d say.
WR: Thank you for your time and contributions to our beloved franchise, Declan! On behalf of Weyland-Yutani Bulletin and the greater ALIEN fandom, HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY! We’re looking forward to the double-threat creativity you bring to ALIENS.