X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

Archive for December, 2013

So what’s Carter and Season 10 up to?

A number of interviews with the creative team behind XF and Season 10 have popped up lately, and they have been very revealing on how Season 10 came to be and where it is headed: Joe Harris at Things From Another World; Chris Carter at MTV; Chris Carter, Joe Harris and Denton J. Tipton (IDW editor) at Nerdy Show.

Carter projects: Coming in February 2014

Chris Carter is finishing post-production of the pilot of his next series, “The After” (extensive coverage here). It will ‘air’ online at Amazon Prime in February 2014, before a decision is made to order a full series or not. Below: a photo from the shooting (from Back To Frank Black).

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And in parallel he’s developing the story for another show for AMC (extensive coverage here).

From MTV:

Carter has also been busy with non-X-Files material. He’s finishing up a pilot for Amazon called “The After” which, according to the new studio, “follows eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation.”

Then there’s the super-secret AMC project he’s working on. “I wrote a script that I got a good response to,” Carter said. “Right now it’s still in the development stage.” Regarding the subject matter, Carter only conceded that it has something to do with conspiracies. Seems like he’s heading back into familiar territory.

And so this is where we are, precisely one year after December 22nd 2012, the would-be date of the alien invasion that Carter burdened himself with by referencing it in the X-Files finale. Eleven years after that finale, what we get on making Dec-22-2012 the ‘end date’ for XF3 is this (from Nerdy Show; major troll on Chris’s behalf!):

“I think that’s a significant date, but… there was this idea that we would shoot for 2012, I always though that was a mistake and I’m glad that date is passed.”

Below, a Flukeman commission by Michael Walsh… who didn’t do the art for #6-7!

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Season 10: “Am I vague enough for you?”

It appears IDW first got the idea for the comics with the 20th anniversary of the series and approached FOX. Joe Harris was hired to write up ideas. Eventually Carter got involved, and steered Harris away from certain plot points, and gave Harris certain feedback for what became the first story arc, “Believers“. After that, Harris sends Carter drafts for review but by the sound of it Carter has little to say and lately hasn’t even had time to go through them (he seemed unaware or forgot that monster-of-the-week type issues were upcoming!). Whatever Carter prevented Harris to cover in “Believers” is something that Carter hopes to use in a potential third XF movie, and this territory is off limits for Harris for the foreseeable future (incidentally meaning that Harris is aware of certain story elements of that XF3!). And this is how Season 10 is evolving, Carter being ‘executive producer’ but essentially giving Harris free rein to do whatever he wants apart from dealing with certain specifics — we suspect resolving the William issue, or actually making colonization happen. And if, if XF3 happens, Harris hopes that they will manage to have the comics storylines nicely fit into and lead to the movie. Which is nice for coherence’s sake, but also means that Season 10 is, in some ways, bonus adventures/side distractions/stand-alone material, before the grand finale that is as yet unrevealed. Enjoyable, but somewhat frustrating!

Some quotes from MTV:

Carter: “I’d never been involved in the comics before because I had no time and really no inclination,” Carter explained. But when he heard what was being planned for the series, he offered to step in. “I think they’ve been doing a really good job,” he said. “I like that there are characters coming back, they’re bringing characters to life, and that tickles me.”

And from Nerdy Show:

Carter: “It’s really Joe who is driving this […] a product of his imagination […] IDW, they’ve taken the lead, they’ve taken the reins”

Carter: “Even though we are calling it ‘season 10’, it’s a comic book season 10″Carter: “If there ever were going to be a third movie, we wanted to preserve certain things that wouldn’t corrupt that opportunity”

Harris: “Chris and I have talked about a potential third movie and what that would entail, or what that would address, what that would contain, and I am very mindful of that, and leaving a lot of space. I don’t want the comics to get into that specifically at all. If and when that is to materialize I’m pretty confident we could make it all work.”

Joe Harris at TFAW:

TFAW: How large will Scully’s son William figure in the overall series?

It’s all a mystery, wrapped in a puzzle, inside of an enigma. William is, obviously, a core concern for Mulder and Scully — for Dana, especially. And the events of our opening “Believers” arc didn’t do anything to lessen that.

But William is also a dear concern for Chris Carter, and I know he has business he wants to get to on that front, himself. So we’re touching upon things where appropriate, and when expected . . . but we’re being careful for other, very cool reasons too.

TFAW: Can you give us any hints about the alien invasion, or whatever else is coming next?

JH: If I told you about “the alien invasion” Chris Carter would excommunicate me . . .

Joe Harris interview for Comic Book Resources (video, text highlights). On XF Season 10:

It’s totally in continuity with the blessing of series creator Chris Carter. He has overseen everything I brought — he’s even offered some tweaks to make it better and preserve some things he wanted to preserve; mysteries he might want to tackle later at some date. It’s totally in-continuity, they are the present-day adventures of Mulder and Scully. It draws on everything we know, it continues the mythology while — I’d like to think — adding something new, so it’s not completely retro.

Bonus: another short video of Joe Harris on #5 and #6.

IDW Season 10: Changes in the team

Michael Walsh, who did the art for issues #1-5 and #8, will not be returning for more — for reasons unknown (perhaps the lukewarm reception his art got, arguably, although he has been engaged to another series, and he said in an audio interview for Comicbook Noise that he might return occasionally, but not as the main artist. Issues #6-7, #9 and #10 have some guests artists with Elena Casagrande, Greg Scott and menton3, however it appears that none of them will be the regular Season 10 artist: that one will be revealed with issue #11! Jordie Bellaire, who worked with Walsh, will be returning for colors.

There are changes on the covers side as well, with Carlos Valenzuela leaving after issue #9 and Francesco Francavilla arriving with #10. Comics Alliance has an interview with him.

Issues #8, #9 and #10 — and beyond!

The solicitations for February and March are out:

February 2014: Issue #9 is a single-issue arc. Writer Joe Harris: “It’s my first, original “Monster of the Month” (a term I’m taking sole credit for) story and it’s utterly disgusting, I’m sorry.” Exciting — although I’m worried 22 pages might not be enough!

The X-Files: Season 10 #9
Joe Harris (w) • Greg Scott (a) • Carlos Valenzuela (c)
Chitter” A missing persons investigation leads Agents Mulder and Scully into a disgusting mess of human sacrifice, enough bugs to keep your skin crawling long after the issue is over, and The X-Files’ newest “Monster of the Month.” But what is “The Chittering God,” and why does it hunger for Dana Scully?
• 32 pages • $3.99
Ask your retailer about the menton3 variant cover!
Our first issue to feature an original “Monster of the Month”

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March 2014: Issue #10 is also a single-issue story, and it returns to the mythology in a bigh way. Joe Harris teases us at length:

Issue #10 is a quasi-sequel to one of my favorite X-Files episodes, Season Four’s “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man,” which presented a potential, speculative history of everyone’s favorite nicotine addict and X-Files foil.

Keeping in that tradition, we’re going to fill in some more blanks — some of which line up with what we know of X-Files and “Mytharc” continuity, and others that just won’t make much sense when you lay them over times, dates, events and relationships we already know — while attempting to tell a story that both serves as a love letter to that classic Glen Morgan-penned and James Wong-directed episode, as well as a springboard toward our next big “Mytharc” storyline kicking off in issue #11.  On the surface, this will appear to be a throwback story… but if you read between the lines, or panels (and if we do our jobs correctly!), you’ll learn a few things about our current, “Season 10″ rendition of the Cigarette Smoking Man, get some hints as to the nature of his unexplained resurrection following his demise at the end of the show’s final season, as well as learn a bit more about what amounts to a neo-Syndicate that’s popping up to make Agents Mulder and Scully’s lives difficult all over again.

Menton3 is joining us on interiors this time around (while providing another ‘Retailer Incentive’ cover), and this issue also marks the debut of the the amazingly talented Francesco Francavilla as series cover artist!

The X-Files: Season 10 #10
Joe Harris (w) • menton3 (a) • Francesco Francavilla (c)
More Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” The ubiquitous foe of Agents Mulder and Scully has returned from the dead, raising many questions and burying many answers. Find out more about his resurrection, along with his past, in this special stand-alone story, which sets the stage for the next big story arc!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
• Ask your retailer about the menton3 variant cover!
• Special standalone story featuring the “Cigarette Smoking Man”!
• Eisner-winning cover artist Francesco Francavilla begins his run as the regular cover artist!

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Some art by Walsh from the upcoming #8 (original and with colors):

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Walsh: Did some traditional grey washes on some pages from this issue. Quite happy with how they turned out, I’ll probably incorporate this technique in to my work again down the road. As always Jordie did a great job colouring

Could that be a flashback featuring X?

This looks like it’s from #8 as well:

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And also a commission by Walsh that… we’re not likely to see inside the issues:

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And, Joe Harris on TFAW:

As a fan, is there a scene you’re just dying to write?

Oh hell yes. As I’m always scanning through old episodes, I make note of little hooks and references that might later work their way into a Season 10 story and cement us a little more within the mythology.

There’s a lot I’m looking into right now, and I really don’t want to reveal and spoil anything here. But I can give you two examples of moments and bits that would ring some bells with the fans, and which I really want to illustrate as either the center of an upcoming issue, or in a scene somewhere down the line, etc.

The first involves Mulder’s trip to a Washington, DC “head shop,” as mentioned in the Stephen King co-written episode, “Chinga,” where he ends up buying the iconic “I Want To Believe” poster that hangs on his basement office wall. I mean, can you imagine Mulder browsing through the bongs and glass pipes before he gets to the blacklight posters and patchouli?

The other involves Monte Propps, the killer who was the subject of young Fox Mulder’s famed work as a profiler before founding the FBI’s “X-Files” division, and who was mentioned in the very first episode of the show. I’d like to expand and expound upon that bit of lore a little at some point, too.

And I’d love to show more of Mulder and Scully’s past, at some point, if it works within the context of what we’re doing in the present.

These flashbacks do sound like something we could see in #8.

TFAW: Can you give us any hints about the alien invasion, or whatever else is coming next?

JH: If I told you about “the alien invasion” Chris Carter would excommunicate me . . .

But I can tell you that we’ve got lots of hooks and permutations of the X-Files “Mytharc” to explore, and new conspiracies to dig into. Lots of old friends, enemies, and characters difficult to classify as one or the other will be returning . . . some in unexpected ways, with motivations and secrets that keep this a forward-leaning series, rather than just a trip down memory lane.

We’ve got everyone’s favorite monster, Flukeman, returning in a two-part sequel to the immortally beloved Season Two episode “The Host” beginning in issue #6, and Mulder’s mysterious informant “X” makes a return from beyond the grave in issue #8.

Issue #9 is going to spotlight our first original “Monster of the Month” that I’m super excited to reveal. It’s going to be a pretty creepy experience, I can promise you that.

After that, we’re going to expand on the presumed history of everyone’s favorite nicotine addict a bit, both as a love letter to one of my favorite episodes, “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man,” as well as an uncovering of some new details regarding the mystery of CSM’s reappearance in the pages of The X-Files: Season 10.

And all of this will propel us toward the next big, shocking multi-part storyline beginning in issue #11.

And Harris in the Nerdy Show:

“We’ve got a five-issue mythology story arc starting with issue #11. And after that we’ll be into year two of the Season 10 series being published, and I’ve got a few new ideas for single-issue monster stories and short two-part arcs as well”

Other releases: Volume 1, Conspiracy and Annual

The X-Files Season 10 Volume 1 was released on December 18 2013. It is a hardcover collecting the first five issues of the seriess, i.e. the “Believers” arc. This is the version that will be circulated widely, be translated — usually comic publishers go with collecting 6 issues in trade paperbacks, but IDW sees big with XF! IDW seems to be continuing the trend of collecting 5 issues, as Volume 2 has been announced for April. This also has an impact on the way stories are written and over how many issues they are spread over: Volume 2 should have “Hosts“, “For the Benefit of Mr. X“, “Chitter” and “More Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man“, and Harris has said that the next big mythology arc should be spread over issues #11-15 (i.e. Volume 3!).

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Joe Harris is continuing to sell his XF scripts!

Alongside Season 10, IDW is continuing the X-Files: Conspiracy series, which is the cross-over of the Lone Gunmen with other big franchises (announced here). Two issues are released per month, with awesome covers by Miran Kim and others. Now that they have Miran Kim back on XF, as she used to do the covers for the Topps comics in the 1990s, why don’t they have her do some interior art as well? There is also an interview by Conspiracy writer Paul Crilley at Comic Book Resources.

February:

The X-Files: Conspiracy: TMNT—SPOTLIGHT
Ed Brisson (w) • Michael Walsh (a) • Miran Kim (c)
The Turtles are doing their best to avoid trouble in Northampton. Unfortunately, trouble finds them in the form of the Lone Gunmen! The fate of the world depends on the Gunmen getting the reclusive Turtles’ help. Add in an undead menace and things are going to get downright dangerous!
• 32 pages • $3.99
The X-Files meets the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
Written by Ed Brisson (Comeback, Secret Avengers)!
Art by The X-Files: Season 10 artist Michael Walsh!
“Tabloid Newspaper” Variant Cover by Joe Corroney!

The X-Files: Conspiracy: TRANSFORMERS—SPOTLIGHT
Paul Crilley (w) • Dheeraj Verma (a) • Miran Kim (c)
The Lone Gunmen’s trail of secrets leads them to evidence of extraterrestrial life—mechanical extraterrestrial life! Will OPTIMUS PRIME and his allies trust these human interlopers—and what secret conspiracy could involve CYBERTRON, anyway?!
• 32 pages • $3.99
Written by Conspiracy architect Paul Crilley!
Art by Transformers: Fall of Cybertron artist Dheeraj Verma!
“Tabloid Newspaper” Variant Cover by Joe Corroney!

March:

The X-Files: Conspiracy #2 (of 2)
Paul Crilley (w) • John Stanisci (a) • Miran Kim (c)
The event of the year concludes here! The Lone Gunmen have finished investigating several urban legends—a group of ghost-hunters, mutant turtles that live in the sewers, shape-changing alien robots, and a vengeful spirit from beyond the grave—after receiving Internet files from future that foretell a plague that wipes out most of humanity. Now it’s a race against the clock as the Gunmen, with Agents Mulder and Scully, attempt to save the world!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
• The event of the year sees characters from The X-Files interact with the Ghostbusters, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Crow!
• Ask your retailer about the Joe Corroney “tabloid” variant covers for each issue of the event!
• Each issue has a special subscription variant that depicts famous conspiracies with a new twist!

The X-Files: Conspiracy: The Crow
Denton J. Tipton (w) • Vic Malhotra (a) • Miran Kim (c)
Bernard is a decorated state policeman in love with his partner. But their romance is brutally cut short when both die following a high-speed pursuit and fiery car crash involving the Lone Gunmen. Bernard inexplicably awakens to find himself resurrected by an otherworldly crow and with only one thing on his mind: vengeance.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
• Art by Vic Malhotra (Joe Hill’s Thumbprint)!
• Ask your retailer about the Joe Corroney “tabloid” variant covers for each issue of the event!

As for April, as revealed in the Nerdy Show podcast, we are to expect an Annual for the X-Files, a once-a-year event, graphic novel-style stand-alone story, that will be scripted by none other than Frank Spotnitz (XF’s Number 2) and Gabe Rotter (Carter’s assistant and now producer on Carter’s next show The After)! This is some news, more and more 1013 alumni are joining IDW’s effort! Back in 2008-2009 around the release of I Want To Believe, Spotnitz had contributed in writing 3 issues of XF comics for the 7-issue run of the XF comics for Wildstorm. Many times over, Spotnitz had hinted on his official site that there were more comics coming, but that never materialized. Specifically, it had been announced in July 2009 that “Frank is at work on another original “X-Files” comic book to be co-written by Gabe Rotter, director of development at Ten Thirteen Productions and author of the novel, “Duck Duck Wally.” Look for the book to hit the stands early next year. [2010]” So I am guessing that this 2009 story idea is what will make its way to this IDW Annual.

Reviews

There have been many reviews, in particular with Season 10 moving into different types of storytelling (monster of the month) and as it gets better circulation with the first collected volume:

Season 10 #7: The Lowdown

Hosts” Part 2 of 2 closes the story arc begun in issue #6 (Lowdown here), with a story that does much more than just wrapping what it started, builds on the original episode it is a sequel of, 2X02: The Host, in order to give a detailed origin story for one of the most iconic monsters of the series. At the expense of any actual investigation and any acknowledgement that time has passed since the Mulder and Scully we knew in 1994.

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More after the jump.

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S10 #6: The Lowdown

After the five-issue mythology “Believers” arc, Season 10 moves into stand-alone territory with the two-issue “Hosts“, in which we get the first glimpse at how Season 10 will deal with “Monster of the Month” stories, and we get to see Mulder & Scully from a different artist. This is the first issue where Chris Carter does not get a story credit: this is a solo Harris project!

Hosts, Part 1 of 2:

  • The Effective Teaser: The unsuspecting victim becomes a victim
  • Mulder & Scully move back in the basement of the FBI
  • Skinner introduces Mulder & Scully to AD Anna Morales
  • Mulder meets the Sheriff, phones Scully
  • Scully autopsies the remains of the original Flukie (including flashback), interspersed with:
  • Mulder investigates the sewers

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More after the jump.

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