Sea of Stars is a new Image Comics sci-fi series that hits shelves July 3 from writing tandem of Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards) and Dennis Hallum (Cloak & Dagger) along with artist Stephen Green (Hellboy and the BPRD) that weaves two different deep-space adventures into a unified narrative that draws on Jack Kirby, Pixar, Miyazaki and The Neverending Story. Today, below, an exclusive first-look at the artwork from the series.
While it’s plenty common for writing partnerships to end in creative differences but how often do they start with them? The hybrid nature of Sea of Stars is a testament to the inability of its co-creators to see eye-to-eye about any major aspect of the project. As co-writer Hallum explains: “Jason and I talked about co-writing a story for years, but our sensibilities are so different it never clicked. He had an adventure story about a little boy swimming through the stars. I wanted to turn it into an ice-truck driver who’s kid goes missing in the arctic. Our brains just wouldn’t line up.”
The only common ground that the writers seemed to share was an urgent enthusiasm to work with artist Stephen Green (a “southern-fried genius” as Hallum puts it). To overcome their differences the writers decided to…stubbornly stick with their differences?
“Instead of compromising,” Hallum explained, “we decided Stephen could pull off both stories at the same time. Sea of Stars is the strange stew the three of us cooked-up with all those disparate ingredients. Equal parts Jack Kirby, Finding Nemo, and The Road — in space. Jason’s half is a bright-eyed kid’s cosmic adventure. My half is his father’s science fiction nightmare. It’s the biggest, weirdest and coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”
Aaron added: “This is a story about a father and son who get separated. In the wildest reaches of outer space. And from there, it becomes very important that this series has two writers. Because Dennis and I are basically doing two radically different perspectives on the same sort of deep space journey. While the kid finds himself suddenly gifted with a wondrous power that allows him to joyfully swim his way through the stars alongside some talking space animals, the dad is alone and fighting for his life every step of the way against the most dangerous and inhospitable environment imaginable. And then there’s the matter of the giant space monster that seems to have a strange interest in both father and son.”
A preview of Sea of Stars issue No. 1 from Image Comics…