RICH INTERVIEWS: Liezl Buenaventura Writer for They Fell From the Sky
First Comics News: What about writing attracts you to it?
Liezl Buenaventura: I was a very imaginative kid, and I always enjoyed making up stories for my dolls and action figures. Writing was a natural next step from that, and short story writing has been a favorite pastime since I was very young. In the past decade, my career has been more focused on the visual arts, but during the past couple of years, I’ve been rediscovering my love for writing. I joined the Mad Cave Talent Search in 2019 and I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the winners, and that’s how TFFTS came to be.
1st: What is the story in “They Fell From the Sky”?
Liezl: The series, at its heart, is about friendship. Tommy, our young protagonist, happens upon an injured alien, Orion, and decides to help him and take him in. Mad Cave has likened it to E.T. for this generation, and I loved that comparison. I have a lot of fond memories of E.T., and I hope that readers find TFFTS a worthy entry into that genre.
1st: What type of reader will enjoy this comic the most?
Liezl: It’s an All Ages book, and I think it’s a great first comic for kids of the appropriate reading level. I’d say kids in the 8-12-year-old age group would have the most fun with it!
1st: Who is Tommy and what is he like?
Liezl: Tommy is a 12-year-old boy who lives on a farm in Boonville. He’s a bit of a geek, has a couple of really good friends, and he wants to grow up and be anywhere BUT on his parents’ farm. I based his personality on an amalgamation of my own experiences growing up as well as on my own son, who is six years old and absolutely precocious but is also the light of my life.
1st: Will Tommy’s young friends figure into the story much?
Liezl: Yes! BT and Dylan are both in the series to the end, and their solid friendship with Tommy serves as a parallel to his growing friendship with Orion.
1st: What can you tell us about what actually fell from the sky?
Liezl: Ha! Well, I can say that the cover is a big clue!
1st: Will Tommy grow as a person as this series goes on?
Liezl: Absolutely. I can’t say much without spoiling his arc, but I will say that he’s a good kid with a good heart, and he learns how to reconcile his own wants with his unique circumstances.
1st: Where does your inspiration come from?
Liezl: I was born in the early eighties, so I have a lot of fond memories of movies like “E.T.”, “The Goonies”, “Stand By Me”, etc. I thought “Stranger Things” was a really fun, modern take on that genre, and I was interested in exploring similar themes, albeit with my own voice.
1st: What did you like about working on “Widow’s Web”?
Liezl: “Widow’s Web” was a mini-series I colored shortly after I completed “No Tomorrow” for Zenescope Entertainment. Raven Gregory, the writer of “No Tomorrow”, had seen my work on it and subsequently invited me to work with him on his independent, creator-owned project “Widow’s Web”. He co-wrote the series with Autumn Ivy, and I’d say that the best part of working on WW was getting to work with Raven and Autumn. They’re both really nice people who enjoy collaboration, and I learned a lot about writing just from reading their scripts.
1st: Which job has helped you grow the most as a writer?
Liezl: I’m honestly just starting out as a professional writer, so pretty much every bit of writing I’ve done in the last couple of years have taught me a lot! I wrote and drew a short comic for Renegade Arts Entertainment’s “Gothic Tales of Haunted Futures” anthology last year, and I learned a lot about keeping pages tight but still comprehensible from our editor, S.M. Beiko. My editor on TFFTS, Chris Sanchez, also gave valuable input on how to wrangle my plots and sub-plots, keep my page count manageable, and how to keep my 5-issue-long arc cohesive.
1st: When you color a comic page what is the hardest part to get just right?
Liezl: I think that capturing the right mood is essential to storytelling via the use of color. This can be achieved via many different techniques, whether through shadow work, color tinting, or even texturing, and I think the challenging part is to know when to go in versus when to hold back. I always try my best to adjust my style to what will serve the storytelling best, (to varying degrees of success, haha!), but that thought is always paramount.
1st: Do you have any other projects you’re working on or will be?
Liezl: In terms of coloring, I have a few projects that should be coming out soon: the latest issues of “Ivory Ghosts” and “Dragons by the Yard” (Kymera Press), “Amputation Capital” (new, upcoming mini-series by TPub Comics), and “Fairtaylia” (new, upcoming mini-series by 215Ink). A lot of release schedules got pushed back because of COVID, but those are what should be out soon(ish). In terms of writing, I have another sci-fi project in development; I’ll talk more about it when I can, but that’s all I’ll say about it for now!
1st: Would you like to meet a real alien from another planet?
Liezl: Haha, that’s a tough one! I think I like the idea of aliens far more than the possible reality of them. I’d say absolutely yes if they’re benevolent, but probably not if they’re hostile!
1st: What would you like to say to anyone who picks up “They Fell From the Sky”?
Liezl: I really hope you enjoy reading the series as much as I enjoyed writing it!https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/rich-interviews-liezl-buenaventura-writer-for-they-fell-from-the-sky/https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Mad-Cave-Studio-logo-600x257.pnghttps://www.firstcomicsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Mad-Cave-Studio-logo-150x64.pngInterviewsRich Interviews