Alien: The Illustrated Story was a graphic novel adaptation of Ridley Scott's film published by Heavy Metal in 1979. Based on the original screenplay by Dan O'Bannon, the adaptation was scripted and illustrated by Archie Goodwin and Walter Simonson. It was edited by Charles Lippincott.
The next Alien-franchise-related comic book to be published would be 1988's Aliens based on James Cameron's sequel, by recently formed Dark Horse Comics. It would go on to spawn an entire line of Aliens comics by Dark Horse that continues till the present.
The graphic novel artistically follows exactly the plot and visuals of the feature film, including graphic representations of a few deleted scenes, as well.
Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]
Extremely critically acclaimed, the adaptation was created by comics legends Goodwin and Simonson for equally acclaimed Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal was the publishing company of Heavy Metal Magazine, which had been started in 1974 as an American version of the French science fiction/fantasy/erotica magazine Metal Hurlant.
Note that this adaptation was prior to Dark Horse Comics acquiring the license to produce Aliens comics after the release of Aliens in 1986. Indeed Alien: The Illustrated Story predates the existence of Dark Horse Comics itself.
Goodwin is also well known for being a former editor at Marvel Comics and long-time Star Wars comics writer/editor in comic book, daily strip, and movie adaptation forms. Simonson also worked on Marvel's Star Wars Comics, but would become renowned for his work on Marvel's Thor. His future wife, Louise Jones, also served as an editor on Marvel's Star Wars, on which the two worked together for a time.