Sometime in the coming weeks your imagination is going to get a new source of fuel. The human imagination is a wonderful thing. It is able to take a limited amount of information and from it create an entire universe of possibilities. In many ways, this is what comic books are: fuel for the imaginative soul. Now, thanks to a collaboration of Triple Eye Productions, Sea Lion Publishing and Garage Works Industries, fanboys every where will soon have a new wealth of imaginative power.
The Extraterrestrial Compendium is a pseudo encyclopedia, intent on chronicling all we know on extraterrestrial life. It is the brain child of Pat Lee, a comic artist whose credentials include a start at Image, a run at the now DC-incorporated Wildstorm, and a host of Marvel books, including X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and others. Most notably Lee, along with his brother, Roger, is known for founding the now defunct Dreamwave Productions. Dreamwave was famous for being a part of Image until going independent after procuring the rights to the Transformers comic franchise. Lee and his brother make up Triple Eye Productions and the Compendium represents the first of a number of projects they have planned.
The book, which will be available in both print and digital formats, features some truly stunning artwork. Lee worked with a team of digital artists to produce some beautiful renderings of each of the nearly one hundred species, and the artwork is the true star of this book. Employing both final images and sketches, each species is highlighted in its own way. Some of the images pull from sci-fi lore and resemble something out of a Star Trek convention, while others clearly pull from fantasy lore, providing extraterrestrial explanations for everything from dragons to elves. In his forward, Lee explains the thoughts behind the book.
We’re not politicians or scientists or experts in UFO exopolitics. But we have all heard and seen so much information, “real” or imagined, on extraterrestrials. As a team of artists, we wanted to try and give visual life to these fascinating beings. There are about a hundred or so extraterrestrial races “known” or believed to exist by Earth Humans. Many fall into two diametrically opposed camps – the evil Reptilians and the benevolent humanoids. There are many others with diverse biological traits – insectoids, amphibians, non-physical entities. We did research. We used our imagination. Where do these beings come from? What are the geophysical and climate conditions of their home planets? Are they supposedly peaceful or warlike? What kind of technologies might they have? We took available information and speculation and applied a good dose of artistic license to come up with the images here in the Extraterrestrial Compendium…
The species appear in alphabetical order and cover everything from humanoids a few thousand light years away, to the malevolent reptilians hundreds of light years away. Each species also gets a short informational paragraph suggesting everything from behavior and environment to Earthly events attributed to them. Written by Ray Cheng and Anton Chan, the short paragraphs are really just explanations of what the common beliefs are regarding each species. This allows them to be both informative enough to be interesting and vague enough to feed the imagination. Lee then provides a short narrative on each species, explaining the creative team’s process for devising the final images. This is especially enjoyable, as it gives insight into the artist mind.
The Extraterrestrial Compendium is the sci-fi fanboy’s ultimate coffee table book. It is both beautiful and fun to read, and will make for a great conversation starter, even among those who don’t believe. For those who are looking to get the digital version, it is available for the Kindle via Amazon, but be warned that it is a condensed version featuring only twenty of the species found in the full book. The 180 page hardcover is available for pre-order, and will also be available on my coffee table for any guests who come by.