Launching Saucer Country

Today Saucer Country #1 will be in your comic shops, and from 6pm or so in your digital comic shops too.  I've always wanted to work for Vertigo, DC's mature readers imprint, and I've been thinking about the concepts behind this series since I was eight.  The simplest way of saying it is 'The X-Files meets The West Wing', but there's a lot more to it than that.  It's about the Governor of New Mexico, Arcadia Alverado, who, when she's about to announce her run for President, gets 'abducted by aliens'.  Those inverted commas are very important to us, because she doesn't quite know what's happened and neither do the audience.  She tells only her closest inner circle: she now feels even more strongly that she has to win high office, if only to be in a position to find out the truth.  But the nature of that truth is what we're about, with a series that delves into all the myriad, beautiful, self-contradictory facets of UFO mythology.

The art is by the incredibly talented Ryan Kelly, who can do both the passionate argument of the politics and is scaring the living daylights out of me with his aliens, and we're lucky to have colourist Giulia Brusco onboard, adding a whole extra level to what we're doing.

The three of us have done a Director's Commentary on the first issue for the Forbidden Planet blog, which shows off Ryan's thumbnail sketches, how he takes a page through from sketch to inks, and how Giulia colours the finished pages.  It's a great insight into the process.

An insight into my own process concerning the origins of the title can be found in the column of our wonderful editor, Will Dennis, where he presents my original pitch document, which shows just how far a title goes between first idea and finished product.

You can hear me talking to iFanboy about the title on their Don't Miss Podcast here.

And I've been talking about Saucer Country to Bryan Young of the Huffington Post, and MTV Geek.

And if you want an advance review, there's a rather pleasing one here.

So, how do you get Saucer Country if you don't live near a comic shop?  The easiest way, if you're a Mac or iPad owner, is to download the free Vertigo Comics app from the iTunes App Store, and then search for the title from teatime tonight.

Or if you've got an Android device, then their free DC app is what you should download and search through.

Or, from the same time this evening, if you want to read on your PC or Kindle Fire, you could search the Vertigo Store on Comixology.

I'll do a specific blog of such links when they're up, and will make the cover of the current issue, on the right margin, into a one-click link to a download.

At any rate, if you do buy Saucer Country today, in physical or digital format, I hope you enjoy it, and please let me know what you think.

Also out today, of course, is Demon Knights #7, the conclusion of our first epic fantasy arc, another satisfying landmark for me.  If you're in the store anyway... ahem.  Cheerio!

8 Response to "Launching Saucer Country"

  • Gaspode Says:

    Really Really looking forward to this. Roll on 6pm.

    The DC and Vertigo apps (and IDW, Marvel etc etc) are all just branded limited portals to comixology anyway.

    Best way on any smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac is just use the full comixology app/web page. They have a full buy once read everywhere policy - so buy with your web browser and read on phone/pc/tablet. Simples and Legal.

    No - I don't work for them I just love the convenience of day 1 comics on my pad.

  • Annie Bulloch Says:

    I co-own a comic shop in Houston, and Saucer Country was one of our recommended books this week. Demon Knights made the honorable mentions; this week was STUFFED with worthwhile reads, which is always a good problem to have.

  • Teresa Says:

    Hello Paul!

    As you saw on Twitter, I got my copy of Saucer Country at midnight in L.A. You have Brian K. Vaughan to thank for that. :) But you also know I've been very much looking forward to this for reasons both personal and fan-girl squeeish.

    First, I'm so glad this title even exists. As I'm sure I've mentioned to you, both with regard to this book and even with Faiza, even though Faiza and I don't share anything culturally, simply seeing a brown woman in a comic is so important. It makes me feel like I'm a part of the world, and that I matter. So, thank you for that.

    However, Arcadia and I don't share a culture either. And that was something that occurred to me that I wanted to share as I was reading issue #1. Being Hispanic in the US is confusing as hell for me, because I'm Puerto Rican. First, I'm "nuyorican" (New Yorker of PR descent), so to many native Puerto Ricans, I don't even COUNT. :) Second, Puerto Rico is technically PART of the US. Puerto Ricans are citizens, use dollars, have passports, and serve in the military. However, they speak Spanish, don't vote for President, and have their own independent government. It's a bit schizophrenic. :)

    Watching Arcadia deal with the "alien," both in terms of her possible alien abduction, and in terms of the politics of immigration reform is strange to me. So often, "immigration" is framed as a blanket "Hispanic" issue...but "Hispanic" or "Latino/a" is a false group to begin with. Because we're all from different countries. And "immigration" means something different to Mexicans than it does to Cubans than it does to Puerto Ricans. Yet we're all expected to be lumped together, because we all speak Spanish. I do wonder if you had it in mind for Arcadia to address that at all. Because that's something that would face any Hispanic ANYTHING. How do you speak for "Hispanics" or "Latinos" and take on that label, when the group itself isn't a real group and is only forced to be one to have power as a voting bloc? Something to consider.

    I'm SO glad that Arcadia didn't take that Republican adviser's advice about Michael. OH MY GOD, that strategy nearly made me want to throw up, and all I was thinking was *pleasedontdoit, pleasedontdoit." Hire Chloe, yes. By all means. But don't do THAT.

    There's also the term "illegal alien," which many Latinos don't think should be used and find offensive. Use of the term "undocumented workers" is preferred in some circles. I hope that will be part of your exploration.

    What I love most about this first issue is that Arcadia is COMPLICATED. She's not the idealization of what a Latina in office would be, and she's not a stereotype. At first, I balked at the fact that she was divorced (why not show a happy Latino marriage?), but that fell away after a while. Latinos have problems just like everyone else, and it's not up to Arcadia to be a "role model" in certain respects. I see that as being part of the point. To me, it's more important to see a multi-faceted Latina character than to see a perfect one or a demonized one.

    So, yes. I really enjoyed issue #1. It gave me so much to think about. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. Also, I've been a fan of Ryan Kelly's art since The New York Four. At first, it was strange seeing his work colored - I love his stuff in black and white, and the color threw me for a loop at first. But having Arcadia be dark is SO important that, despite preferring Ryan's pencils in B&W, I will accept them in color, because of what that means for representation.

    Sorry for babbling. :) But I really do love that a comic like this exists, and I'm so happy that it's you doing it, because you're one of the people whose work I love because you genuinely seem to "get it." :) Thank you.

  • Muccamukk Says:

    Haven't commented on comics in a while, but wanted to drop in to say I'm really enjoying Ex's storyline in Demon Knights, as well as Vandal Savage's characterisation.

    I'm intrigued by the first issue of Saucer Country, and will definitely keep reading. I like how well you've laid out the characters. It seems like enough to get a feel for who they are, but lots of room to expand on them. And I'm really loving the art/colouring. Latina characters get race lifted so often, it's nice to see Arcadia looking authentically not white.

    Miss you on Stromwatch.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks for that useful guidance, Gaspode. Annie: thanks, glad to hear it. Ter: that's excellent material, and I may well use it. Arcadia, on the campaign trail, will sometimes have to try to be all things to all people. I'm glad I got those big reactions from you. And thanks very much, I hope to continue in that direction. Muc: thanks very much.

  • Teresa Says:

    You're welcome! :) Something else I thought of. I used the terms "Latino/a" and "Hispanic" interchangeably, and do so all the time. But "Hispanic" is considered offensive by some. Dunno if you knew that. Pretty much because 1) Hispanic originally applied more to people in the US from Spain, then became a blanket term for anyone Spanish-speaking in the US. Technically it's the only term that's correct to encompass both. Latino/a only applies to people from Latin America. 2) Because of this, some think "Hispanic" lacks the cultural resonance of Latino and find it offensive, because it's the label of an "Anglo establishment" that's out of touch with the Spanish-speaking community who would use a blanket word like that.

    Or something.

    Personally, I could care less. :) I only bring it up because I'VE been "corrected" by other Latinos/Hispanics, and if Arcadia's running for President, SOME crazy is gonna nitpick!

    I hope you don't think I'm trying to write your comic for you! :) Just trying to express some stuff that, culturally, might come up for someone like Arcadia. I'll go away now!

  • govikes Says:


    Really enjoyed Demon Knights #7 (laughed at Vandal but I felt a sad at the end though)and I am looking forward to the Merlin arc. I picked up Saucer County and I will continue with it as a replacement for Northlanders which ends soon.

    Great work as always. Thanks.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Ter: that's all valuable stuff. Please do keep on sending me notes like that. Gov: thanks very much!