AfterShock Comics have announced “Clans of Belari,” a sci-fi series written by brothers Rob and Peter Blackie (the creators of the TV series Frontier), with art by Daniel Maine. The book is set in the Belari system, an isolated, feudal
dystopia located in the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and will follow a young girl named Te’a, and her adoptive father “Gummy,” as they start a revolution, and unite the system’s clans against an alien threat.
In the press release, Rob Blackie said, “For a long time, we have been interested in a sci-fi story that imagines what life could be like for a human establishment on a distant planet facing similar struggles as we face on the Earth today. As soon as we travelled across the galaxy, so to speak, it opens up the fantastical and what we sometimes call ‘space magic’ of the genre. That is just exciting and fertile territory for exploring character and story.”
Peter Blackie said about writing on a comic, instead of a film/TV project, that “in a comic you can represent the internal space of characters as you might in a novel but the story telling is primarily still a visual medium. The other great thing about story
telling in comics is the vast amount of story that can exist between panels – this really maximizes the engagement of the reader so that by design the process becomes collaborative.” He added, “I am excited for it to come out so that people will have the chance to see the brilliant work that Daniel Maine has done in realizing the world and characters of the story with his beautiful drawings.”
“Clans of Belari” #1 will be released on July 7, with a retail price of $4.99. It will be available with a regular cover by Andy Clarke, and an incentive cover by Barry Kitson. Check that out, as well as the interior artwork, and the full press release, below.
Clans of Belari #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 07.07.21
Writer: Rob Blackie & Peter Blackie
Artist: Daniel Maine
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Andy Clarke w/ Jose Villarrubia
Incentive Cover: Barry Kitson
PRIMARY LAWS OF THE BELARI SYSTEM:
1.) No person or Clan may exit the system.
2.) No person or Clan may do the Designated Work of another Clan.
3.) Clans may not merge.
4.) Any person that breaks a Primary Law shall be made Outcast.
On the far side of the galaxy, an isolated branch of humanity is trapped in a feudal dystopia. Oder is maintained by a system of oppression, until an orphaned girl and her incorrigible adoptive father sow the seeds of a revolution and unite the clans against a fearsome alien threat.
From Rob Blackie and Peter Blackie (creators and writers of Netflix’s historical action-adventure series, Frontier) and artist Daniel Maine comes this vast and enthralling sci-fi adventure.
PETER BLACKIE ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE’S EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:
“The book is about an orphaned outcast girl teaming up with a crusty old pilot to take on the power structure of a feudal dystopia set in humanities future on the far side of the galaxy. I am excited for it to come out so that people will have the chance to see the brilliant work that Daniel Maine has done in realizing the world and characters of the story with his beautiful drawings.”
PETER BLACKIE ON HIS EARLIEST MEMORY OF COMIC BOOKS:
“Going as a kid to the airport comic store with my Dad in Gander Newfoundland, and 9 times out of ten going home with the latest issue of Spiderman.”
PETER BLACKIE ON HOW CREATING COMICS DIFFERS FROM OTHER MEDIUMS LIKE TV AND FILM:
“The wonderful thing about comics vs tv and film, is that in a comic you can represent the internal space of characters as you might in a novel but the story telling is primarily still a visual medium. The other great thing about story telling in comics is the vast amount of story that can exist between panels – this really maximizes the engagement of the reader so that by design the process becomes collaborative.”
PETER BLACKIE ON (3) REASONS WHY COMIC READERS SHOULD PICK UP THIS BOOK:
“1. An underdog protagonist who’s resilience and latent talents enable her to ascend to a position where she holds the future of this branch of humanity in her hands.
2. A complex and vast world where humanity has reverted to a clan based feudal dystopia where the three most coveted items for trade are ancient earth artifacts, alien technology, and yes gold ‘chiclets’.
3. A wide variety of explosions.”
ROB BLACKIE ON SOME OF THEIR INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:
“For a long time, we have been interested in a sci-fi story that imagines what life could be like for a human establishment on a distant planet facing similar struggles as we face on the Earth today. As soon as we travelled across the galaxy, so to speak, it opens up the fantastical and what we sometimes call space magic of the genre. That is just exciting and fertile territory for exploring character and story.”
ROB BLACKIE ON THEIR CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN FLUSHING OUT STORY IDEAS:
“All of our writing process borrows heavily from the design process, in particular from architecture. Peter is trained as an architect, and over a few decades, he has been educating me as to how the hierarchy of architectural design works. We talk about foundations, framing, I-beams, and building envelopes. If you were to listen in on a conversation, you might think we’re talking about an actual budding design, but it is all our metaphorical way of talking about story and story structure. We try and approach all stories with a ‘parti’ or a diagram that forms a kind of map for the creative decision making that follow. Particularly with something like Clans that borrows heavily from fantasy, and is deep into the world of science fiction, we need a set of rules by which our creatives choices can be gauged.”
ROB BLACKIE ON WHAT IT’S LIKE WORKING WITH FAMILY AND SOME OF THE MOST REWARDING PARTS OF IT:
“Working with family is incredibly rewarding. And it’s difficult, but in our case it’s difficult for all the right reasons. We really appreciate the importance of critique in any design or creative endeavor, and being brothers allows us a very high level of directness and bluntness through a critical lens without running the risk of permanent fracture. Being brother’s gives us a form of consensual, respectful disagreement that is special to the creative process.”
ROB BLACKIE ON IF THIS BOOK WAS TURNED INTO A TV OR FILM PROJECT, WHO THEY WOULD WANT TO STAR IN IT:
“This story has two protagonists – one is a older, somewhat gruff space pilot in Gummy Greely. The other is an ‘outcast’ that we meet at age 4, and see grow to 21 – where she becomes an accomplished pilot herself. In the case of Gummy, we always talked about it as though it’s important that anyone who plays him can be a little hard on the outside, but have a warm soul. And we think of him as a character that we would not be precious with – if he needs to lose teeth for the story, then we should not be shy about that. We often talked about Bruce Dern as a great point of reference. Viggo Mortensen is another wonderful possibility for Gummy. For Te’a, she is younger, and is mixed race given the time and place of the story. So on some way, we think it might be exciting for whoever plays her to be an actor the world is meeting of the first time.”