Author Andrew Gaska is best known for his books ‘Space:1999: Aftershock and Awe’, and ‘Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes’. Thankfully, sci-fi shaped his childhood and readers are lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy his work. Gaska describes himself as having a hard outer adult shell with a warm gooey nugget of inner child within.
Q. How were you introduced to the ‘Space:1999’ television show?
A. When I was growing up, science fiction dominated my childhood. This of course was largely due to a little film called Star Wars (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) being released when I was five years old, but also was due to an influx of sci fi at the time, including ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Buck Rogers’, and especially shows like ‘Twilight Zone’ and the original ‘Star Trek’. My father was a police officer who worked the evening shift. During the summer, I would stay up to watch TV with him when he got home. My dad enjoyed watching ‘Twilight Zone’ and classic ‘Star Trek’. After Trek (if I was still awake), they would run another science fiction show called ‘Space: 1999’. I have many memories from that time of falling asleep only to be awoken by the sound of Maya’s transformation into some bizarre monster, dog, or bird.
Q. I met you briefly at the ‘Space:1999’ convention in Austin, TX and, like other ‘Space:1999’ fans, I was amazed by the artwork you showed. What inspired you to write and art direct ‘Space: 1999- Aftershock and Awe’?
A. As an adult, ironically in the year 1999, I discovered John Kenneth Muir’s reference book ‘Exploring Space: 1999’, and was immediately absorbed back into the show’s mythos. I could see that the show had an amazing potential that was never fully realized. I started to track down copies of episodes, and started to envision what kind of overall story arc would be needed to connect each episodes narrative into a cohesive whole, as well as bring the series to a logical and satisfying conclusion. In the mid 2000’s, when my guerilla transmedia studio, BLAM! Ventures, was first forming, I decided to pursue some beloved childhood licenses to create a variety of media tie-in products for. It was extremely difficult to convince license holder, ITV, to move forward with media tie-ins for a series that had not had much of any product in the past thirty years. Persistence in the end won out, and eventually ITV greenlit the project. I insured that I maintained creative control over the project, and that 1999 would make its comeback in the hands of someone devoted to the integrity of the show. In regards to Aftershock and Awe itself, one of the things that always stood out to me was that in ‘Breakaway’, the moon is forcibly thrown out of Earth’s orbit, yet we are never shown the cataclysmic disaster that would have occurred with such a dramatic event. Thinking about that was the genesis of Aftershock. The Awe portion of the graphic novel came about from wanting to introduce new fans to the original story of the pilot episode, so that the Aftershock portion would make sense to them, and at the same time expand that pilot script to include parts that were cut from the final released episode-- as well as creating new connecting tissue to unify season 1 and 2 with the events that transpire in the pilot.
Part two continued