Home Blog Interview Inspired by “Star Wars,” Comic Book Writer Christian Tropeano Shares Insights on His Title “Beyond the Beyond”
Inspired by “Star Wars,” Comic Book Writer Christian Tropeano Shares Insights on His Title “Beyond the Beyond”

Inspired by “Star Wars,” Comic Book Writer Christian Tropeano Shares Insights on His Title “Beyond the Beyond”

Comic Book Writer Christian Tropeano reached out to me after he created a listing for his indie comic book, “Beyond the Beyond.” I was able to read his book — which he created with artist Gian Fernando, colors by Beyond Colorlab and Ralf Singh, letters by Joel Rodriguez, and edits from Andrea Lorenzo Molinari — and was really impressed.

Everything was just so professional looking and the story was top-notch. I was really surprised to learn that this was Tropeano’s first major comic book project. He answered a bunch of questions both about “Beyond the Beyond,” and Scout Comics, who published Tropeano’s series — and they also are working with indie comics superstar J.K. Woodward.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Tell us about yourself

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
I’m 23 years old and based in New Jersey. I’ve been writing since the third grade, and if I didn’t grow up obsessed with “Star Wars,” it’s likely I wouldn’t even be a writer, let alone in the sci-fi genre.

The covers of the four issues for “Beyond the Beyond” from Scout Comics.
The covers of the four issues for “Beyond the Beyond” from Scout Comics.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Tell us about how you got into comics.

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
The first comic I remember getting into was “Calvin and Hobbes,” which was around elementary school time. Those comics served as a comfort read when I got home from school. During my teenage years I got into the more ‘serious’ comics literature, like the work of Alan Moore and Garth Ennis. It’s probably a cliche to say this, but “Watchmen” was a major inspiration that encouraged me to write in the comics medium.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
As a writer, why did you choose comics for your stories?

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
“Beyond the Beyond” was initially written as a screenplay, but the story was so incredibly visual that I just had to see it brought to life as a comic. I really believe science fiction tales are served best if the story exists in a visual format. I also want to shout out the comic’s line artist, Gian Fernando. Even though Gian is based all the way in the Philippines, he has this way of reading my mind and bringing my ideas to life in ways I didn’t think was possible.

In Christian Tropeano’s vision of the future, evil robots are everywhere.
In Christian Tropeano’s vision of the future, evil robots are everywhere.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Give us a little synopsis of your title, “Beyond the Beyond.”

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
“Beyond the Beyond” follows Nova Vega, who was orphaned after her legendary space explorer parents vanished on a mission to find the next Earth. Since then, she’s grown up on a mining colony ruled by Omni, which is this all seeing, all powerful robotics corporation. Nova hates living under Omni’s rule, and just wants to explore the universe like her parents before her. However, she’s constantly butting heads with her older brother and guardian, Sirius, who fully conforms to Omni and just wants to keep Nova safe. When an argument between the siblings goes too far, Nova runs away from home and sets out to explore the alien world from where her parents never returned.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Your story is both really exciting and a different view of the future. Tell us how you came up with this world where your characters live…

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
I began the first draft of this story when I was 16, so the dystopian world of Omni served as a metaphor for the isolation I felt at the time. In all the years I’ve been working on this story, I’ve noticed that modern society is morphing into a cold technocracy, where people don’t really know how to communicate with one another, and are unfulfilled with their day to day existence.

However, the Misty Planet, the alien world of the story, serves as Nova’s ideal world to escape to. I think everyone in life has a Misty Planet; the place that one wants to go to where they can live as their true selves.

“Beyond the Beyond” features a villain in Omni’s Sergey Page, who is partially modeled after Elon Musk.
“Beyond the Beyond” features a villain in Omni’s Sergey Page, who is partially modeled after Elon Musk.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Your villain reminds me of a bunch of people who live in real life. “Beyond the Beyond” is an adventure, and full of science fiction action, but is it also a warning about technology (and those who control it)?

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
Technology is just a tool, and humans can either use it for good or evil. Omni’s CEO Sergey Page was created as a representation of the logical conclusion of where individuals like Musk and Bezos are headed. They won’t stop until they have total power and control. But if technology can be democratized, every individual will be empowered and have more agency over their lives, instead of just a powerful few. I think the space explorers in “Beyond the Beyond” represent this more romantic alternative of where technology can take us.

Solar sails have been featured in science fiction, most notably on “Star Trek,” but they’ve never looked like this.
Solar sails have been featured in science fiction, most notably on “Star Trek,” but they’ve never looked like this.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Tell us how you got “Beyond the Beyond” published by Scout? They are a well-known comics publisher — while you’re a new guy on the scene.

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
I had applied to every comics publisher known to man, but Scout was the only one who gave me a shot. This is something I’ll forever be appreciative of. Scout is one of the few publishers who champion new voices, and I think this is crucial if we want the comics medium to grow.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
How can folks get their own copy of the “Beyond the Beyond” saga?

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
All four issues of “Beyond the Beyond” are available on the Scout Comics webstore, but you also have the option of ordering them to your LCS.

INDIE COMICS ZONE:
Tell us what is next for you…

CHRISTIAN TROPEANO:
I’ve been drafting the sequel to “Beyond the Beyond,” and I’m confident that we’ll be able to go toe to toe with “Empire Strikes Back” when it’s all said and done. We’ll likely have a Kickstarter for it in the near future, so feel free to follow me on Twitter, for more details. Also, I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the comic, so feel free to tweet at me. There’s nothing I love more than chatting about the book with readers.

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