Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before

Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before

In 1979, designer John White was 11 years old and had never seen Ridley Scott's Alien. Still, that didn't stop him from writing his own comic book adaptation of the film using markers and notebook paper. Explains White — who has also released his nine-year-old self's take on Star Wars — of his reference material:

This movie adaptation made at the time that ALIEN hit theatres around the world but long before the underage artist had actually seen the film itself. That wouldn't happen for 3 or 4 more years [...] it was done with nothing but an Alan Dean Foster novelisation with its few colour glossy photos as a visual reference, and a satire by Cracked Magazine that came out much later.

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For example, that quippy scene at top was cribbed wholesale from the Cracked adaptation. White's been posting pages from his completed comic over the last month or so, but my favorite illustrations are his early drafts that were informed solely by a quick glance at his uncle's H.R. Giger Alien design book. Here are some of the choicest bits:

Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before

The Cygon? Sounds suspiciously like CYLON to me. I used to watch Battlestar Galactica in the absence of Star Wars out of sheer desperation [...] I took ALIEN to be the usual Sci-fi fare with lasers and baddies shooting it out with one another. I'm thinking that Flagen (rolls eyes again) was a word I picked up during Northern Irish visits where people would be talking about drinking Flagons of cider and Nagons of whiskey.

Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before

They land on Planet Alien and when attacked by the face crusher exclaim, "Help! It's Alien!" A bit like my parents asking oh, is that JAWS? Is that the bit when JAWS attacks the swimmer?

Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before

This strip taps into that parental warning to never eat anything that's fallen on the floor.

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Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before
Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before
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Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before
Illustration for article titled Alien, as written by an 11-year-old who never saw the movie before
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You can check out White's website Alien: Age 11 for regular updates. [Via Metafilter]

DISCUSSION

TriumphRacer
TriumphRacer

I was 10 when Alien was in theaters. I loved 50's and 60's Sci-Fi movies at the time (still do) and one of our local stations showed one of these gems at 1pm every Sunday afternoon. I looked forward to it all week.

My parents and older brother were planning on seeing Alien and I begged to go too. They knew I loved Sci-Fi movies, but were hesitant to take me. After much begging and pleading, they relented and allowed me to see it. They knew little more about it than I did, but they'd heard it was pretty intense. I didn't care, I'd seen every Sci-Fi movie ever made (as far as I knew) and I was sure this would be no different than any other scary movie out there.

It was a limited engagement at the UA150 in Seattle. We had to stand in line for quite a while and were near one of the exits when the previous showing let out. My brother noticed how quiet and stunned everyone looked that were shuffling out of the exit. He mentioned this to the rest of us. My parents asked me if I was really sure I wanted to see it. Of course I was sure. There's never been a Sci-Fi movie made that I couldn't watch. I'd seen Star Wars about a Jillion times at that point and there was no way I was going to miss out on Alien. I could handle anything.

I. Was. So. Very. Wrong.

It was terrifying. I was fine until the Facehugger made its appearance. That was the scariest thing I'd ever seen. I actually thought the movie was about over during the dinner scene. Then came the Chestburster, which became the new scariest thing I'd ever seen. I was close to wetting myself when the adult Alien started eating the crew. Then that became the scariest thing I'd ever half seen. Half seen, because I spent much of the rest of the movie with my hands over my eyes. I only seemed to look when it jumped out and attacked someone.

I spent the next several months sleeping with my head under the covers.

And you know what? Alien is still the scariest movie I've ever seen. I've seen it many times since then and it still gives me the sweats. But I love it.

It's also the best Sci-Fi movie I've ever seen.