CE Community Members Lela Gwenn and Paul Allor Discuss “Strange Nation” Collection!

Strange-Nation-198x300CE alum Paul Allor’s series Strange Nation will soon be collected in print by IDW! In an interview at the Women Write About Comics site, Creators Workshop member Lela Gwenn interviews Paul about the series and upcoming collection.

Plus – their conversation spontaneously leads to the creation of an exclusive bonus page!

Strange Nation follows a promising journalist whose career is derailed when she makes some unexpected discoveries about aliens, sasquatches, conspiracy theories and more! It features art by Juan Romera, and has been published in monthly installments on ComiXology by Monkeybrain Comics.

Now, a collected print edition is set to go on sale in August from IDW Publishing. The collection is solicited in the current issue of Diamond PREVIEWS, in print and online.

In their interview, Paul and Lela discuss the rise of Paul’s comic-writing career, his thoughts about the Strange Nation plot and cast, and other behind-the-scenes tidbits.

And when Lela questions a plot point about the main character’s martial arts training, Paul responds – by providing a new, fourth-wall-breaking explanation from the characters themselves!

Here’s the story on how that page came to pass.


I was a student of Ed Parker’s American Kenpo for many years – and since Elvis is one of the most famous students of Ed Parker’s, and one thing I was taught over and over again was “Kick them in the head… AFTER you knock them on the ground” – I thought it would be a funny question.

Paul sending the re-lettered page was a huge bonus.


Most of this interview was actually conducted a while back. At the time I just gave the flippant, dismissive answer that you see in the text of the interview. But the question stayed with me, and caused an internal debate very similar to the one Norma and Jesse have on that page. So when Lela asked if I had any sample pages, I thought this would be a fun way to give “the rest” of my answer. And that page — with its heavy use of talking heads, and artist Juan Romera’s fantastic facial expressions and body language, totally lent itself to that kind of reinterpretation.

And as a super-awesome bonus, it let me get in that “a little less conversation”/”you’re better than that” dialogue, which was actually in an early draft of Strange Nation #1, but got cut while rewriting. “Kill your darlings, but then resurrect them in a gag page four years later.”

The interview, along with four preview pages and the exclusive bonus page, is available here!

The Strange Nation collection can be pre-ordered from comic retailers using Diamond order code JUN150481. It will be available in comic stores everywhere on August 26, 2015.

Thanks to Lela and Paul for sharing the interview, and congrats to the Strange Nation team!

If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole Boose