We have been very familiar with Liezl Buenaventura and her artwork and coloring, but now we were introduced to Liezl the writer and it is a role that she is excelling in. We really enjoyed “They Fell from the Sky” and we just wanted to learn a bit more about how it all came about.
BSCKids: So tell us a bit about your project “They Fell from the Sky”? and how you got involved?
Liezl Buenaventura: “They Fell From The Sky” is a mini-series about a twelve-year-old boy named Tommy who meets an alien who crash lands on earth. It’s an adventure story at its heart, with a good measure of aliens, blaster fights, and kids beating the odds.
I got involved with the project because I was one of the winners of the 2019 Mad Cave Studios Talent Search, and my prize was to write one of the upcoming mini-series that the studio was developing.
How did the story come to you? Were you involved at the very beginning and how did you come up with the overall story.
The conception of the story came in the form of a one-page brief assigned to me by Mad Cave. They wanted to see certain elements — like it had to be about a twelve-year-old boy named Tommy who meets an alien named Orion, it had to be set in Boonville, etc.– but they gave me free reign to explore the rest.
The first and most important creative decision I made was working out if Orion was friend or foe. There are some incredibly fun sci-fi stories with kids saving the world from critters run amok, and I did consider going in that direction, but ultimately I really wanted to tell a story about friendship.
Plenty of reviews have mentioned that TFFTS reminds them of classic kid’s adventures like E.T. and Goonies, and those were definitely very strong influences. I created the characters of BT and Dylan because I wanted to juxtapose Tommy’s relationships with his old friends versus his new friendship with Orion, and how they all mix together.
So you are the writer in this project but we know you do all different roles, how was it keeping to the writing role? Were you involved in any of the artwork at all?
It was very exciting to be wearing my writer’s hat for this project, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. Writing the scripts and then seeing my words spring to life with Xavier’s artistic talents was really a magical experience.
We had an editor who wrangled all of the different pieces together, and I focused on the writing.
What character was your favorite to write for?
Tommy was the most fun to write for, as I modeled a little bit of him after my son and a little bit after me (when I was that age!). I wanted to write a character with a lot of heart and a strong moral center, but at the same time he needed to be vulnerable and human. It’s a delicate balance, to be sure!
Which character do you feel like you had the most in common and relate with?
Probably Tommy’s mom, haha! I try my best to be a peacemaker in my day-to-day, especially when my son and my husband butt heads!
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I enjoy playing long RPGs! My favorite series used to be Dragon Age, but then I tried out Divinity: Original Sin and I really enjoyed that. It’s been a really long time since I had time to play anything, though, but if I ever get a long break again, I’m looking forward to playing Cyberpunk 2077!
In your own words, why should everyone read “They Fell From The Sky”?
Kids should pick it up because it’s a fun, sci-fi adventure with cool characters and awesome action. There’s definitely something in it for adults as well, though, and I think it’s a great read for both parents and kids.
Where are we able to purchase the upcoming compilation of the story?
You can pick up the collected edition directly from Mad Cave’s online store:
Digital readers can also find the series over at Comixology:
Anything else you have coming up project wise that you can tell us about?
Absolutely! I’m the colorist for the series “This Land” (published by ArohaComics.com), and issue #3 is coming out in August/September. I’m also the colorist for the series “Dragons By The Yard” (published by KymeraPress.com), and issue 6 is currently in the works and slated for release sometime this year. Both series are kid-friendly and made by really awesome people, and I hope everyone can check them out!
Thanks to Liezl for taking the time out to speak with us and make sure you check out They Fell From The Sky