One of the true icons of science fiction literature is the trippy time-traveling novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five, with its reluctant protagonist Billy Pilgrim bouncing across the space-time continuum in a series of strange and enlightening encounters after becoming "unstuck in time" as a prisoner of war during World War II.
Now Boom! Studios' Archaia imprint is releasing a fresh graphic novel adaptation of this seminal American masterpiece courtesy of Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!) — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive new look at its interior artwork and the bizarre intergalactic species, the Tralfamadorians.
First published back in 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War, the farcical novel's potent anti-war message, dark absurdist humor, and acute observations of human nature still resonate in today's digital age more than ever.
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five arrives on September 9 and will be a faithful representation of the literary classic, transformed in a comic book format for the very first time.
"The joy of the Tralfamadorians is how completely strange they are," writer Ryan North tells SYFY WIRE. "In prose you can almost forget that these aliens have this ridiculous toilet-plunger-on-a-hand shape, but in comics you're being constantly reminded of it, and I really loved the profundity of what the Tralfamadorians were saying being in constant visual contrast to their bodies. And of course, figuring out how to represent the way they see the universe in a visual way was a lot of fun."
Artist Albert Monteys found the Tralfamadorians to be one of the craziest elements of Slaughterhouse-Five.
"At first I struggled to give them an air of believability, trying to make them more organic and 'alien-looking,' until I reminded myself that Vonnegut made them purposely ridiculous, and that helped me go all cartoony with them," he explains to SYFY WIRE. "I really, really enjoyed illustrating the double spread where we try to put into images the Tralfamadorian novel that Billy is given to read. Ryan asked me to come up with some truly alien moments that, at the same time, had something familiar to the reader. I don’t know how much I succeeded, but I’ll never draw a 'story' like that again, that’s for sure!"
Check out our exclusive seven-page spread for Boom! Studios' Slaughterhouse-Five and meet the oddball aliens from Tralfamadore in the full gallery below!