No. 185 – In Space No One Can Hear You >Vark!<

Giger’s Alien: Film Design cover image ©20th Century Fox/Titan Books Ltd., 1979, 1989

Varks, from the Judge Dredd story of the same name in prog 503 (1987), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Kevin O’Neill v Xenomorph XX121, designed by Swiss artist Hans Ruedi “H.R.” Giger (1940–2014) for Ridley Scott’s Alien (20th Century Fox, 1979)

Sigourney Bean notices some odd changes in her boys

Giger’s endoparasitoid extraterrestrial xenomorph XX121 and variations thereof have since Alien reappeared in seven other 20th Century Fox films: James Cameron’s Aliens (1986), David Fincher’s Alien³ (1992), Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection (1997), the crossover franchise AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) and AVPR: Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem (2007), and Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), with a follow-up film, rumoured to be titled Alien: Awakening, due in 2019.

“Alien Day”, April 26, has become the fan celebration date of the Alien franchise. The date derives from planetoid LV-426 on which the original xenomorph was discovered; the “426” converting to “4/26” or “April 26”. Varks, however, hail from the planet Proxima-Proxima, from the Latin meaning [approximately], “the One Close to the Close One”.

No. 165 – Spacesuits You, Monsieur!

Dave Gibbons’ one-off cover for prog 196 (1981) v spacesuit design by Jean Giraud “Moebius” (1938–2012) for Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979)

Alien co-writer [along with Ronald Shusett] Dan O’Bannon (1946–2009) was introduced during a six month stint in Paris to European artists Chris Foss, H. R. Giger, and Jean Giraud while working on Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ill-fated adaptation* of Frank Herbert’s (1920–1986) Dune (Chilton Books, 1965), and, after Jodorowsky’s project fell through, co-opted Foss, Giger and Giraud to work respectively on the spacecraft design, the now-legendary creature design, and the costume design for his upcoming Alien project**.

*Frank Pavich’s fascinating feature-length documentary of what might have been, Jodorowsky’s Dune (Sony Pictures Classics, 2013), relating Jodorowsky’s ultimately doomed efforts to bring Dune to the silver screen, is well worth a watch, not least for Jodorowski’s audacious casting wish-list, all of whom he managed to sign up to the project
**Although cartoonist and concept artist Ron Cobb is largely credited with the finalisation of the human elements of the film

No. 107 – Alien, Spawn?

Alien/H.R. Giger image ©20th Century Fox

Raptaur from Judge Dredd Mega-Special 1995 by Dean Ormston vs Alien (20th Century Fox,1979) Xenomorph designed H.R. Giger (1940–2014)

… xenomorph, Spawn, Venom… take your pick

Famed Swiss artist Giger suffered from night terrors and rather industriously [Swiss!] kept a sketch pad beside his bed.

More Raptaur here