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 Home > Wizard > Features
MINGLING SPECIES: BERNIE HOU Q&A
‘Alien Loves Predator’ creator puts two famous movie creatures in one NYC apartment and finds webcomic success

By Robert Taylor

Posted July 10, 2006  3:30 PM

After checking out Bernie Hou's webcomic, Alien Loves Predator, you might expect the guy to be off in a basement somewhere, feverishly contorting his action figures into the perfect poses for the newest edition of his comic strip. But he’s not.

He’s trying desperately to get his one-year-old twins to let daddy do this interview.

WIZARD: When and why did you start ALP?

HOU: I started it back in the fall of 2004, so almost two years ago now. I was always an animation artist; I'd gone to grad school for animation, but I'd gotten away from that, working as an Internet developer for a bunch of years. I finally quit and tried to get back into animation, starting from the ground floor with an internship at a studio in New York. But instead of giving me animation work, they made me get coffee for people. I decided that wasn’t cutting it, so I had to go back to getting a job that paid. In the meantime, I was itching to get some creative release on the side, and that’s why I started the comic strip.

For anyone unfamiliar with the comic, what’s it about?

HOU: It’s about an Alien named Abe and a Predator named Preston, who, instead of being at each other’s throats in interstellar battle, are actually buddies living in an apartment in Manhattan. Instead of bursting gruesomely through anyone's chest, Abe's main concern is mostly getting to second base.
 
You’ve stuck with it for two years, what’s kept it fresh for so long?

HOU: Who said it's fresh? I've pretty much been phoning it in since the second month. [Laughs]

Have the characters begun to write themselves and not feel like your creations anymore?

HOU: Absolutely. The stuff that that Abe and Preston talk about is stuff that I have on my mind: current events, politics, movies, girls. . . But it's like their actual dialogue just happens and I'm just writing it down. The craft of putting it into a comic strip comes in the timing, making sure each panel has a natural rhythm to it.

Why do you think fan reaction to the strip has been so strong?

HOU: Most obviously, the characters are already well known. That’s one advantage of using existing characters, because you immediately have a familiarity with them. Then, there’s the whole contrast with what you expect of them. You're used to seeing them in horror settings, so it’s a shock to see them in a sitcom setting. Right off, you get that twist.

Are there any fun fan stories you’d like to share?

HOU: Pretty early on I got this email from a reader in the Czech Republic. It was all about how he wanted to try to translate my comic strip, which he loved, into Czech. It was hilarious because his English was pretty terrible. He was trying to tell me why it would be popular in his country, and he said, “I think it would be a really huge raft of sh** and would kick the lazy ass of anybody who reads it.” I loved that comment so much that I would start using the phrase “huge raft of sh**” in my everyday life. Needless to say, I didn’t take him up on the offer.

 
Are there any comic strips that you’ve done that you regret later or think that you’ve stepped over the line with?

HOU: Yeah. I don’t regret too much, but I do get into racy humor a lot. Not offensive, but lewd humor. There was one comic strip where I made a reference to Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood, and made a really bad sexual innuendo off of that. I thought it was a really good joke, but it gets worse. . . because there was a classic story where Pooh gets stuck in a tree, and I was implying that this "Winnie the Pooh” and this “Hundred Acre Wood" video they were watching was from the Alien’s porn collection. And then there was the line where Pooh said, “Tigger, I’m stuck.” I thought it was a really good joke, but given how I’ve got kids now and I love Winnie the Pooh, I guess I kind of regret that now. Just a little bit. Maybe.

Why should people who haven’t checked out your webcomic yet give it a shot?

HOU: Because it's a fairly accurate depiction of life in New York City for an Alien and a Predator.

 



You can check out Alien Loves Predator at alienlovespredator.com.

 
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