Ace of the Week: Phil Hester

Our Ace of the Week is Phil Hester who has “spent many years on the indie comics scene, culminating in his Eisner Award-nominated series The Wretch. Phil broke into the mainstream as penciller of Mark Millar’s Swamp Thing run at DC. He also drew Kevin Smith’s revival of Green Arrow with long time inker Ande Parks. He created The Coffin with artist Mike Huddleston, and Firebreather with artist Andy Kuhn, now a television feature for Cartoon Network.” Excerpt from Aces Weekly

Phil Hester is also the writer of Progenitor, a story featured in volume one of Aces Weekly ( http://acesweekly.co.uk/ )

Art by John McCrea

How did you become involved with Aces Weekly?
Through my buddy John McCrea. Bless him, he’s always on the lookout for venues that might be willing to feature our next collaboration. When he pitched me on the format and let me know who else was involved, it became very easy to say yes. Seeing art in my inbox from John and colorist Matthew Wilson is a joy of which I will never tire.

 What is Progenitor about?
A massive starship crashes on a planet that very closely resembles Earth during the late Cretaceous. Not only does the highly evolved, peace-loving crew have to adapt to the savage nature of this primitive world on which they’re marooned, they must also contend with an escaped prisoner they were transporting across the galaxy, a world destroying entity known as The Progenitor.

What was the inspiration behind Progenitor?
In all honesty, I asked John what he wanted to draw and he said “dinosaurs.” It took me a few weeks to noodle out the larger plot, but you can never fail when playing to your artist’s strengths so clearly. Just take a look. I’m sure some people enjoy the feature without ever noticing there are word balloons.

Could you describe what the development process was like for Progenitor?
As I said, it was born out of John’s desire to draw dinosaurs. My task was to cook up a plot that wasn’t a rip off of Jurassic Park or A Sound of Thunder. So, I tried to stay away from contemporary humans and time travel. How successful that was, I’ll leave to you to judge. One of the more rewarding parts of the project has been consulting with my son, who is training to be a paleontologist at university about all the technical issues relating to dinosaurs.

Outside of Aces Weekly, are there any other projects you are currently working on?
I’m writing GUARDING THE GLOBE for Kirkman’s Skybound with Tood Nauck on art. I’m co-writing BIONIC MAN at Dynamite with Aaron Gillespie. I just finished a sequel to a series a did a few years ago that I suppose is still secret, and working on a new book I’m both writing and drawing that I hope to take to Image.

For Progenitor and other stories, visit Aces Weekly (http://acesweekly.co.uk/)

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