ALIEN NEXT DOOR by Joey Spiotto [Book Review]


by Joey Spiotto
Published by Titan Books
Available from Book Depository

In space, no-one can hear you clean

Ever wondered what everyone’s favourite Xenomorph, the creature from the brilliant dark, twisted mind of H.R. Giger, gets up to when he’s not slaying marines onboard spaceships? Or what it would be like should said Xenomorph comes to Earth and try to fit in with society? Joey Spiotto explores these ideas with his book Alien Next Door, the only official Alien cartoon book ever commissioned.

Measuring at a neat 18cm x 18cm, the hardback book opens with an introduction from Joey Spiotto where he talks about how a private investigator, working on behalf of H.R. Giger, contacted him in regards of doing a collaboration with Mr Giger who had seen Spiotto’s Alien inspired print ‘Facehugs for Everyone’. The unfortunate passing of Giger meant that Spiotto never got to speak to the legendary artist nor further their talks of collaboration and thus the idea was in limbo until he was approached to tranform the project to reality. And here is the finished product! 80 pages of beautiful cartoon artwork that contains many in-jokes for fans of the Alien franchise.

Each page within Alien Next Door features full colour art of the Xenomorph doing things you may not expect him to do: sunbathing at the beach, going to the dentist, taking selfies with Jonesy the cat – the usual sort of thing we’d expect from an Earthling. Since leaving LV-246, Xenomorph wants to fully immerse himself into the human experience and what results is some pretty funny pieces. That doesn’t mean we don’t get a few pages of Xenomorph on the spaceship – in fact, those particular pages are some of the wittiest pieces of artwork from Spiotto.

The cartoon artwork featured in the book is simple yet detailed in its own little way. Spiotto manages to convey the message and humour purely through his drawings – there’s no captions or accompanying text to speak of at all. Personally, I think the book would have benefitted from Ladybird Book-style captions though as it stands with artwork alone it is still an entertaining ‘read’.

Though the artwork is quite cute in many ways, I wouldn’t recommend a very young child to read it as there are a few pages that might give the small ones nightmares (counting sheep in your sleep freaked me out!) though slightly older children and adults will surely laugh and enjoy the clever approach Spiotto has took.

With its fun-filled innocence blended with the frightening creation of H.R. Giger, Alien Next Door would make a great little book for any Alien fan and would make a perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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About Bat 4385 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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