In our era of cuddle buddies and swiping right, romance isn’t exactly dead, but it’s starting to nod off. Yes, the world of love and affection is in need of a wake-up  call, and in Peter Milligan and Brett Parson’s new supernatural rom-com, NEW ROMANCER, it gets one from an old soul who knows a thing or two about making people swoon—Lord Byron. The beloved poet finds himself reborn in the modern era after Lexy Ryan, a lovelorn programmer with an affinity for Byron’s writing, creates a romance algorithm that manages to gain a living, breathing body.

So how does history’s greatest lover fare at clubbing, sexting and dating apps? That remains to be seen, but fortunately, we were able to solve many of life’s other little mysteries when we spoke to Milligan and Parson about life, Lord Byron and the world of NEW ROMANCER.


Peter Milligan

What's your first recollection of discovering Byron?

I was sixteen and hung over—it didn't take much to make me hung over then—and lolling in a girlfriend's parents' house in North London. Her parents were bohemian types with old furniture and lots of books. I picked up a copy of the poems of Lord Byron. I was struck by the immediacy of Byron's writing: you really had a sense he was there. Later that morning I believed the girl's mother made a pass at me, but my head might just have been befuddled with Byronic delusions.

What's your surefire cure for writer's block?

If you're coming up against a plot difficulty, there comes a time you have to step back. Think hard but then go for a walk or drive and allow your subconscious to work. It's amazing how ideas can come when you're away from the desk.

What's currently on your nightstand?

At Swim-Two-Birds, by Flann O'Brien, Lord Byron—the major works (naturally)—and a book of German grammar usage. Also, a number of items of medication that I have no intention of elaborating on here.


Time of day you're most creative?

For working, morning. From about 7:30 until 1 p.m.  For going over and over the same idea or problem until it assumes the size of the known universe, 3:30 in the morning.

What's been your greatest surprise in working with artist Brett Parson?

How brilliant he's been and how well he's able to capture expressions and emotions. NEW ROMANCER is a pretty complicated story, involving love and weird science, and Brett does a great job in getting all of that down without making it look cramped or too busy.

Tell us something shocking that we don't know about your main character Lexy.

She doesn't have a Facebook account.


What song does Lexy sing in the shower?

"Perfect Day" (earnestly).

What song does Byron sing in the bath?

"The Roast Beef of Old England" (ironically).

My favorite use of Byron in songwriting is easily Suede's “Heroine.” We know that's not yours. So what is it?

It's not a song, but the English playwright Tom Stoppard quoted from "She Walks in Beauty" in his classic play, Arcadia. A great use of a great poem.


Brett Parson

When did you start drawing?

Way, way, way back when.

What's your surefire cure for artist's block? 

Sometimes I pick an actor or celebrity and try to capture their likeness. It helps to get the brain out of its comfort zone and trying different things. Then again, there are some days I can draw all day and never get out of a funk. 

Time of day you're most creative? 

Usually it’s at the end of the day when I have to stop drawing. 

What's been your greatest surprise in working with writer Peter Milligan?

How open to new ideas he's been, and how much artistic freedom he's allowed me. It's really been a blast to work with him. 


Three ___ you'd take with you into cyberspace:

Comics: The Maxx, Danger Girl, Tank Girl.

Albums/CDs: Grandaddy, The Software Slump; Neil Young, Live Rust; Pavement, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

Items of Clothing: Hat, flannel shirt, reading glasses.

Keepsakes from the '90sEncino Man, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey and Evil Dead 2 on VHS.

Refreshments: Beer, Pizza and Goldfish

What song does Lexy sing in the shower?

Queen: "We are the Champions" 

Who'd win in a fight — Byron or Godzilla? 

I don't want to spoil anything, people will have to wait for NEW ROMANCER #6.

NEW ROMANCER #1 is now available in stores and as a digital download.