NYCC 2014: Powered by Creators: DARK HORSE Video Game Comics Level Up!

Tomb Raider #1 Interior page
Credit: Dark Horse

Welcome to NYCC 2014: NYCC 2014: Powered by Creators: DARK HORSE Video Game Comics Level Up!  

Moderator Aub Driver opened the panel by going over some of Dark Horse's major video game comics, including Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Halo, and of course, Tomb Raider.

Gail Simone, one of the writers of Tomb Raider, explained that her involvement came after she played the new game.  "I like the original Lara Croft, too.  I think that having those strong female characters at that time - not in comics necessarily - was a really incredible time."  Simone also praised Rihanna Pratchett, head writer of the Tomb Raider video game for creating such an exciting character and world. The first trade wil be out in November.

Dark Horse recently acquired the license for Plants Vs. Zombies, written by Paul Tobin.  Tobin, taking the microphone, said that the game's developer, PopCap, was very easy to work with.  "They've been really open to everything I've done." Tobin knew Ron Chan was the perfect artist for the book when he learned that Chan had worn a Plants Vs. Zombies Halloween costume.

Tobin also writes The Witcher, a stripped down comics world based on the vast universe of the game.  "They wanted a simple version of The Witcher, Geralt, who is a character I really like.  The world has got more personality than you get from most video games."  

Next year will see a second series for The Witcher, which follows the story of the fox children, with Geralt trying to save them "even though he thinks they're scum," said Tobin.

Driver now turned attention to Eve Online, asking who in the audience had played the legendary MMO with little response.  A new Eve series, Eve Valkyrie is coming next year, written by Brian Wood. "It's new.  I just wrote the first script.  One of the things that really appeals to me about Eve is the world.  The game generates its own history."

Driver asked the panel what their favorite games were, with Wood saying, "I like to shoot things.  I like skateboarding games and shooting games."

Simone responded saying, "Video games are essential to my writing process.  When I need to turn my brain off and process things, I play video games.  I love all Lego games, and I've been playing a lot of Disney Infinity and of course Tomb Raider."

Tobin echoed Simone's sentiments, sayng he enjoys Skyrim and Borderlands, and confessed his love for Katamari Damaci.

Driver inquired whether it's more challanging to write in a game world, or to write superheroes.  "It's really about the same," said Tobin.

"It's really kind of fun to write a character like Lara Croft that has a story, but getting from where she starts to where she's going needs to be told."

Time for audience Q&A!

A fan asked Simone about how she has rerouted Lara Croft's story from the video game. 

"I'm a huge history and archeology buff, so being able to take a character around the world solving puzzles and unraveling a mystery is really fun."

Tobin followed that up by asking Simone about how much research she does, to which she said "Sometimes it's a place I've been, but I'm lucky enough to know people who actually live in these places, and that's the best source for this information."

Does the backlash of social media affect the type of projects you take on?

"Normally I would say no.  I initially turned down writing the game, but once I played it, and I understood the facts of it, I wanted to do the project.  Always get the facts first."

A fan asked about what video game properties the creators wanted to work on most, prompting Tobin to say he loved Nintendo's characters.  Driver confessed that Dark Horse is "working on" getting the Nintendo license.

That's it from NYCC 2014: Powered by Creators: DARK HORSE Video Game Comics Level Up!

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