FromSoftware's hit video game franchise Bloodborne has found new hunting grounds in comic books, courtesy of writer Aleš Kot, artist Piotr Kowalski, and Titan Comics.
This new miniseries, which debuts February 21, delves into the mysteries of the Hunters, the Paleblood, and the ancient city of Yharnam, against the backdrop of a new original story.
Newsarama spoke with Kot about his video game spin-off, his own fascination with the PlayStation 4 game, and the roots the fictional city of Yharnam has with his own homeland.
Newsarama: Aleš, what got you interested in doing Bloodborne comic books?
Aleš Kot: I loved the game and its world. To me, Bloodborne is a majestic fusion of Victorian horror, weird fiction, the Lovecraftian, and so many other influences, yet it creates a seamless experience of a society gone insane on power, religion and blood, a world where even your own perception is uncertain. Hard to tell which world I'm really talking about, right?
Nrama: Let’s talk about the world in the game - what is your story about here?
Kot: You're going to have to experience it for yourself, but in simplest terms and without spoiling anything - we begin as the Old Yharnam burns, and a child is found. Then someone dies. The story, you could say, is a journey, but as to where exactly... Bloodborne always embraced uncertainty, and we are creating a story that carries the utmost respect to the game in its DNA. Must the Hunter always hunt? And what is the Paleblood? These are some of the questions that may be asked. Also - how many Blood-Starved Beasts are really in the city?
Nrama: So, is your Hunter the same as the lead in the game?
Kot: Well, the beautiful thing about the game is the Hunter is never the same - each player creates their own. So, no, I can promise that is most certainly not the case. I've seen a lot of people on the web assume a lot about who our Hunter is, and, well, I'll put it this way... some people might have gotten parts of it right, but no one got it right.
Nrama: How do the events of the Bloodborne comic book relate to those of the game?
Kot: In the story we've created for the comic, we arguably meet our Hunter before some of the events of the game take place - yet, as we progress, there will be a sense of increasing familiarity. We traverse time and space, leading all the way to one very particular fishing village the players of Bloodborne: The Old Hunters might remember especially well...
Nrama: Bloodborne’s Yharnam was reportedly inspired by Romania and your own Czech Republic - do you see any of your home country in this game, moreso than others?
Kot: Absolutely. Here's a photo I took in Prague that makes things quite clear.
Nrama: You're working with Piotr Kowalski, who is from the nearby Poland. How is the collaboration between you two going?
Kot: Splendidly. Piotr is dedicated to getting the experience just right, while going all the way to Gustave Doré for inspiration - just wait until you see the last page of the first issue. What he's done with the smoke... I immediately asked for the page, because I want it hanging on my wall. Every image is a painting. I feel like Bloodborne is an experience of art - and we're all doing our best to follow in its gigantic, clawed, reality-bending footsteps.
Nrama: So what are your goals for Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep?
Kot: I really couldn't say it any better than David Lynch here -
The one thing I'll add is that I do hope the story connects with people. I feel huge affinity for it, and I want to continue getting lost in its maze.