Starting as a solitary survival-horror game in 2008, in only five years EA Games has built “Dead Space” into one of the video game industries biggest franchises, comprising five console games, a mobile game, animated films, multiple soundtrack albums, novels and even comic books.
The latest addition to that last category is “Dead Space: Liberation,” a graphic novel by writer Ian Edginton and artist Christopher Shy. Releasing this week from Titan Publishing, “Liberation” is set just prior to the events of new PlayStation 3 and X-Box 360 game “Dead Space 3.”
Shy, who has contributed to the “Dead Space” universe previously with “Dead Space: Salvage,” a 2010 OGN written by Antony Johnston, spoke with Comic Book Resources about his latest outing, going over what to expect in “Liberation,” what it was like working with EA on the project, what he loves most about “Dead Space” (hint – it’s not the monsters) and more.
CBR News: Christopher, what’s going down in “Dead Space: Liberation?”
How much creative freedom are you given on a project like this? Did EA mandate any plot points or characters be in the story?
Cate and Chuck have always given me a lot of creative freedom when approaching the books. They know my style, and how I approach my novels.
We had many discussions before the first “Dead Space” novel, how I saw it, what we needed in there, how to bring out this character, the mood, etc. I think with the first novel, I played a bit in my universe in terms of tone, bringing a more European flavor to the story, a bit of hard-edged punk in outer space. With this new one, I wanted to keep it much more grounded in the “Dead Space” universe, to try and marry my style and the games to try and blend the elements so leading into “Dead Space 3” the novel would blend more seamlessly. We knew from the very beginning we were going to be bringing Ellie into the novel in a major way, that we would see Ellie dealing with a lot of emotions concerning Isaac. Ian Edginton did a fantastic job writing this one. It felt like a true collaborative process.
Do you need to know a lot about the “Dead Space” universe to be able to enjoy “Liberation?”
I think you can enjoy it even if you’re not a hardcore fan. But if you do know the mythos, then you’re going to get a real kick out of the details I put in there, the art on the walls, etc.
What’s your favorite part of the “Dead Space” mythos?
It will always be the characters. I love painting monsters, but without that descent into madness, it has no impact. Isaac’s journey in the game is evolving into true mythos. Ellie is a favorite of mine. I loved Schneider’s character in “Dead Space Salvage,” his relationship to Jessica Li and the mystery surrounding his disappearance. The mystery of the original Marker and what that will mean if ever found. A lot of it, I guess.
Do you have plans for future “Dead Space” comics?
Always. We never learned what happened to Schneider when he disappeared in the experimental ship at the end of “Dead Space Salvage.” I have some ideas concerning that, what Schneider might have seen out there and what his return might mean.
What other projects do you have coming up?
Well, I just finished “The North End of the World,” a fantastic novel based on the life of Edward Curtis. My new one is called “I Sleep in Stone,” a kind of American gothic fairy tale involving witchcraft. If Andrew Wyeth painted comics, this is what it would possibly look like. You can find out more about these over at blackwatchcomics.com or thenorthendoftheworld.com.
“Dead Space: Liberation,” with art by Christopher Shy and written by Ian Edginton, is available February 5 from Titan Publishing.