The Penny Arcade Expo is a place where you can let your inner geek run free and enjoy the expansive universe built around our love of video games and gaming in general. Storytelling is an intricate part of that universe and is what allows us to dive into a fantasy world, make emotional connections, and captivate our imaginations. Those stories end up taking on a life of their own outside of the game and spawn other mediums such as movies, TV series, novels, and comic books to further develop the universe that fascinated us.
Dark Horse Comics is a publisher that has embraced the video game community and brought numerous video game tie-ins on legendary franchises such as Halo, Tomb Raider, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, The Legend of Zelda, and more. Dark Horse publishes the best video game art books and comics and made their first PAX Prime appearance this year at PAX Prime 2014. I recently got a chance to talk with Dark Horse Senior Editor Dave Marshall and learn more about their relationship with the video game industry.
Hello, I’m Kyle Lambert from PowerLeveled.com and you are?
Dave Marshal from Dark Horse Comics.
KL: So how has your day been going?
DM: Great! I love this show. PAX is one of the highlights of the year.
KL: Great! Ok, so what have you brought today?
DM: We’ve got a selection of comics and art books all related too various video games. I particularly work on our Halo comics, our Tomb Raider comics, mass effect, dragon age, and eve online. We also have art books and lore books which are sort of like encyclopedias for a lot of those titles as well. Other editors at Dark Horse also work with The Witcher, Plants vs Zombies, and Legend of Zelda. So that’s just some of the video game comics that Dark Horse works on.
KL: So how did Dark Horse get into the video game genre?
DM: So it really started with a love of games. We were gamers and we would play games and particularly something like mass effect or dragon age has an amazing story and comics, you know, that’s what we do, we tell stories, and we were like, “Wow there’s a real opportunity here to do something” and so we would reach out to a publisher or developer and say, “Hey we’d really love to do comics. Are you interested?” And it sort of slowly built up that way.
KL: So you have worked on Halo and Tomb Raider, and you mentioned that you worked with the developers and companies that actually make the games. Do you expand upon their universe and do these companies that produce Halo and Tomb Raider help you with that?
DM: Oh yeah, we work very closely with them. It’s really the core principle of what Dark Horse does with these books, to work directly with the creators of these games to create the comics as much as possible. So in the case of Tomb Raider we are picking up the story of Lara Croft immediately after the last game ended and it’s a canonical extension of that story. Month after month we are extending Lara’s journey past that game into her future. Rhianna Pratchett, who wrote that game, has come on as of issue 7 a co-writer. So she’s actually guiding us to where she’s planning to take Lara into her future.
KL: So eventually it’s going to tie in with the next iteration of Tomb Raider?
DM: Yeah that’s the plan.
KL: Great, so what work have you done on the Halo series?
DM: So right now we’re doing an ongoing series called Halo: Escalation. It’s a monthly comic that follows the UNSC Infinity, Sarah Palmer, Captain Lasky, even the Master Chief, in the events after Halo 4. We just did a 3 part series called the next 72 hours that follows the Master Chief literally the next few days after Halo 4 ended.
KL: And is it going to tie into the opening of Halo 5?
DM: Well, um. I don’t want to say that, but I will say that we’re marching forward with the characters established in Halo 4 and there will definitely be clear connections between what we’re doing and what happens in the future. 343 is really great about having the novels and the digital series like Nightfall, Forward unto Dawn, and the comics all connect to each other. So we’re a piece of that puzzle and we definitely do all fit together
KL: Where can we find you guys?
DM: You can find us at darkhorse.com
It was interesting to find out how Dark Horse got involved with their video game genre and about their relation with publishers, developers, and writers working on the games that they are making comics for. Even go as far as to have Rhianna Pratchett, writer for Tomb Raider, co-write on the comics they are producing. Comic books are an excellent medium to continue a story with outside of the video game and we look forward to seeing what’s in store for the UNSC Infinite and Lara Croft in the coming months by continuing to follow their stories through the comics.
Be sure to check out all Dark Horse has to offer by visiting their website DarkHorse.com.