This coming Saturday April 9 I’ll be speaking at Southern Virginia University. It’s an event organized by Orson Scott Card and will include myself and two other writers. Click the image below for more information.
Orson Scott Card
So the first review I’ve found for the first issue of Dragon Age is very positive. Many thanks to Jason Kerouac over at Panels For Pages. Jason gives the comic four stars, well actually four hurlock assassins, which is just as good as stars, I guess, only meaner. I mean, stars won’t stab you in the back and trample over your bleeding corpse like hurlocks are prone to do. Anyway check out the review. Jason calls it a “fantastic tale.” Hoorah.
Comic Book Resources just posted an interview I did regarding the upcoming release of Dragon Age. It highlights how the first issue was created and how Scott Card and I collaborated on the story. I also discuss how we interacted with the game team.
Check out the interview here.
The biggest role-playing game of the year is now the biggest comic book of the year. Well, at least I hope it’s the biggest comic of the year. Dragon Age hits store shelves in just a few days, and I think fans of the game are going to love it. I can’t say enough how thrilled I am to be a part of this project. The game team at BIOWARE has created an incredible universe. The magic system, the creatures, the mythology, the history of the world. It’s all blow-your-mind type stuff. When they first handed Orson Scott Card and me the game bible to read, I was floored. It was like: Wow, these guys think of everything.
What’s great about the comics, from a writer’s point of view, is that the game team encouraged us to create our own story with our own heroes. So we didn’t have to build a story out of the characters they had designed for the game. We got to start anew. For a comic book writer, this is a dream come true. Most writers are given both the mythology and the hero, be it Spiderman or Batman or whatever. But we got to start over, hero-wise. We got to design our own. Granted, these heroes had to be possible within the established mythos. We had to be true to the rules of the universe. But that was fine by us; that made creating the stories that much easier. Once you know the rules of the universe, a story quickly emerges.
And I should also say that you don’t have to know a thing about the game to get into the comics. This is a totally new story, and we reveal the mythology as the story unfolds. So non-gamers, get out your comic-book money. You’re invited to this party too.
Our editor at EA Games, Rob Simpson, has been amazing. Super talented guy whose feedback has been invaluable throughout this process. I look forward to working with Rob for many issues to come.
I also can’t say enough about all the artists on this book. Mark Robinson. Jason P. Martin. Humbertos Ramos. Raul Trevino. Edgar Delgado. These guys drop your jaw with everything they do. It’s absolutely amazing looking. I couldn’t be happier.
So whether you’re a fan of the game or not, get off you toof on March 31 and head out to the nearest comic book shop.
Here’s a preview.
Writers: Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
Penciler: Mark Robinson
Inker: Jason P. Martin
Colorist: Rul Trevino
Cover art: Humberto Ramos
Cover color: Edgar Delgado
Letterer: Richard Starkings
Solicit text reads:
From the game called “the best story-driven RPG in the world” (PC Gamer) and bestselling author Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game, Ultimate Iron Man) and Aaron Johnston, the epic tale of Dragon Age continues! Gleam, child of a powerful mage and a ruthless templar, is now grown with powers of her own. Can she stop the Darkspawn from murdering her adopted family?
Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston (writers)
Mark Robinson (pencils)
Humberto Ramos (cover)
I’ve long been a fan of Ender’s Game. In fact, if I were I to list my top five favorite books of all time, I would be tempted to name Ender’s Game twice. I love and adore this book that much. I never knew it was possible to become so emotionally invested in a character until I read EG. I was Ender. Or at least I liked to think I was–as every other kid who has ever read this book has.
So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work on this one-shot. Next to Ender, Mazer Rackham is my favorite character in the series, and “Mazer in Prison” is an incredible story. Scott Card allowed me to read it a few years ago before it was published, and I felt like I was holding a precious gem. “Mazer in Prison” takes place before the events of Ender’s Game as Mazer is hurtling through space at relativistic speeds. The International Fleet is cheating time and trying to preserve Mazer’s age so that he can lead the fleet when it reaches the Formic planet. The only problem: Mazer doesn’t want to lead the fleet. He wants to find his replacement, someone who exemplifies the characteristics of a true commander. Unfortunately, no one in the International Fleet currently fits that description, and if things continue as they are—under the rule of self-serving careerists—Mazer won’t have a replacement in time. So Mazer takes the appropriate action to ensure the search for his replacement begins in earnest.
The short story is mostly epistolary and takes place entirely in the cramped space of Mazer’s tiny starship. For the comic, however, we knew we needed to do something a little different; we couldn’t have all 22 pages take place inside this starship. The artists would go crazy. So to give the comic more visual diversity, we follow Graff’s point of view as well as he works on Eros, interacting with the bureaucrats who currently run the International Fleet.
Pop Mahn did an amazing job with the art. It looks incredible. What I enjoy most about this story is that it shows us what soldiers give up when they go off to war; we see the sacrifice that Mazer made, the family he left behind. Anyone who reads the short story—and hopefully the comic—will come away with a renewed sense of gratitude for those who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and free.
Creative Director & Executive Director: Orson Scott Card
Script: Aaron Johnston
Pencils: Pop Mahn
Inks: Norman Lee
Colors: Jim Charlampidis
Lettering: Cory Petit
Cover: Pasqual Ferry & Frank D’armata
Editor: Jordan D. White