Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lashing out at Disney leads to "The Exile" AND Fallout All Roads interview

I wrapped up my obligations with Nanowrimo, which is awesome, so I'm free to continue work on Tomb of the Undead. I've just finished page 14, which you can review here, and follow along with the story, here.

And here is a draft of Barnum Mantell before I could draw this page:

Newsarama: What was the impetus behind creating Fallout: All Roads?

By Seth Robison,
Newsarama Contributor

The Fallout franchise returns to its Southwestern roots today in the new action RPG Fallout: New Vegas for PC, PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Before venturing back out into the Wasteland, those who purchase the collector’s edition of the game receive a copy of Fallout: All Roads, a prequel graphic novel detailing the events and the state of the world immediately preceding the start of the game. Newsarama recently sat down with the comic’s writer, Chris Avellone, Creative Director for Obsidian Entertainment and the Senior Designer on New Vegas to talk about the game, the comic and why life in New Vegas requires a little more than just luck.

Newsarama: What was the impetus behind creating Fallout: All Roads?

Chris Avellone: A deep-rooted desire to unite my love of game design with my childhood dream of writing comics. I had my first shot when Obsidian worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. I wrote several stories set in the Star Wars universe, including Star Wars Tales and Clone Wars Adventures, including an Aurra Sing story I'm really proud of, among others.

By this time, I had developed a good relationship with Dark Horse, so when Obsidian had a chance to return to the Fallout franchise with Fallout: New Vegas, I figured I'd take another run at it and asked Bethesda if they'd want to do a Fallout comic. Our marketing manager, Regi Jacob, shook hands with the Dark Horse folks, then both took the idea and ran farther with it than I expected. Less than a year later, it's a graphic novel with some of the most respected artists in the industry, and I'm grateful.

Nrama: Where does All Roads fit within the Fallout canon?

Avellone: It takes place a week before the opening movie of the game [Fallout: New Vegas]. The idea is that you can read the graphic novel then play a new game. The transition is seamless. You get to see the path of your adversaries and the road they took to track you down at the start of the game. It also forecasts future events you'll see played out as your character adventures in the Mojave surrounding New Vegas.

Nrama: How critical would you say this story is to the understanding of the events of Fallout: New Vegas?

Avellone: The story in All Roads isn't critical to the New Vegas experience. We just wanted to tell more of the story surrounding the events in-game, not focus on the critical path which would be unfair to anyone who didn't have the Collector's Edition. It gives more context and backstory to a number of the characters and some of the factions you meet. It’s for people interested in digging deeper into the game world.

One challenge of working on a computer game is that you may have to create a good deal of lore and backstory on the characters and factions, but it’s rare to be able to show all of it in-game. What's great about graphic novels and novels is they allow the game creators an opportunity to get that backstory out to players interested in learning more about the history and events surrounding the characters.

Lashing out at Disney started her career
Writer returns to her comic book roots

by Ashley B. Craig
Daily Mail staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fans of Diana Gabaldon can soon find out just how the author of the Outlander series and the new graphic novel "The Exile" evolved from scientist to novelist and author of comic books.

Writing in comic-book form is nothing new to Gabaldon, who wrote in the late 1970s for Disney Comics.

"I was in my 20s and I was reading one - I can't remember which one - and I thought to myself 'This is pretty bad,' and I thought I could do better," she recalled during a telephone interview from her Arizona home.

The young writer penned a not-so-nice letter to the comic's editor who, instead of lashing back at her, sent her a few comic scripts to learn from and constructively edited her work when she sent it back to him. She ended up writing comic scripts for Disney Comics for three years before the company reverted to using scripts from the archives.

Gabaldon, 58, got back into the genre two years ago with graphic novels and comic books safely in the mainstream. She thought it would be fun to try it again.

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