On Thursday at SDCC, Dark Horse editor Ian Tucker sat down with 343 Industries (Halo Wars 2) Frank O’Connor and Blizzard Entertainment’s (Overwatch) Robert Simpson to talk about bringing beloved video game franchises to comics and art books.
Opening with a bit of light Q&A among the dais, O’Connor and Simpson talked about parts of pop culture which influenced their gaming narratives. O’Connor draws influence from super hero comics particularly in the silver age while Simpson fancies himself a BBC man. The pair also talked about how hard it is to future proof a gaming story as canon can sometimes get in the way of itself. They both found creating new characters to be a way to explore an already established world. O’Connor gave the example of Sara Palmer in Halo 5 being someone who was a fresh perspective to look at the world through.
The presentation part of the panel was a recap of all the Dark Horse books already known to be in the pipeline. Shown were the Overwatch Vol 1 Anthology collecting the digital comics, The Art of Overwatch, a Dragon Age: Knight Errant trade, Halo Library editions for volumes 1&2, Halo Rise of the Atriox by Cullen Bunn, which O’Connor also mentioned would be an important character to the Halo franchise future. In the panel’s only official bit of news, Tucker showed the cover to World of Warcraft Volume III which would be launching in Spring of 2018.
One thing Dark Horse did talk about in the panel was why they do so many books in the world of video games. Many different factors are considered including franchise popularity, developer relationships, licensing, but the artistic merit of the game isn’t really a factor considered by Dark Horse.
One of the other interesting tidbits Tucker mentioned; while the fan favorite Metal Gear series would not be getting a 30th Anniversary art book, material from around the 25th anniversary would be localized from different markets. Most notably was the material around the handheld Metal Gear Peace Walker game being part of this.