All the Write Moves

Jimmy Palmiotti, currently writing comics such as Countdown, Terra, Painkiller Jane, The Spirit and Shanna, has found his unique comic talents being directly transferable. “They usually hire you because you had something to do with the actual comic character they are basing the game on at one time or another. Garth Ennis and I have worked on a ton of Punisher and Ghost Rider books, and it was a natural match-up to work on the videogames. We bring the attitude and knowledge of the character to the game where most non-comic book writers, given the chance to handle a comic book character, can’t get their heads out of their asses - and just do it the way it’s presented to them.”

Warren Ellis is best known for creating comics such as Transmetropolitan, Doktor Sleepless and Crecy, but his mixture of the cerebral and visceral has found a perfect home in games such as Hostile Waters, Cold Winter and more. But he sees his role more straightforwardly. “The core concepts are always generated in-house, and I’m essentially brought in as a script doctor; a fresh pair of eyes. I’m there to make something a proper story, which is not something that traditional games creators, by their very job description, are trained in.”

Andy Diggle, writer of titles such as The Losers, Adam Strange and Batman Confidential, and working on secret games in development, concurs. “Solid plotting, strong characterization and tight dialogue... Comics and games can’t afford flabby writing; it needs to be lean and mean. Comics writing is about the leanest there is. It weeds out the fakers pretty fast.”

Dave “Watchmen” Gibbons, currently working in the DC Comics Universe, sees the comic writers’ appeal as “the ability to create coherent worlds.” “Certainly with Beneath the Steel Sky, the game studio was impressed with how in Watchmen I was able to come up with original settings and characters that were consistent from page to page and issue to issue. And I think they were right!”


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