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Comics/Graphic Novels

Video Games That Totally Deserve Graphic Novel Tie-Ins, And Who Should Write Them

Eric Smith

Staff Writer

Eric Smith an author, blogger, and literary agent based in Philadelphia. When he isn’t busy trying to discover new books, he sometimes tries to write his own. Blog: Eric Smith Twitter: @ericsmithrocks

bastion kid

There are a lot of comic books inspired by video games, and it might surprise you to find out that many of them are absolutely fantastic. Expanding on the already established in-game worlds, these comics let you delve deeper into the setting and characters you’ve come to love so much.

The Dragon Age comics by David Gaider (who also writes the novel tie-ins and the actual game) are visually stunning and thrilling, while the Mass Effect comics, written by a number of creators, give you an even bigger look into the sci-fi epic. There’s even a Last of Us comic by Faith Erin Hicks, in case you didn’t cry enough playing the game, and a Tomb Raider comic penned by the legendary Gail Simone.

Oh, but what of games that got canceled? Or never quite blew up the way they should have? Why shouldn’t they get the graphic novel treatment? For every Halo and Gears of War, there’s an indie darling or a triple A title that doesn’t quite make it. Here are a handful that definitely deserve the comic tie-in.

remember me lazarus

Remember Me: One of the most underrated games of 2013, Remember Me featured a kick-ass female protagonist and an exciting sci-fi story. The plot? People depend on a new brain implant that allows people to upload and share their memories, and ends up giving a corporation the ability to create a surveillance state. The main character, Nilin, is part of the rebellion against them.

Now, there is a small comic that came with the video game, a mini 24-page book from Dark Horse that came with pre-orders of the game. And while that was a fun marketing-tie in, I’d like more. Give us a full volume. The Neo-Paris of 2084 was a fascinating city to explore. Let’s have Matt Kindt and Matthew Southworth work on a whole book. If not them, the team behind Lazarus, please.

alan wake ghosted

Alan Wake: A survival-horror game that plays like a Stephen King novel mashed together with Twin Peaks, Alan Wake screams for any kind of literary adaptation, and no, I’m not counting the novelization that retells the story of the game. Something original in that dark, frightening world. In Alan Wake, you play as… well, Alan Wake, a writer struggling with writer’s block and ends up sucked into the world of a book he had no idea he’d written.

I’d love to see Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson, the team behind the dark Nailbiter series, on this one. Nailbiter has just the right enough amount of gritty mystery mixed with weird-occult-fantasy that made Alan Wake so much fun. The team behind Ghosted, Joshua Williamson and Goran Sudzuka, would be great picks too.

banner saga north

The Banner Saga: A Kickstarter funded indie game that pulled in over $700k, Banner Saga tells the story of a mysterious race that loathes humans, and the battle between them, mankind, and the Varl. The entire time is packed full of beautiful art and writing that is very Viking-fantasy-esque. I can’t stress enough how beautiful this game is. Truly.

I think stating that Brian Wood (Northlanders) should be on this one is a given. Maybe pair him up with Fiona Staples’ beautiful art.

leth bastion

Bastion: Oh, this lil’ indie game that could. A fantasy RPG that puts you in the role of The Kid, navigating his way through the aftermath of ‘The Calamity’, a disaster that shatters the world around him. He has to travel to the Bastion, where people travel during trouble. The Kid quickly gets caught up in a war between two peoples, and finds the fate of the world is in his hands.

Another gorgeous game with a fun storyline, I’d say just put Kate Leth (her Adventure Time comics are flawless) on this series and ship it immediately. In fact, someone Kickstart this right now.

shutter beyond good and evil


Beyond Good & Evil: Here’s a game that constantly makes best-of lists, but is still terribly underrated. Where’s that sequel?

Well, until we get a second game, let’s make a comic book. An adventure game that introduces gamers to Jade, a photographic journalist who collect evidence to prove a massive, world-wide alien conspiracy. The world she lives in is full of advanced technology, talking animals, and huge secrets.

Let’s pair up Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca again. Their work on Shutter was top notch. A girl in a fantasy-esque world full of talking critters, and armed with a camera? They’re already prepared to take on this project.

What video games would YOU like to see as comic books, readers? There are so many possibilities! Sound off in the comments.


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