The first issue is due to be released this August and will be written by Tom Waltz (Silent Hill: Sinners Reward and Silent Hill:Past Life) and will be illustrated by Tristan Jones (Ghostbusters, Hoax Hunters).
Fortunately I managed to snag an interview with Tristan Jones to find out more about himself and of course the forthcoming comic. Check it out below:
Tell us something about yourself?
I'm Australian. I live in Melbourne with my beautiful better half, Kate. We have a cat named Nulla aka Dude aka Bro. I'm a massive dinosaur nut. If it's got dinosaurs in it, I'll watch/read/play it. It's kinda where the nickname/pen name came from.
What attracted to you to work within comics?
I studied film and television here, and kind of got fed up with it all. Comics were a great way for me to explore ideas without budgets, and the transition between storyboarding and paneling a comic was pretty straight forward. I'd been reading comics all my life, but the attraction to trying it out really only came after Marvel started publishing "director's cuts" of some of their big titles. There wasn't a tremendous difference between film scripting and comic scripting from a technical stand-point, and I kinda half thought "I could do this..." and gave it a go. About a year later I was working on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Mirage. Nowadays, a lot of the attraction is the same -- explorations of ideas, and the freedom other mediums can't provide -- but now that I'm drawing as well, there's a whole element of design and composition that is so much more involving and enthralling for me. I can push those ideas that much further than I could when I was just writing.
What tools do you use to create your designs?
I generally start by roughing things out digitally. I mean really sloppy. Just kinda basic shapes, forms, scene and panel composition... that sort of stuff. I'll print that out in blue-line and then start getting to work filling in details and fine tuning the line work with Microns or super fine pens (the finer the nib, the better for me). Nowadays, I'm using brushes and inks as well, which I think has really bumped things up a bit for me. Generally, then I'll scan it back into the computer, and if there are any bits of blue-line from the rough, I'll use the computer to drop them out so it's just the ink work and touch it up digitally (make the blacks blacker, fix any mistakes, etc.). Sometimes I'll do some tone work from there and maybe colour things if I'm not working with a colourist. Mike Spicer has my back on this one, which is really exciting for me. He's done a lot of amazing work with a friend of mine and I was stoked he agreed to come aboard. He and his wife are big fans of Silent Hill, so that's awesome!
How did you become involved with the newest Silent Hill Comic?
It's actually kind of a long story. Well, not really, just that it stretches back a long time. Back when I first started working for IDW on their Ghostbusters book, I think I'd always expressed a longing to work on a couple of other books as well, and Silent Hill was one of them. I thought it'd be great to do an original story in that world, or even do a solid adaptation of the first game. I talked to Tom about it at San Diego a couple of years ago and he sounded pretty open to it, but back then I was thinking "I'll write, and Justin Randall (who's a good mate and fellow Aussie) would draw".
Anyway, work continued on Ghostbusters and we kinda forgot about it all, but then Tom emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in drawing a follow up to Downpour. Of course! Rad! Awesome! Let's do this! I put together some art to show Konami and Tom, and found out I was kind of in a battle royal of sorts with a handful of other artists (I didn't know who at the time, but later found out a couple of other good friends and influences were amongst the lot), which was a bit worrying, but Konami apparently gave me the thumbs up and it went from there. That was just before New York Comic Con in 2012, so August or something...
What happened next was a bunch of ups and downs and at one point it looked like the whole thing was off, which was a massive bummer, but earlier this year I got asked if I was still up for it and here we are! Really, it's all kinda standard comic book stuff, just with a bit longer than usual.
Can you reveal any exclusive information as to what the story holds?
I CANNOT! Tom's probably the guy to ask about all this...
The key beats Tom's shown me all look great and fit in pretty nicely. There are a couple of bits in there that, from the outline, have a real old-school Silent Hill vibe to them that wasn't necessarily present in Downpour... at least not as overtly as it was in the Team Silent games. It could just be how I was reading it, and it may play out differently when I actually get around to drawing it, but it's cool. From what I understand, it was something that Tom and the other writers of Downpour had in mind pretty much right after the game came out. You could almost think of it as downloadable content for the game I guess... only you have to actually go out and buy it and you can put it on your shelf with the rest of your Silent Hill comics! (Actually, after I got this cleared with Tom, he tipped me in that the outline for this was originally going to BE downloadable content... so there you go Silent Hill fans!)
I lie. Of course I am. I was chomping at the bit for this. I actually had to bypass customs and import Homecoming illegally here because it got banned in Australia. The drill sequence threw ONE backwards thinking, old-guard politician in South Australia (a state known for it's plethora of churches) into a tizz and it was refused classification here. We only JUST received an +18 games classification rating here a couple of years ago. There was much celebration amongst gamers. But back to your question... Yes, I am. I think, like most people, Silent Hill two had a pretty tremendous impact on me when that came out. I think that was one of the first (and few) times I really sat through and played a game from beginning to end without really taking a break (except for the stuff nature designed us to do).
What is your favorite Silent Hill game (if not Downpour)?
I think it's commonplace for people to say 2, and anyone can see why, but I think I actually like 3 more when I think about it. I also really like what they did with Shattered Memories. I fucking love the ending to that game. Such a punch to the guts.
Out of all the work you have completed over the years what would you say you're the most proud of and why?
Proudest of... That's hard. I think the creator owned work I'm doing right now is what I'm proudest of. Not that I don't put the most amount of work I can into each job, but there's something about creating a world yourself and bringing that to life that really makes it special. The thing I'm putting together right now is kind of like "The Road" meets "Godzilla". Horrible, vaguely nihilistic stuff. I promised an editor friend I'd take it to him when it was ready, so hopefully it'll see the light of day in the next year or so. There's also a book I'm doing with an artist here in Melbourne which came from our love of all those gothic horror movies Hammer and Amicus were putting out through the Sixties and Seventies, which I think is some of the best stuff I've ever written.
What will you be working on next?
Tom's been great and has hooked me up with a lot of cover gigs that've been great fun to do, so I'm sure there'll be more of those. Outside of that the only certainty is the creator owned stuff. I'd love to write and draw my own Silent Hill story, and there are a couple of other properties at IDW that I'd love to play with too, maybe do the same with Ghostbusters at some point, and Jurassic Park (or World... whatever they're calling it all now). Oh! And I have some art in the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 30th Anniversary issue...!
What kind of advice would you give someone who wants to pursue the same career?
Keep working at whatever it is you do -- draw, write, colour, letter -- and try to learn a bit about each discipline too! Put in the work, but don't overburden yourself, and the rewards and satisfaction are incalculable.
Silent Hill Downpour: Anne's Story will be released August 20th 2014. Priced at $3.99, be sure to pre-order your copy from your local Comic Book Store asap!
Keep up to date and check out additional works by T-Rex Jones via his Tumblr and Facebook