Indie Comics team up with Indie Games

By Kieron Gillen on April 7th, 2008 at 12:12 pm.

It is a girl who is hot, yet punk. I'm not sure where McKelvie gets his idea.
Yes, it’s true, Hot Punk Girl. Jamie McKelvie, creator of indie comics like the critically acclaimed Suburban Glamour and Phonogram, will be providing character art for Positech‘s forthcoming sequel to Kudos. Putting aside the fact Jamie’s a friend of mine – yeah, I write That There Phonogram - I think this is an interesting move for Positech. As much as I like Cliff Harris’ games, they’re lacking in glamour and McKelvie is someone who absolutely keeps the grounded reality which Cliff needs while adding style. Compare and contrast a Kudos figure and Jamie’s rendering of a similarly grounded character. Which he’s bitching at me linking to, as it’s a few years old and he’d rather I show something more modern. Or this. Or even this. The perpetual whiner.

Which makes me think – is there any artist, comics or otherwise, people would like to see contribute towards a game? And what game, for that matter?

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40 Comments »

  1. Jamie McKelvie says:

    I’m going to punch you in the throat for linking that damn picture.

  2. Andrew Farrell says:

    Obvious one – Cel Shaded Jamie Hewlett

    Didn’t Dave Gibbons do the art for Under a Steel Sky?

  3. Kieron Gillen says:

    Yup, Beneath a Steel Sky was Gibbons. And I’d love to see Hewlett.

    KG

  4. RedRum says:

    Wow a true, comic-geek/gamer cross-over fan-boy question thats made me entertain commenting on something for the first time. ever.

    Jamie Hewlett
    Frank Quietly
    Darick Robertson
    Steve Dillon
    Ben Templesmith

    Hang on, it this just a list of my fav artists or ones who would work well in games? Well, actually both. All these artists have such specific but matured styles that would cross-over quite succesfully

    Specifically Jamie Hewlett and Templesmith I’d say. Hewletts manic and exaggeratted images would work well on something like an insane looking platformer. While Templesmith could create an incredibly atmospheric and spooky FPS or GTA-style game

    Hold on! What about Bryan Hitch or Mike Oeming! Hitch the father of wide-screen superhero comics with Warren Ellis and Oeming with his classic heavy-lined crime-noir escapades on Powers. Man those two would have a ball on a FPS/RPG type thing

    Maybe I’m just talkign crap but it’s certainly got my uber-geek juices flowing.

    Jamie – thats a great picture – Love your comics by the way, a big fan…

  5. Tom Armitage says:

    Cel-shaded Mike Allred?

    Quietly doing the art for something like Crackdown would be lovely, too.

  6. Ian says:

    Ooh… I’d love to see Bryan Talbot doing something. Perhaps even a Luther Arkwright game.

    That, or something noiresque and creepy by Alberto Breccia (a good appreciation here).

  7. Okami says:

    I’d love to see Amano do artworks for a game. And not just concept art like he did for Final Fantasy. Maybe a game in the vein of Odin Sphere with everything hand painted by Amano…

  8. Dracko says:

    Jonathan Hickman I could easily see transcribed to a Flash-based narrative or the like. Quitely or Talbot would be lovely, and though I’m no fan at all of his writing, McKelvie is an amazing artist and I hope he gets to see more work of this sort. Brian Wood already did stuff for Rockstar, but with good reason: He could serve to work more in gaming.

    I’d also add Jock, Frazer Irving and possibly David Petersen for something a little more… not light-hearted but earthy or fantastical might be the words.

    If we’re talking Japanese or European artists, I’d love to see Tsutomu Nihei – whose BLAME! I believe was a major inspiration behind the Halo series’ alien architecture. or Enki Bilal cook up something.

  9. nihohit says:

    Actually, trite as it is, I think that cel-shading will work best with a Frank-Millerish, Sin-city-ish look.

  10. Nick says:

    Will Simpson, though I think he is doing storyboarding and suchlike these days. Good old Norn Iron artist, worked on some Hellblazer around the time of Garth Ennis and some 2000AD amongst others. I love his style.

  11. Billy King says:

    David Hellman from ‘The Lesson is Learned’ .. oh wait, Braid.

  12. Dracko says:

    If we’re talking webcomics, I want a Jerkcity surrealist adventure game.

  13. K says:

    I’d like to see the game where she’s trapped in a giant game of Kerplunk.

  14. KBKarma says:

    Stuart Immonen, in my opinion, would be an excellent choice. He’s done some great work in the past.
    Jhonen Vasquez would be… interesting, to say the least. Something like Psychonauts, but darker.

  15. Citizen Parker says:

    We’ve managed to use cel-shading to make games look like comics, but I’ve always pondered a game that could be made to look like the oil paint portraits like some of the old masters from the Renaissance, but in motion.

    Maybe something set back then too, an adventure game that spanned some of the city-states of the Hanseatic League, whose Dukes were always trying to one-up each other with crap like commissioned portraits anyway.

    Of course, there’d probably be a market of about five people for that game, and three of them would download it off a torrent site anyway because it sounds too weird. So maybe that’s not a great idea.

  16. Kieron Gillen says:

    I’d love to see that, Citizen.

    KG

  17. James T says:

    Dali and Escher should definitely have focused on map-design, I dunno what they were thinking with the whole paint/ink thing.

    Good call on Hewlett — a Get the Freebies game could’ve been a delight (unlike that unbelievably shit live-action BBC3 thing recently; I’d gladly volunteer to give Jessica Hynes a disciplinary spanking for that one); heck, imagine an open-worldy Tank Girl… Ahh, but it’s too late. The moral is, if you try adapting a Hewlett comic, you’re probably crap.

    I love Glenn Fabry’s stuff, give him a designer gig on one of those Conan type games, he’d knock it out of the park.

    …And then there’s Amanda Conner and Ross Campbell, but now we’re just getting into artists I like; being able to draw is less than half the battle in game-making land…

  18. wyrmsine says:

    I’d love to see the Vertigo “Shade, the Changing Man” team arting up a game, specifically Bachalo and/or Brendan McCarthy. A Mike Mignola game would be something wonderful, but that goes without saying…

    Seconding Quitely and Immonen.

    And funny enough, but there was a player-made Quake 2 model of Vasquez’ Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. It was one of the few models that would get you kicked from a server, as the thing was (accurately) skinny enough to be damn near invisible.

  19. Dracko says:

    I know Simon Bisley did character designs and such for Weaponlord. I can’t think of many other such instances of comic artists working on games.

  20. Kieron Gillen says:

    Wyrm: I was going to bring up Brendan myself actually. His Swimini Purpose is just a glorious thing.

    KG

  21. Solario says:

    Paul Pope? What? If he can do fashion, he can do games.

  22. Janto says:

    I think a bunch of ex 2000ADers got into concept art, at least, although the final artwork probably had none of their actual style in it.

    Diverging, Thief’s movie cutscenes made me WANT a 3D game with that exact painterly style too…

  23. Darius K. says:

    This just makes me all the sadder over Seth Fisher‘s untimely death. He was a great example of an artist who crossed between comics and video games with ease. I mean, just look at this stuff. Man, now I’m depressed.

  24. cliffski says:

    evil genius’s characters were designed by a guy called siku who was a 200ad artist as i recall.

  25. malkav11 says:

    I have trouble picturing people’s artwork translating to games. Kudos is obviously an exception, as the artwork was simply stills on backgrounds – any game like that just needs an artist that’s good at the style of art it needs.

    Particularly people like Ben Templesmith. The man’s awesome, but I have no idea how that style would translate to 3D at all.

    I crave an Invader Zim game. I will say that.

  26. Ixis says:

    Me…

    Or, foo swee chin, more Doug TenNapel, or Brian Lee O’Malley.

  27. Doug F says:

    Ixis -

    Considering how much Scott Pilgrim references video games, I fear any game Brian Lee O’Malley had a hand in might get stuck in a feedback loop.

  28. James T says:

    Plus he can only draw about 3 people.

  29. Sören Höglund says:

    I’m definitely going to have to buy Kudos 2 now that it’ll feature loads of hot punk girls.

    I’m easy to please, me.

  30. Dracko says:

    James T: That and he really, really sucks.

  31. James T says:

    He’s no ‘Weaponlord’ though!

  32. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dracko: You’ve said many outrageous things on RPS, but that takes the cake. Honour can only be satisfied by bloodshed. A duel, sir, a duel.

    KG

  33. silencer says:

    Citizen Parker: Not exactly oil paintings, but Sega’s Valkyrie of the Battlefield is aiming for a “watercolor painting in motion” look (PS3).

    http://kotaku.com/360404/sega-marches-valkyria-chronicles-westward
    http://ps3.ign.com/objects/950/950634.html

  34. Dracko says:

    They’re only outrageous because everyone else is afraid of offending Hot Topic hipsters for some reason.

    Scott Pilgrim is to gaming culture what Jhonen Vasquez is to goths.

    Next you’ll tell me this blog supports Diablo Cody and Joss Whedon.

  35. Kieron Gillen says:

    …are you calling me a Hot Topic hipster.

    DUEL!

    KG

  36. Dracko says:

    Bring it!

  37. Cycle says:

    Hello.

  38. Gilzor says:

    I love McKitten.

  39. Cigol says:

    It just occurred to me if you’re good friends with this guy then why not convince him to do the artwork for those RPS t-shirts (suggested in an earlier article)? Would then be something worth paying for in my opinion, which means everyone’s a winner – except him, don’t pay him. Make him do it as a favour.

  40. James T says:

    I’m not that big on Vasquez (there’s a lot of pomposity in ‘Johnny’ that isn’t backed up by actual smarts, although he improved heaps from ‘Squee’ onwards), but I’d take his work over BLOM’s any day of the week.

    I think I might just crosspost something I wrote elsewhere…

    I’m 3-and-a-bit books into ‘Scott Pilgrim’ and I grant that occasionally some snippets of the chatter are amusing, but aside from that and a few marginally affecting reminders of my horrible teenage excuses-for-relationships (which require only rhat a writer happen to chuck the right set of circumstances into their story, so no bonus points there LOL THAT SOUNDED LIKE A VIDEOGAME REFERENCE), I’m not enjoying this at all — I’ve no sense of affection, or interest, positive or negative, in any of the characters — not even the much-trodden-upon but completely unsympathetic Knives, and especially not Scott, a boneheaded bishi-boy cipher without a speck of charm to justify his supposed irresistibility.
    Part of the problem is the art, which I don’t hate for its simplicity or any such thing (I love Andi Watson, after all) but because, well… it’s cute that they keep changing their hair, but since hairstyle is the only thing to visually differentiate most of the key characters from each other (apart from freckles, which are found only on two unintentionally identical blondes anyway, eesh!), it does reduce group altercations into a mush of “wait, who’s that? Didn’t that guy explode last chapter? When did they turn against each other? Was that Scott? I thought those two were together…”. Quite apart from the limitations of the artwork and the merely-adequate story though, are the horrible videogame parts; dreadful, pandering, IF I PRESS UP DOWN UP DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT A B START, I UNLEASH NOSTALGIA POWERUP & DON’T HAVE TO DO ANY WRITING FOR A FEW PAGES stuff. ‘Sex Bob-omb’? SHUT UP.

    (…”Kid Chameleon”‘s a good choice though)

    I don’t think Bryan O’Malley is actually being cynical in his Peter Kay-esque “REMEMBER MEGAMAN?! ALSO: I AM APROP-ER-ATING AKIRA” nostalgo-whimsy (I actually quite like the ‘seven evil exes’ setup, if only he’d put some effort and wit into it) but it still strikes me as really lazy, really unclever stuff.

    edit: Waitasec; I’ve seen you on YMB, Kieron! Truly, a small world.