Dead Man Dan Returns In MediEvil Graphic Novel
Sep 17, 2019
MediEvil is an original graphic novel set in the gothic land of Gallowmere, starring everyone’s favorite undead knight, the jawless wonder himself – Sir Daniel Fortesque! The unlikely hero of the MediEvil game series took the Playstation by storm in the 90s, and a highly-anticipated remake of his adventures claws its way onto the Playstation 4 on October 25, 2019!
Written by the director of MediEvil, Chris Sorrell, and illustrated by MediEvil lead artist Jason Wilson (Surface Tension), this rib-tickling new adventure is set to release along the remake! We grabbed our torch and pitchfork and hunted down these two madmen, to find exactly what the MediEvil OGN (SEP192008) has in store!
PREVIEWSworld: It’s great to see dead man Dan making a comeback! What's it like to return to Gallowmere after all this time?
Jason Wilson: Like slipping on a pair of old (skull embroidered) slippers! They still seem to fit, and they’re still very comfortable. It was almost 25 years ago that I sat down with Chris to doodle and brainstorm some ideas for his new game. I had just come from working on a horror game of my own so it felt like a seamless transition. We both have a natural chemistry for working together on this sort of material, as we’re both big fans of the horror genre and we enjoy playing similar styles of video-games. I will happily admit that MediEvil was the best fun that I ever had making a video-game – it was a perfect storm of youthful naivety, passion and the freedom (plus a Sony budget) to make the game that we wanted to play.
Chris Sorrell: Returning to the world of MediEvil after more than twenty years is a truly unexpected pleasure! Of all the things I’ve worked on, MediEvil was easily the most fun, and I’ve long wished I could somehow continue Sir Dan’s adventures. First it was amazing to see news of the PS4 remake, and when the chance to work on the comic came up, it almost seemed to good to be true!
PREVIEWSworld: For complete newcomers – what's MediEvil all about? Who's it for, what's the genre, and what's up with the jawless wonder on the front cover?
Chris Sorrell: MediEvil tells the story of an undead knight who has unfinished business with the evil sorcerer that accidentally reanimated him, one hundred years after his death. The history books say that the knight – Sir Daniel Fortesque – died a hero, protecting his kingdom. However we quickly learn from others, such as the eternal gargoyles dotted around the kingdom, that he was a coward and a fraud. Sir Dan’s quest is one of redemption – making up for his failings in life, and proving the gargoyles wrong.
Dan might not be the most dashing looking hero – he lost an eye when he first died and his lower jaw somewhere else along the way – but a more valiant skeleton you couldn’t hope to meet!
So MediEvil the game was a third person action-adventure with a humorously gothic tone and rather offbeat main character. The comic is really an extension of that, and as such will certainly resonate with fans of the original game. It should be a lot of fun for newcomers to the series too – the nature of our story is such that you don’t need to know too much going in for it to make sense.
PREVIEWSworld: What made you decide to bring Sir Dan to comics? In retrospect, he seems like a perfect fit, but it's been a long time coming...
Chris Sorrell: I think Sony were interested in doing something that might compliment their (extensive!) efforts in remaking the game. Especially given Jason’s skill as an original comic creator, a comic seemed a great fit. For my part, there was an idea I had back in 2003 that I’ve been wanting to properly explore ever since… A way to both continue Sir Dan’s story whilst also returning to its roots. This story might once have been the basis for a potential MediEvil 3, but I think it makes for an even better comic and a perfect way to celebrate the HD remake.
Jason Wilson: I had left Sony and the world of video-games to write and draw comics. My first original book was with Titan Comics – Surface Tension, which is a folk-horror sci-fi fantasy story. In the back of my mind I was always toying with the idea of a MediEvil comic, but I would never undertake such a task without Chris! So I would occasionally prod him and say that it’d be cool to see a MediEvil comic, but we were always too busy to take the idea seriously.
So when George Weising at Sony asked me if I would be interested in working on a MediEvil prequel comic I leapt at the chance! I would only do it with Chris’ blessing and involvement, and so I excitedly told him about the offer. When Chris told me about his unproduced concept for a MediEvil 3 game, serving as both a sequel and a prequel, I knew that we simply had to tell that story!
PREVIEWSworld: Jason’s worked on comics before (the amazing Surface Tension), but this is Chris' comics debut. What's that been like? How did you two split the creative duties on this comic?
Chris Sorrell: When the comic was first discussed, Jason had some great new ideas (as he always does!). However, I’d had this one idea rattling around for ages that seemed too significant to pass up. So I wrote up a first draft in comic form and Jason seemed to really like it. He made some excellent suggestions to better structure it for a comic, and more great character ideas, and taking these on board we worked up a rough version in panel form. After that, of course, the gargantuan task of realizing all of the artwork fell to Jason – so much work, in a relatively short space of time! ...Of course along the way he injected even more great ideas, as well as visual nods to the original game that fans will definitely appreciate.
Jason Wilson: I mostly left Chris alone to write the script, but asked for a story outline upfront so I could provide some notes and suggestions. Mostly I focused my time on drawing and designing the book – I like to think that we surprised each other with new ideas for each other during our collaboration. After working on a number of my own books as a solo creator, I was happy to work more collaboratively – this comic provided me with a much-needed change of gears!
I can’t think of many creators in the history of video-games that got to return to a game that they started almost 25 years ago and actually get to write and illustrate a comic book that continues their work – it’s an amazing privilege.
PREVIEWSworld: Can we expect to see any other fan-favorite characters show up? Princess Kiya, perhaps, or any of the residents of the Hall of Heroes?
Jason Wilson: Oh yes! We pay homage to both MediEvil 1 and 2, and certain characters and events from both games play into this time loop of a story. There’s a monster that never quite got the screen time it deserved returning in our story that should delight fans of the original game.
Chris Sorrell: Revisiting the world of Gallowmere back when Sir Dan was first alive of course gives us the chance to see more of characters we’ve only so far glimpsed, to explore the world in more detail, and gain a whole new perspective on things. So yes, the story starts with Dan and Kiya – we’re also going to meet up with King Peregrin, Dan’s old nemesis Zarok, and a favorite from the Hall of Heroes. And that’s just chapter one! That said, there’s a lot more to the comic than just reminiscing with old friends – the chance to see these familiar faces was really just a bonus!
PREVIEWSworld: So what can readers expect from the story?
Chris Sorrell: The comic begins with Sir Dan and Princess Kiya escaping the events of MediEvil 2 in a time machine. Dan is returned to his original time, shortly before the infamous Battle of Gallowmere is to take place. He soon meets up with his living former self and. …Well, suffice it to say that he has to work with some old friends to defeat some old foes, and along the way we pack in a surprising number of funny moments, heroic moments, sad moments and surprises!
PREVIEWSworld: Do you have a favorite scene or character you enjoyed bringing to the page?
Chris Sorrell: Honestly – I’ve enjoyed bringing the whole thing to the page, and there are a good number of scenes that make me smile even after reading through it so many times! Some parts are so silly, others so sad… The fact that MediEvil allows you to roll together bathos and pathos into a quirky skull-shaped ball is truly what makes this thing so much fun to work on.
Jason Wilson: My favourite character is Sir Dan in his human, living form – the cowardly braggart that is Captain Fortesque. I’ve seen many fan interpretations of the living Daniel Fortesque over the years, so I hope that our version comes as something of an unexpected surprise. I certainly had a lot of fun drawing the toothy rascal, especially during a certain revealing scene! Other than Captain Fortesque I did enjoy drawing the brave and plucky Canny Tim, whom has a few surprises in store for fans of the Hall of Heroes.
PREVIEWSworld: Any special words for fans of the series?
Jason Wilson: This comic is a true continuation of the world of MediEvil in comic form. We wouldn’t have wanted to make this comic if it was just a cheap cash-in. It was an absolute pleasure to return to MediEvil and I hope that the fans of Sir Daniel Fortesque will be as delighted reading our book as we were making it – you’ll laugh, discover new shocking revelations, cringe with fear and perhaps even shed an emotional tear by the story’s end.
Chris Sorrell: Like I say, I never would have expected to be working on a MediEvil comic in 2019. For that I have to express my appreciation to Sony, but even more so to all the fans of the game who still care about it and are excited for more MediEvil adventures after all this time! Thank you so much!
It was a real privilege to work with our amazing team to make MediEvil in the first place, and an even greater honor to have seen – over the years – how the game has meant so much to so many people. I believe that the story we’re telling in the comic digs deeper into many of the things that you first found compelling in MediEvil, and hopefully it will further add to your enjoyment of the new game.