October has seen the start of a new Assassin’s Creed series from Ubisoft and Titan Comics, launched to compliment the recent next gen game release. Comic Crusaders caught up with co-writer Anthony Del Col, after his recent trip to NYCC, to talk about his writing partnership Connor McCreery, gaming skills and the benefits of working on licenced products:-
CC: Hello Anthony, thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to answer a few questions, I am interested in how you two met and how you each broke into the comic book industry?
ADC: Conor and I met almost fifteen years ago through a mutual friend. We both attended the same business school (but not at the same time) and both we were working in the film/TV business in Canada. We hit it off right off the bat and had mutual tastes in film and entertainment. We developed a couple children’s TV properties together before coming up with the idea for Kill Shakespeare. We had talked about doing a comic together and Kill Shakespeare seemed like the perfect fit. Two years later we were releasing the comic with IDW Publishing!
CC: How does the writing dynamic work for you? Is one the plot guy and the other the dialogue guy?
ADC: Conor and I sit down and map out the story arcs for all of the issues together and then split up the scripts. I’ll take one, Conor will take the next, and then we go back and forth on them, getting them better and better (or worse and worse, depending on your opinion…).
CC: What makes working on an IP like Assassins interesting?
ADC: It’s our first time working with a heavily-licensed IP like this so it’s great to see how Ubisoft is shepherding the franchise. And beyond the internal machinations, it’s such an amazing world that allows us to delve into so many historical time periods!
CC: What are the main differences between working on a licensed book rather than original stuff like Kill Shakespeare?
ADC: With Kill Shakespeare, we control the property so have complete carte blanche on what to do with it. With Assassin’s Creed we work with Titan and Ubisoft to ensure it all fits into the larger picture. Many would think it’s more difficult but I actually like working with restrictions – I find it easier to work and actually allows for greater, controlled creativity that way.
CC: The book is part of Ubisoft’s programme of awareness as the new game hits stands. How much does their interaction alter/change your storytelling?
ADC: All of their interactions help us, not hinder us. Let’s face it – they’ve created an amazing world and understand story so help us make our characters and stories even stronger with their notes. They make sure we don’t step on the toes of canon as well, since they know the entire world inside-and-back.
CC: Have either of you played any Assassin Creed before and if so, who is the better gamer?
ADC: Neither of us are hard-core gamers but I’ve played a couple of the Assassin’s Creed games before starting this project. As for who would win? I think I’m the better cheater in general so would use that to my advantage…
CC: Ps4 or Xbox one?
ADC: I’m a PS4 guy.
CC: There are a lot of licensed books out there, what do you feel is the attraction?
ADC: For publishing companies, it’s the ability to create books with pre-existing characters than have fanbases. That’s the major reason. For video game publishers, it’s the ability to tell other stories that might not be able to be made in one format but work perfectly in another. For writers like myself, it’s the ability to play in fun sandboxes with worlds that have been created that can be grown.
CC: Of all the games out there, which do you both feel has the most potential for a comic book series?
ADC: I would LOVE to be able to write a Bioshock comic series! It’s my favourite game franchise and I WANT to help expand this world! Please forward this onto anyone you know associated with the game…
CC: I will see what I can do….. Creator type Darwin-ism question – which is more important (or has the most impact): the IP or the comic and how do you think the dynamic changes when the comic is the IP and other mediums such as TV or movies get involved?
ADC: That depends upon your definition of impact. In terms of actual users, things like television and video games have the ability to reach wider audiences. However, comics allow for more personalized storytelling so one could argue it’s more pure that way.
CC: What’s next for you two?
ADC: We’re currently finishing the first arc of Assassin’s Creed, plotting out the next two, and also developing Kill Shakespeare for television. Lots of other things but we can’t tell you because we’ve been sworn to secrecy by the Brotherhood…
CC: Well, I definitely wouldn’t want to run afoul of the Brotherhood. Once again a big thank you for your time and good luck with the book.
For more information, head over to the review section, for a review of the first issue of the new Assassin’s Creed book.