You’ve been developing WASTED LANDS for nearly 20 years. What was the original inspiration for it, and what about it has stuck with you for so long?
DAVE DORMAN: The original concept was born of a video game entitled “Skyborg: Into the Vortex.” It was a game produced by Skybox, the card company, to cross over into video gaming. The style of the game was very Myst-like, but had a collectible card element. For the game, the concept was that there were five different worlds that the player would travel through. Each of those worlds was created by a different artist: Brom, Julie Bell, Brian Stelfreeze, Dave McKean and me. For that project, I created a set of characters and a semi-finished world to place them in. At the time, it was called “Projectile World.” Within that world were the main characters that eventually became the focus of my WASTED LANDS universe: Edge, Iguana, M. d’Cease, etc.
The world was realized enough to work within the game, but as I continued to roll the characters around in my head, a much different, grander story began to develop, which eventually lead to the RAIL: BROKEN THINGS graphic novel in 2001.
It stuck with me because I’ve loved the comics medium and storytelling since I was a kid. My career, however, has been mostly built on creating art for other characters and licenses. By creating these characters in this world, I have an opportunity to show my fans that I can do more than just work with previously established licenses. This is my opportunity to contribute to the media I’ve loved all of my life: comics.
There have been glimpses into this world released through a variety of outlets over the years, including prose shorts, graphic novel anthologies, and self-published single issues. How did you approach collecting all of these materials into a single volume and continuity?
DD: The graphic novel series that started originally with RAIL was intended to be a five-book series, following EDGE and his comrades through their adventures in THE WASTED LANDS. Unfortunately, after the release of RAIL, things got sidetracked both legally and financially. I was unable to follow up the book at that time with its continuation. However, over the years, it has lived as a reality inside of my head. I have been able to tell smaller stories through various avenues such as Dave Elliott’s A-1 anthology, the Penthouse Comics magazine and other media outlets. These stories give you a little more information about the characters and their world. Unfortunately, there’s no direct tie to any of these diverse stories because they were published as disparate entities.
Now that I am planning to continue the graphic novel series and finish the story of RAIL, we decided it would be good to bring all of these stories together as a bigger introduction for the new readers to get a little deeper into the characters and background of THE WASTED LANDS world. Along with the comic stories that have been published, we will be including two text stories written by my writing collaborator Del Stone Jr. Both stories–once again printed in very obscure media–will be reformatted, re-edited and contain new artwork by me and other renowned artists.
Read the rest of the interview at the
WASTED LANDS WEBPAGE!