The novelist and comics writer tells Will Salmon about his new video games influenced mini-series Overrun, described as “Tron meets Dawn Of The Dead”
The Overrun creator tells us about creating his cyber-epic.
CH: What was your initial starting point for Overrun?
AE: I had just come off the back of my debut novel Forty-Five and was scratching my head for the next “world-building” concept. Having spent nearly 40 years either playing or working on computer games, my thinking began to gravitate towards an idea set inside a computer. I love
Tron but wanted a completely different vision for Overrun. I always envisaged a computer to be a bustling cosmopolitan city like New York or London. The Matrix was also a major influence on me. I enjoyed the realism of its computerised world, but I didn’t want the “jacking in/out” aspect that really defined The Matrix. In
Overrun I wanted the citizens to be unaware of anything outside of their own world, or if they were aware, then to question it much like a religion. This wasn’t a story about a guy or girl jumping into the computer world, this was about the computer world.
CH: How did you come up with the idea of people as computer files?
AE: I spend a lot of time on a train commuting to and from London, and one day, as I sat there probably delayed by signal failure for the umpteenth time, I began to imagine my fellow passengers as computer file types to pass the time. It was relatively easy to create groups – anyone carrying a backpack, for instance, was a document, others with headphones were music files, and so on. After a while, I realised that I had unintentionally created the inhabitants of Overrun. All I needed now was to come up with an enthralling story. [It] starts on a train journey into a computer city with all these file types sitting around, just as on my commute.
CH: How long have you been working on the project?
AE: I started batting the idea in my mind around late 2011. I tend to do a lot of stewing before I sit down to write anything, so it wasn’t until mid 2012 that I actually managed to type a word. At first it was just
Below: Covers to issues 4 and 1 respectively by Cosmo White & Kinetic Underground..