ROLL THE DIE
Kieron Gillen puts on his game face for new Image comic book series DIE
After exploring music and pop
culture in Phonogram and The Wicked + The Divine, Kieron Gillen will be delving into gaming in DIE, his new ongoing Image series with artist Stephanie Hans.
“It’s not a throwaway fantasy world, it’s a fantasy world that includes everything that went into the intellectual stew that begat role playing games,” explains Gillen. “But it’s not just the cerebral part. There’s also the personal side of it – what games did for me, why I loved them, where it got me and what they cost.”
Inexplicably disappearing while playing an RPG when they were only 16 before returning just as mysteriously two years later, the six main characters have also paid a heavy price for their love of gaming. “The story is set in 2018, with them as 40-somethings, and that awful past catching back up with them,” teases Gillen. “The first arc is them dealing with that, or rather, not dealing with it.” Having described the series as a “Goth
Jumanji”, DIE is also influenced by Stephen King’s ’80s works, and Gillen notes similarities with IT’s recent big screen outing. “We don’t do the full dual timeline structure, but it’s definitely one of the closest touchstones,” he says. “The actual inspiration came from joking with some friends about, ‘Hey, whatever happened to those kids in the 1980s Dungeons
And Dragons cartoon?’ Fast forward 10 hours, and I burst into tears as I realised exactly why that had stuck under my skin. So a device to compare your teenage fantasies and your adult realities seemed utterly essential.”
Claiming that “it’s ironic and it’s not,” Gillen is reluctant to elaborate on the meaning between the succinct but ominous title. “DIE echoes through the book in multiple places,” he says. “And half of them are spoilers.” SJ
DIE #1 is published on 5 December.
Those acid flashbacks were getting severe.