Gaming Illustrated takes a look inside the impressive and macabre pages of The Art of Dead Space and the series three intense graphic novels.
The Art of Dead Space
This grotesque collection of mutilated bodies and severed alien limbs makes for an excellent coffee table book. The Art of Dead Space begins with a touching forward by art director Ian Milham and leads over 300 images spanned across 150 pages of original and some never-before-seen Dead Space art. From initial concepts of Isaac Clarke to the evolution of the necromorph, the Art of Dead Space is a fantastic look into the creation of Dead Space. Commentary is constant throughout the book offering insight into different designs and explaining parts of the Dead Space story players and readers may have previously missed. With a glut of guts, gore, and interesting trivia this art book is an absolute must-have for Dead Space collectors.
Dead Space Graphic Novel
Written by Antony Johnston this six volume graphic novel explains the events leading up to the necromorph nightmare. The discovery of an alien Marker has ignited chaos among a galactic human colony. Insomnia, hallucinations, paranoia, and other worrisome conditions have suddenly plagued colonists resulting in violent outbreaks. Zealous Unitologists have become obsessed with the mysterious Marker and its supposed purpose, going to radical measures in order to praise the unholy relic. Readers will follow Abraham Neumann as he tries to escape the colony a midst the precipitously growing Marker-caused panic. These are the events that set the stage for the famous Dead Space video game series. The book also includes an art gallery and Dead Space Extraction. Dead Space Extraction provides background information directly related to Isaac Clarke and Nicole Brennan, major plot characters of the original Dead Space video game. All artwork is spectacularly drawn by Ben Templessmith whose unique style lends a deranged, inhuman aesthetic to the spooky Dead Space story. The scenes in the novel are easy to follow and readers unfamiliar with graphic novels will have no difficulty adapting to the novel’s flow.
Dead Space Salvage
Dead Space Salvage is a different beast than the aforementioned graphic novel. Story writer Antony Johnston makes his return in this installment. A group of scavengers called Magpies has happened upon the not-so-deserted USG Ishimura. Convinced they could earn a pretty penny for the seemingly silent planet-cracker the Magpies aboard the Ishimura unaware of what awaits them, their objective quickly switching from salvaging to surviving. The artwork in Dead Space Salvage is by Christopher Shy. Shy’s work takes on a more realistic, mature approach. Laudable attention to detail, darker, more morose colors and scenes depict a more violent, more eerie necromorph threat. Unfortunately the artwork often made it difficult to determine what was happening and sometimes text was cut off on the pages. The story itself seemed a little disjointed and it was difficult to connect with characters. Readers new to graphic novels or the Dead Space franchise may struggle to read through this graphic novel.
Dead Space Liberation
Players who have recently completed the Dead Space 3 video game may enjoy this background graphic novel. The events of Dead Space Liberation provide the foundation for the beginning of Dead Space 3. Ian Edginton writes the story of Earthgov Sergeant John Carver, the determined and unforgiving military man who loses his family to a Unitologist terrorist attack. After joining together with Ellie Langford and Captain Robert Norton, Carver sets off on a mission to avenge his family and end the necromorph threat once and for all. Christopher Shy returns in this novel with his exceptional designs. Artwork is bizarre thanks to a mix of violent and graceful styles and matches the overall depressing, fatalistic feel of Dead Space. Again, it is often difficult to determine exactly what is happening in the graphic novel but fans will enjoy the historical information within the pages.