Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep’s Ales Kot & Piotr Kowalski Welcome Readers to YharnamMain Art by Piotr Kowalski & Brad Simpson Comics Features Bloodborne
FromSoftware’s eldritch horror saga Bloodborne isn’t an easy game to adapt into sequential art; despite disturbing visuals and a deep lore, Bloodborne guards its narrative secrets fiercely, parsing out only small details about its world between absolutely punishing boss fights and creature tussles. The New World writer Aleš Kot and Sex artist Piotr Kowalski pulled off a minor miracle with Titan Comics’ comic companion, translating the look and feel of Bloodborne to the printed page with a storyline that embraced, rather than ran from, the game’s constant cycle of death and rebirth.
With the second arc, “The Healing Thirst” now underway, Bloodborne has officially expanded from a limited series to an ongoing tale, which makes the first trade paperback collection an excellent way for curious readers to catch up to Kot and Kowalski’s doom-laden story. Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep is available now in comic shops and via retailers like Amazon, and Paste has commentary on the opening scene from Kot and Kowalski to further persuade any Yharnamites still on the fence. Check that out below, along with an excerpt from The Death of Sleep.
Writer Aleš Kot:
All I wanted to achieve with the first scene was a sense of immersion that would throw the reader—no matter if familiar with Bloodborne or not—right into the world, and keep them within it. So I boiled things down to their basic elements—the most visually widespread clothing and overall gear of our Hunter, the opening of the gate signifying a new stage/level, the basic Yharnamites/antagonists, the city in peril and then, of course, the elements of dread, horror, action and terror…culminating with entering the unknown as the door opens in the final pages of the scene, once again transitioning us, this time towards Djura and his group. In a sense, this is all one continuous scene, and so is the entire chapter, but these mini-breaks were important to me as well, because they signify changes in consciousness that play a significant role during the reading process. After all, what is Bloodborne about if not about perception?
Artist Piotr Kowalski:
There is a main divide in comic visuals—static pages and dynamic pages. Static ones are usually more demanding, you have to make the page interesting enough to capture the viewer’s eye. In the case of Bloodborne, I decided to avoid using panels without backgrounds.
Sometimes, panels like that are needed (for example, close-ups). In my opinion though, it is always good to draw some background, anything that would suggest the surroundings that the character exists in. I think it helps establish the world, and that’s what I tried to do in the visuals of Bloodborne.