Kris Oprisko Interview

Kris Oprisko is the Vice President of IDW, but he has also written some of IDW books including CSI: Miami ·Thou Shalt Not and the Underworld adaptation. This month, he teams with artist Ashely Wood to bring the popular video game Metal Gear Solid to comics. Worlds of Westfield Content Editor Roger Ash recently contacted Oprisko to find out more.

Westfield: For people unfamiliar with Metal Gear Solid, what can you tell us about the game? What is the premise?

Kris Oprisko: Metal Gear Solid is one of the best selling and most popular video games of all time, and the comic series will tell the story of the original Metal Gear Solid game. For those unfamiliar with the storyline, it chronicles the adventures of the world?s foremost infiltration expert, Solid Snake, as he attempts to penetrate an island that?s been taken over by a group of terrorists. This group has been genetically enhanced, but that?s not the worst of it: they also have access to a nuclear weapon and have threatened to use it. It?s Snake?s job to infiltrate the island, rescue the hostages that have been taken, and avert nuclear disaster.

Westfield: What can people look to storywise in the book? Will it go beyond the game?

Oprisko: Although it does follow the storyline of the game, it has been adapted to play to the strengths of the comic medium. This allows us more time to dwell on the periods of intense, frenetic action that make the game so great. I?m also able to explore some scenes and situations that are alluded to in the characters? dialogue but are not depicted in the game itself: in fact, issue #1 opens with just such a scene.

Westfield: What does artist Ashley Wood bring to the mix?

Oprisko: Ash is an incredible talent who puts his mark on everything he does, and Metal Gear is no exception. This is a great project for Ash to work on because he is a huge fan of the game, and the driving force behind Metal Gear Solid, Producer Hideo Kojima, is also a fan of Ashley?s. Ash has really been striving to outdo himself on Metal Gear, and so far he?s succeeding!

Westfield: How does bringing a video game to comics compare/contrast to bringing a TV show such as CSI to comics?

Oprisko: Having written both CSI and Metal Gear Solid for IDW, I?d have to say the biggest difference is in the way I visualize the issue. In the case of CSI, I?m imagining the characters from the show as I run them through various storylines I?m mulling over, until I settle on one that works best. For this Metal Gear project, the basics of the storyline are there, so it?s been more of a case of figuring out the best pacing and how to take the game elements and best script them to take advantage of Ash?s artistic style.

Westfield: You're also working on a new CSI: Miami one shot, Blood/Money. What can you tell us about that?

Oprisko: I?m actually working on two CSI projects right now! Blood/Money is a CSI: Miami 48 page one-shot in which Horatio and the gang come across a nasty murder that may or may not be connected to a rampant counterfeiting plague sweeping through south Florida. Dominos is a 5-issue mini-series dealing with the Las Vegas CSIs.

Westfield: Do you have any other upcoming projects you'd like to mention?

Oprisko: Well, there?s the Underworld trade paperback (July 2004), which collects the movie adaptation and the 3-issue prequel mini-series Red in Tooth and Claw. That was a collaboration between myself and Underworld screenwriter Danny McBride. And as a company, we have lots of exciting projects on the horizon, including new offerings from Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, and Ashley Wood, as well as additional video game comics that it?s a bit too early to mention!