SPOTLIGHT ON: Dan Jolley
How did you get involved in the upcoming Imaginarium convention?
Stephen Zimmer and I have moved in some of the same circles for years, and those circles intersected pretty consistently at a local convention in Chattanooga, Tennessee called ConNooga. We wound up on a lot of the same panels, and got to know each other in that sort of particular way that happens when you share panels with someone: while we didn’t interact with each other directly at first, we each got to hear the other’s answers to a lot of different (usually writing-related) questions. So after a bit of that, Stephen and I realized how much we had in common, and when he started ramping up toward Imaginarium, he reached out and asked if I would be the Imaginator for the comic book genre. I felt pretty damn honored, and of course accepted immediately.
What is your latest release and what genre is it?
I’m working on a couple of things right now. The first is a six-issue comic book mini-series, published by Dark Horse Comics, called The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy. The other project is the upcoming video game Dying Light, developed by Techland and distributed by Warner Brothers.
Quick description of it.
Enemy of My Enemy takes place in the Terminator universe, and is set entirely in 1985. It happens in parallel to the events in the movie franchise, so it stars an entirely new cast of characters and a situation only tangentially connected to the Linda Hamilton/Michael Bien film; it’s what happens when Skynet sends a Terminator back to eliminate a target, but the Resistance is unable to send a soldier to try to stop it. So when tough, smart, gorgeous, dangerous-as-hell ex-CIA assassin Farrow Greene crosses paths with the new Terminator, she’s one of the few humans alive who can survive the experience. And when Greene and the Terminator realize their goals are not entirely mutually exclusive, it leads to a situation that I don’t believe has been seen before in the Terminator franchise. I pitched the idea and wrote the scripts, which are illustrated by the supremely talented team of Jamal Igle, Ray Snyder, and Wes Dzioba.
Dying Light is…well, here, here’s the official description: “Dying Light is an action survival horror game presented in first-person perspective. The game is set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, you roam an urban environment devastated by a mysterious epidemic, scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons to help you defeat the hordes of mindless, flesh-hungry enemies the plague has created. At night, hunter becomes prey as the infected grow in strength and aggression – but even more lethal are the nocturnal, inhuman predators that leave their hives to feed. You will need to make use of all your skills and any available means to survive till dawn.”
I was brought on initially to help with side quests and to naturalize the dialogue and text written by the Polish team, but over the course of my three-month stay in Wrocław, I got more and more involved in the main story. Now I think my official credit is “Story Writer.”
Something unique about it.
In the Terminator mini-series, when Greene and the Terminator realize their goals are not entirely mutually exclusive, it leads to a situation that I don’t believe has been seen before in the Terminator franchise. (The title is a big clue as to what that situation is.)
Dying Light is, to my knowledge, the first game ever that can be described as “parkour vs. zombies.”
Links for people to buy it.
Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy
Your short Bio.
In a freelance career spanning 24 years, Dan Jolley has written comic books for every major publisher in the country, including the award-winning Top Cow mini-series Obergeist, the Eisner-nominated DC mini-series JSA: The Unholy Three, and the USA Today bestselling manga trilogy The Lost Warrior. He has also authored original novels (the Alex Unlimited trilogy), licensed-property novels (for Angel and Star Trek), and movie novelizations (for the Iron Man and Transformers films). Additionally, Dan has provided game design and dialogue for multiple video games, including the Transformers titles War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron. Among Dan’s latest comic book projects are The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy, and his creator-owned series Bloodhound, both available from Dark Horse Comics. Dan lives in Georgia with his wife Tracy and four largely worthless cats.
“Imaginarium is an entire convention centered on creative writing taking place September 19-21 in Louisville KY, featuring over 140 panels and workshops organized into 12 categories. Over 130 professional guests will be featured in the programming, covering all aspects of creative writing in the worlds of books, eBooks, screenplays, comics/graphic novels, and even game design. All of it is set within a fun, convention atmosphere that includes activities like a Masquerade, gaming room, film festival, and more. Please visit www.entertheimaginarium.com for further information.”