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Information

Interviewer: HUNK
Date: 30/07/2011

Title

Marc Mostman Interview (Project Umbrella)

This interview was conducted with Marc Mostman, one of the writers for Wildstorm's "Resident Evil The Official Comic Magazine" which was released after BIO HAZARD in 1996. While Mostman only wrote one story in the OCM, he was heavily involved with the development of the comics and was able to answer most of our questions. Many thanks to site staff member HUNK for arranging and carrying out the interview.

Project Umbrella Transcript

PU: You are credited with authoring "Special Delivery", a short-story involving a pair of Umbrella employees deploying various monsters into Raccoon City, including the infamous "Mr. X" from Resident Evil 2. The other creatures were mostly original designs not seen in the video games. Where did the inspirations for these monsters come from?

MM: I don't recall. It may have been in my notes or it may have been the artist coming up with the designs.

PU: When and how was contact made between Capcom and Wildstorm to initiate the creation of these comics?

MM: Capcom's US Licensing Agency (Entertainment Licensing Associates) reached out to Wildstorm on behalf of Capcom to discuss licensing the comic book rights after the first game was such a hit.

PU: How involved was Capcom in the planning for these comics, if at all?

MM: Capcom Japan's looked over every story, art and dialogue of the comics. They let Wildstorm tell the stories, but made sure there was nothing that didn't work in the RE world.

PU: Were the staff of Wildstorm given any tidbits of Resident Evil lore to guide them in the creation of these comics, such as development notes, supplemental materials not seen in the video games, etc.?

MM: Yes, WS (Wildstorm) was given access to some early concept art from the early games. And there were certain scenarios that Capcom wanted the WS comics to stay away from as they may have been planning for similar locations or concepts for upcoming games.

PU: The dates shown in The Official Comic Magazine stories indicate that there was some established time line that is drastically different between the comics and the video games. Was this intentional, or was this merely a matter of retconning or miscommunication?

MM: I am not sure. I think the comics were done awhile before most of the later game sequels, so it is likely that they are inconsistent with the RE timeline from the games. The games are the official timeline. Anything in the games should be considered official. The comics are more inspired by the RE world. Some stories tried to fill in the gaps. But if there is a conflict with the games, the games overrule.

PU: Speaking of time lines, when does "Danger Island" take place? Before or after the "Mansion Incident"?

MM: I can't tell. I don't have them in front of me to try to figure out.

PU: What about "...and the Last Shall Be First"?

MM: Ditto.

PU: What about "Lock Down"?

MM: Ditto.

PU: S.T.A.R.S. is depicted as sort of a military contractor unit more so than a special division of the Police Department (numerous times they mention going to Raccoon City as opposed to being a part of the RPD). Was this creative liberty taken by Wildstorm, or was the original back story for S.T.A.R.S. something different than we're used to now?

MM: I think at the time of the comic S.T.A.R.S. wasn't fully fleshed out so WS took some liberties to make sense of the squad.

PU: A character known as Holden appears once in The Official Comic Magazine (in "S.T.A.R.S. Files") as well as Marvel's one-shot Resident Evil prequel comic released in 1996. He even makes a cameo in George Romero's script for the Resident Evil film. In all appearances, he is seen as Albert Wesker's superior within the Umbrella Corporation. Can you tell us anything about him?

MM: I don't really know.

PU: Regarding "Fire and Ice", this marks the first truly unique storyline for the series written by Wildstorm, featuring characters who cameoed or played larger roles from "The Official Comic Magazine". What can you tell us about Falcon, Patrick, Dexter Whitlam, and the other Umbrella goons with him?

MM: Capcom didn't want the WS comic to continue the adventures of the main RE game characters so they allowed WS to create some other similar characters who could exist in the RE world. Some could live or die, and it wouldn't affect the future of the games or game characters.

PU: The existence of a S.T.A.R.S. team other than the two seen in the video games reinforces the idea that S.T.A.R.S. was a contractor and not part of the RPD. This is similar to how S.T.A.R.S. was depicted in the S.D. Perry novels. Was this an intentional parallel?

MM: The books and comics were made around the same time so the true nature of S.T.A.R.S. was not yet fully explored. That is why they are consistent with each other, but not necessarily with subsequent games. The games are right.

PU: The story of Fire and Ice strays much farther from the video game canon than The Official Comic Magazine, what with the appearance of the X-virus, and Umbrella's more evil and less businesslike depiction. What can you tell us about the creation of this story?

MM: It was created at a time when there was not as much RE history or backstory. Capcom allowed this story as they didn't feel it would impact anything they would do in future games. It holds up on its own, but may not be as consistent with the RE world in hindsight. But it's still a great read.

PU: Did Capcom have more or less involvement with Fire and Ice than they did with The Official Comic Magazine?

MM: Same. They read everything. But let WS create a compelling story.

PU: Whatever happened to Raquel? She never did get cured of that infection...

MM: Let's hope we never find out.

PU: With that in mind, what happened to S.T.A.R.S. Charlie Team after the events of this comic?

MM: The survivors are never heard from again. Just kidding. You would need to ask the original writer. Pretty sure he had a sequel planned.

PU: Lastly, what was it like being part of the development team for these comics? Can you tell us anything special about how this series was adapted to its comic book form? Do you have any particular memories about the development your fans might find interesting?

MM: It was great working on RE. Wildstorm had a great vision for the series and once they became a part of DC comics, things were put on hold for awhile. I think the old WS comics are back in print through DC now which is great. Jim Lee was a huge RE fan and did some great covers for the initial series. The idea for the initial series was to be more than just a comic book. It was an oversized magazine that was probably ahead of its time. Ted Adams was in charge at the time, he is now over at IDW. Great guy. Some amazing artists like Lee Bermejo worked on the comic.

PU: Any last shout-outs to your fans?

MM: Keep supporting Capcom properties! They have some of the best franchises in the business: Street Fighter, Dark Stalkers, Mega Man, Devil May Cry. The fans that buy merchandise based on those properties help to ensure that more licensed products get made.

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