While wandering around the artist alley for New York Comic Con 2018, I saw a big picture of Lara Croft. “Oh wow,” I thought. “That’s a big picture of Lara Croft. I should check it out.” So, I did. In front of this piece of art I found Philip Sevy, who has been the artist for Dark Horse’s Tomb Raider run of comics for the last couple of years. Knowing an interesting person to talk to when I see one, I knew Philip would have a few interesting things to say about the creation of Tomb Raider comics. Thankfully, he was willing to spend a few minutes to talk with me.
TechRaptor: Alright, so, Philip Sevy!
Philip Sevy: Yes!
TechRaptor: So you write– do you write or do the art?
Philip: So I’ve been drawing and doing the art for Tomb Raider by Dark Horse Comics for the better part of the last, uh… two years. I’ve done about sixteen of the last eighteen– uh, twenty, issues.
TechRaptor: That’s pretty awesome.
TechRaptor: How did you start doing Tomb Raider comics?
Philip: You know, I’ve known the editor who I was working under at the time for a couple of years. I’ve been sending him samples of work, and I just sent him some stuff one day and apparently they had a writer and everyone else lined up except an artist, and he saw my stuff and Crystal Dynamics, who own Tomb Raider, liked it, and he asked me if I wanted to do it. Tomb Raider is an awesome iconic character and I couldn’t pass it up. So he called me one night and I started the next morning.
TechRaptor: So you got on the Tomb Raider comic. Did you have any knowledge of Tomb Raider beforehand?
Philip: Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, growing up in the 90s, I was aware of Tomb Raider. I played maybe Tomb Raider 1 and 2 a little bit, but I was terrible at it and I kept getting stuck. I couldn’t jump on to rocks or other crazy stuff. Then once I got this job, it was the comic that was following up Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was almost out. So I went back and played the 2013 reboot game, then I got a copy of Rise right as it came out, and they were just fantastic games. They blew me away, so I was super excited to be working on a game I liked so much.
TechRaptor: Is it a little tough to write a comic for a game you hadn’t played yet?
Philip: You know, so my editor and writer at the time was Mariko Tamaki. They had worked closely with Crystal [Dynamics] in developing the story. I just got a little bit of concept art here and there, so it was a little tricky trying to get the look right and make it feel like it was in the world. After about the first issue things started to settle, and after a while it was old hat.
TechRaptor: So what goes into the process of… so you have to make a Tomb Raider comic. Where do you begin?
Philip: Sure, uh… I come in after the scripts have been written. The writer and editors coordinate with Crystal Dynamics, who own Tomb Raider. Once they get the scripts approved they give it to me, and I spend five to six weeks breaking the scripts down into pages and doing black and white line art. Then we pass it off to our colorist and letterist, and every single step along the way gets approved by Crystal. They’re very, really, they’re great at managing their property and want to make sure everything is consistent with the character and the brand.
TechRaptor: Have you met Camilla Luddington, the voice of Lara?
Philip: Yes. So let’s see… I had a chance to meet her at San Diego Comic Con just about six or eight months after Rise launched. It was the 25th anniversary of Tomb Raider that year, so they did a big panel. I got to meet some of the other voice actors and some of the artists on the old comic book series. It was a really cool experience.
TechRaptor: That sounds like a cool experience. So now that you’ve done the Tomb Raider comics, what’s next? Are you going to do more Tomb Raider, or something else?
Philip: Sure, so I just finished up a Tomb Raider mini-series called Tomb Raider: Inferno, and I’m working on a book called The Freeze for Top Cow Image. I’m drawing the interiors for that. It’s like a cool survival book. That’s what I’m working on for the rest of the year. We would love to do more Tomb Raider comics. The new game, Shadow, just came out so our run was leading into Shadow. So now that there’s a new game out we’ll, hopefully in the next six to eight months, we’ll kind of see where the comics are at and what stories to tell between games.
TechRaptor: Alright, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me, seriously, it’s really cool.
Philip: Oh no problem, happy to do it.
We’d like to once again thank Philip Sevy for taking the time to talk with us.