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Nick Mamatas on 'All You Need Is Kill' OGN

Interview with Author and Viz Editor

Published: 05/14/2014 03:04am
ICv2 caught up with sci-fi author and VIZ editor Nick Mamatas, the writer of VIZ’s recent graphic novel adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s  All You Need Is Kill (see "'All You Need Is Kill' OGN"), and asked a few questions about how the graphic novel adaptation differed from the book and the film.
 
Did you consider the manga adaptation or the movie script, in addition to the novel, when you wrote this?
 All You Need Is Kill stands alone as a graphic novel.   Actually, the graphic novel long project predates the announcement of the manga version; I got to see the first chapter of the manga only after the graphic novel was already inked.  
 
We had limited access to materials from Edge of Tomorrow movie (see "The 'All You Need is Kill' Adaptation: Live, Die, Repeat"), and then our goal in looking at them (storyboards mostly) was to avoid being too similar to the film.  A film-linked graphic novel might last for a few months on the shelf, and its success will simply be an artifact of the movie's success.
 
We wanted something that would be experienced differently, both visually and textually.  That's why we went with Lee Ferguson's wonderful retrofuturistic look, as opposed to the gritty-realistic near-future look of the film.  It's also why we held close to the novel, including the idea of a rivalrous cooperation between Japan and the US.  We wanted to present a visual representation of the novel, and not step on any Hollywood toes.
 
In the press release, Editor Joel Enos said "We made a conscious effort to create something unique that could stand on its own away from both the original novel, the film and the upcoming manga, but would nicely complement and pay respects to all three."  What do you feel is unique or different about this format and adaptation?
There's an undercurrent of satire in the novel that we brought closer to the surface; we have some fun with both war stories and with the too-typical presentation of women heroes in contemporary comics. 
 
There are also a couple of moments where we break the fourth wall.  We also have what we consider classic 80s-style comic book layouts and paneling.  Our battle scenes make visual sense!
 
An entire book (230-pages) is a lot of action to pack into even a 96-page adaptation, is there anything that was cut, condensed, or changed from the book that you wish you could have kept?
There's a character in the novel named Rachel who exists primarily to die in the background, but her death has a thematic motivation--to show that even finally succeeding in defeating the alien invasion after so many returns to the time loop's 'save point' doesn't mean that everything is okay.
 
In war, non-combatants still die, no matter what.  Well, she died at the hands of the delete key this time.
 
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