Comic Book Resource: Waltz On “Silent Hill: Past Life”

Posted By: Whitney   August 14th, 2010 | 3:20 pm

Tom Waltz recently talked to Comic Book Resource news about the upcoming Silent Hill Past Life and a little about his role in the upcoming Silent Hill 8. I think this is the “juiciest” interview to date! Overall a bit more is revealed on the plot of the series, we get some backstory to why it’s set in 1867, learn how Tom got involved in Vatra’s Silent Hill 8 and finally got a sneak peek at some of the comic artwork!!

Full interview here:

The Story

Set in 1867, “Silent Hill: Past Life” tells the story of Jebediah “Hellrider” Foster, a notorious outlaw in the Dakota Territory whom Waltz described as having “a soft, troubled heart lying beneath the cold, hard exterior.” “When this soft spot is finally exposed, it will lead to Foster’s greatest happiness, as well as a tragically infinite sadness,” Waltz told CBR. “Foster, while carousing in Deadwood City, meets and falls head over spurs in love with Esther Monroe, a beautiful widow whose life’s travels have lead her to Deadwood – a place she longs to leave for a better life.” Together, Jebediah and Esther venture back east to her abandoned family estate in Silent Hill. “Esther sees it as the escape from the Wild West and back to civilization – an opportunity for both she and Foster to start their lives fresh and anew,” Waltz said. “But, of course, Foster’s dark past follows closely behind and he’ll soon learn he’ll have to face his sins, and that, in doing so, will drag his beloved wife and unborn child into his own personal hell, as well.”

The eponymous town has a long, storied and eerie history as established in the “Silent Hill” games, and Waltz’s latest miniseries will build off its brief prosperity as a mining town. “Silent Hill is, at this time, on the backend of a coal mining boom and we’re starting to witness what I call the de-evolution of the town,” the writer told CBR. “Many folks have started to leave the area, and we’ve already got a rift in the religious group the Order, as some of its members have split and set up a separate camp in the newly-founded and neighboring Shepherd’s Glen, with the separatists calling themselves the Sect of the Holy Way (and if you played ‘Silent Hill: Homecoming,’ you know the huge impact that has on the universe). The American Civil War has ended and the infamous Toluca Prison Camp (which housed Civil War POWs) has been converted into the ultimately equally infamous Toluca Prison.

So why did Tom decide to set his comic in Silent Hill’s past? For the fans 😀

“The very fact that we’re displaying a moment in the town’s history has got to be the biggest experimentation. If you go online to SH fan forums like Silent Hill Heaven, you’ll quickly find that SH fans are not only super passionate, they’re well-versed in the town’s history as well. What Menton and I hope to do with ‘Silent Hill: Past Life’ is bring the history that’s been so talked about and debated about on the forums over the years to living color in the pages of our comic,” Waltz said. “Having worked so intimately with the good folks at Konami now for the last few years, I have a much better understanding of the town and its inherent quirks and rules as set by the original Team Silent, which I think makes my ability to tell an accurate ‘Silent Hill’ story that much stronger. The events – and the monsters – in our story will make sense to the characters in play and will only be directly related to them and their circumstances, as they should be in any good ‘Silent Hill’ story. No Pyramid Head this time around.”

What’s the connection between the upcoming game and the comic?

Waltz described the opportunity to work simultaneously on the next “Silent Hill” game and comic rooted in the game’s mythology as “getting my veritable cake and eating it too.” Indeed, there will be some crossover between the game and the comic, as a certain character will appear in both. “The character will have to remain unnamed for now (nothing comes easy in ‘Silent Hill,’ so fans are gonna have to get our comic to learn more), but I can say we provide a look at his origin story, something you won’t get in the game, so reading our comic book – though not necessary to enjoy the game and the character’s role in it – will definitely add the overall experience,” the writer told CBR. “And we’re telling the first full-length ‘Silent Hill’ historical tale, which, in and of itself, is exciting!”

How he got involved with Silent Hill 8

“I’d met with Konami reps at Comic-Con [International in San Diego] in 2008, and at that time they shared their happiness with ‘Silent Hill: Sinner’s Reward,’ the miniseries I’d just finished up for IDW with artist Steph Stamb, which was voted in the top ten of horror comics for 2008 by Fearnet,” Waltz said of his first encounter with the game publishers. “They asked me if I’d be interested in helping them with next game’s story. I was flabbergasted! Really, as a true fan of ‘Silent Hill’ before I ever started writing in the spooky universe, it was like a dream come true. So, I gave them a resounding, ‘Yes – yes I would!’ and a number of months later, Konami producers Devin Shatsky and Tomm Hulett called me to talk about the game they were developing. We all hit it off from the start (Devin and Tomm are truly great guys) and now, along with the fantastic development team at Vatra, we’re deep into creating what I’m confident will be a fine new addition to the long-running ‘Silent Hill’ universe.”

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