Interview with Ales Kot Writer of Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Piotr Kowalski
Published by Titan Comics
Recently we had a chance to reach out to Ales Kot with a few questions about his series Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep from Titan Comics. The Death of Sleep is based on the game Bloodborne for the PS4 from renowned Japanese developers From Software.
First a few things about the game and the comic before we get to the questions.
Bloodborne the game is part of what many now call the Soulsborne series meaning it has has its roots in the Dark/Demon Souls series. While the two series share a lot of the same mechanics they have very different settings. Bloodborne is set largely in a Victorian City that sprawls out over the countryside. In the game, you play a Hunter of Beasts who has come to old Yarnham. Here the player must find a way to end the nightmare that plagues the city and it residents.
Dark/Demon Souls however is set in a traditional fantasy setting where you often play a Knight who’s quest is to defeat the coming darkness. As said while the two series feature a lot of the same mechanics they both have a very different feel.
Bloodborne: The Death of Sleep was originally published as a four issue series that is now collected in Trade Paperback. The series concerns a Hunter who like in the game has come to Yharnam to find a way to end the plague that haunts the city. Once there the Hunter takes refuge within a Cathedral where they meet a group of Hunters. The Hunters show the Hunter a child of Paleblood. After seeing this the Hunter takes it upon themself to rescue the child by getting them out of the Hunter’s Dream.
Now for the interview with Ales Kot.
Did you play the game?
Yes, very much so. I suspect I clocked in over two hundred hours.
What made you want to write a Bloodborne comic?
Playing the game. I loved its world, and I was always in love with its many cultural cornerstones — weird fiction, strange architecture, interest in human and post-human perception. So I was always interested. The comic just became a natural outgrowth of that continued excitement.
The Hunter is shown as androgynous; was this done because of the game mechanics? You can play as either Male or Female and neither has and effect on stats.
The Hunter’s shown as open to interpretation — I don’t believe we ever explicitly define them as anything at all gender-wise. This was done because it simply felt right. Ambiguity is a key aspect of the world of Bloodborne, and the fact that this approach also mirrors the ambiguity of existing in our world is something I find perfect.
The Hunter only died one time in the series, I would have thought that death would have played a more prominent part in the series.
Death is a constant. It’s inescapable, and it’s on every page. Everything dies, including me and you. This not just a source of terror, but also of awe.
Why did you choose the Blood-Starved Beast to follow the Hunter?
I can’t really comment on interpretations of the lore, because I find that so much of its beauty lies in its intentional openness to interpretation. It is that openness which encourages imaginations to go into strange places.
So much in the game is left to the players imagination, do you think that a regular Bloodborne comic could answer some of these questions?
Not while I’m writing it.
If you are a fan of the game or fantasy comics in general check out Titan Comics The Death of Sleep. As said before it’s now collected in Trade format which makes for a fun read. Just don’t expect Knot to answer to many questions.