Design & DevelopmentBehind the ScenesThe Transformation of Jack the Ripper Inside Look R…

The Transformation of Jack the Ripper Inside Look – Part 1

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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The evolution of The Dead continues.

During my explorations of new subjects for The Dead, I have come to a grim realization. As horrifying as creatures like zombies and vampires can be, it is often real-world monsters that fascinate and terrify me the most. Historically we have seen again and again real, living human beings who have proven themselves capable of deeds as foul as those of any imagined supernatural fiend.

Jack the Ripper is a perfect example of this sort of real-life monster. I’ve always been intrigued by him, and I’m not alone. The notoriety of Jack the Ripper has endured for more than a century now. Oddly I have no interest in seeing the case resolved, because to do so would be to destroy one of the greatest mysteries in more than 100 years. And it’s the unknowable, enigmatic nature of Jack the Ripper that continues to capture my imagination.

With the Ripper as the source of my inspiration, I started to imagine our next addition for The Dead as an illustration of what I’ve come to call “the Madness of Undeath”. The concept is that while a physical body can remain alive and unaltered, a certain psychosis infecting a host could destroy the mind, and lead the psyche into a horrific and monstrous state of undeath.

For this account, I imagined Jack the Ripper undergoing a transformation due to the Madness of Undeath, becoming what he saw as a predatory incubus. Whether any shred of his humanity might rebel at first, the ritualistic murders paint a picture of the increasing failure of resistance. And, of course, the killing only served to hasten the metamorphosis that corrupts his mind and spirit driving him further into the role of Death’s avatar.

- Tom Gilliland

Continue to [Part 2]

Keep checking back during Spooktacular for the next installments of this four part Inside Look!

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