Interview: Arnaud Dollen Takes 'Saint Seiya' On An Epic Journey
Jan 23, 2024
Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen
The Galaxian Wars are back with a new generation of Knights of the Zodiac! Writer/Artist Jérome Alquié (Space Pirate Captain Harlock) is joined by co-writer Arnaud Dollen (Surnaturels) for a new journey featuring Masami Kurumada's classic Saint Seiya! This is Saint Seiya Knights of the Zodiac Time Odyssey. In comic shops now from Ablaze Publishing.
PREVIEWSworld hung out with Arnaud Dollen to discover more about this new installment.
Can you give us a little bit of your background as a writer?
I developed a taste for writing as a kid, when I extended my role-playing games by writing stories about the characters I was playing. I then created my own stories and worlds, until I turned them into novels. For 35 years, I’ve been writing in the evenings, on weekends, during the holidays, without necessarily wanting to make it my profession - I am an engineer in the space field, a job I am passionate about. When the opportunity arose, I wrote the comic book Surnaturels in 2011 (4 volumes published by DELCOURT), drawn by Jérôme Alquié. More recently, I created the world of Cross the Ages, that I am developing as an author in a saga of seven novels. And of course, Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac - Time Odyssey, with my friend and lifelong accomplice Jérôme.
To sum up, it is above all passion that has guided me, and over time, opportunities have made the engineer in the space field gradually give way to the scriptwriter and novelist!
How did you and Jérôme come to work together?
Jérôme and I have been friends since our engineering studies in Toulouse, which started in 1995. Our common passion for Japanimation in general, and Saint Seiya in particular, has brought us together a lot, and has even been at the origin of some amateur projects. Jérôme and I have always made sure to continue collaborating since then, to the point of knowing each other by heart on an artistic level. Making an official adaptation of Saint Seiya twenty-five years later, with the agreement and support of Kurumada-sensei, is an extraordinary chance to come full circle.
Is Saint Seiya something that has been in your life for a while or was this project your introduction to the series?
I (re)discovered Saint Seiya three times in my life. The first one in high school, watching Club Dorothée. The second one, watching them again with Jérôme (at the time on VHS tapes recorded live on TV, as DVDs did not exist yet!). The third one, with my children, who became fans of the knights at their turn.
The Saint Seiya world has thus accompanied me at all stages of my life, from childhood to adulthood. To me, this is proof that the strength of the work is its generational and timeless aspect.
What other manga/anime has been an inspiration for you?
Saint Seiya is such a rich universe that it stands on its own, not to mention that its link with Greco-Roman mythology offers an inexhaustible source of inspiration.
Jérôme and I absolutely wanted to remain faithful to the original manga, to its values and its lore. However, Time Odyssey brings yet the opportunity, with Kurumada-sensei's agreement, to bring a touch of novelty, notably by opening to other mythologies, such as voodoo or Amerindian legends.
Do you identify more with Seiya or Ikki? Or someone else from the book? If it’s Chronos, please tell us.
Without question, my favourite character is Shiryu. His righteousness, his sense of sacrifice, his ability to accept defeat to come out stronger, are all characteristics that make him unique in my eyes. That... and his long and beautiful hair, which provokes envy in the bald man that I am! ^_*
Be sure to pick up Saint Seiya Knights of the Zodiac Time Odyssey from your local comic shop. Available now!
The goddess Athena and her knights, led by the infamous Seiya, are called back into action once again when Chronos, the god of time, has his sights set on joining the other gods of Olympus. To do so, he has constructed a Doomsday Clock that will allow him to change the past, present, and future, putting the knights and Earth itself in jeopardy!
Writer/Artist Jérome Alquié (Space Pirate Captain Harlock) is joined by co-writer Arnaud Dollen (Surnaturels) to bring Masami Kurumada's classic Saint Seiya on an epic new journey for the ages!
Collects the first 5 issues of the popular series, plus cover gallery and bonus material.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. His work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy's Apocalypse '91, Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Awards-nominated Magic Bullet.