The Last of Us: American Dreams is a four-issue miniseries published by Dark Horse Comics. Written by The Last of Us lead writer, Neil Druckmann and lead artist, Faith Erin Hicks, American Dreams chronicles the journey of Ellie and a survivor named Riley prior to events that take place in the game. American Dreams was published monthly by Dark Horse from April to July 2013 and was released in a trade paperback format on October 30, 2013.
Nineteen years ago, a parasitic fungal outbreak killed the majority of the world’s population, forcing survivors into a handful of quarantine zones. Thirteen-year-old Ellie has grown up in this violent, post-pandemic world, and her disrespect for the military authority running her boarding school earns her new enemies, a new friend in fellow rebel Riley, and her first trip into the outside world. The official lead-in to the game from Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl) and Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann!
— Dark Horse.com description
During the production of The Last of Us, Dark Horse comics approached Neil Druckmann with the idea of producing a tie-in comic book for the game. Initially wary of the prospect, Druckmann said Dark Horse “lured him into it because "they didn't want to do something tangential” with the opportunity of expanding their characters and universe beyond the game. On the subject of whom he wanted to work on the project, Druckmann took Dark Horse up on webcomic artist Faith Erin Hicks (Demonology 101). Already aware of the game, Hicks was later signed to the title by Dark Horse as co-writer and artist.
On the matter of the comic’s content, Druckmann and Hicks stated that the American Dreams would focus primarily on Ellie’s “day-to-day life” inside the quarantine zone that goes unexplored in the game. On the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, Ellie is faced with the choice of joining the military or suffer ex-communication and survive on her own. Hicks cites that American Dreams is similar to her own works detailing the life of “teenage girls and zombies” and the chance to combine the two elements provided a challenge on the perspective of surviving in an environment like Ellie’s.
On the subject of Riley, Hicks, and Druckmann describe her as a “tough” and “cool older girl” in the story. She forms a relationship with Ellie on the eve of her own choice to joining the military and will affect the events that led up to the game.
- Dark Horse: THE LAST OF US: AMERICAN DREAMS #3
- THE LAST OF US: AMERICAN DREAMS TPB
- CBR.com: NYCC: Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks & Dark Horse Introduce "The Last of Us" Comic
- New York Comic Con: New Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Last of Us Books Coming
- IGN.com: The Last of Us Prequel Comic, Art Book Revealed
- faitherinhicks: So yeah, this happened. ;)
- Newsarama.com: THE LAST OF US Comic Creators Building on Game's World
Media from the real world
|Video games||The Last of Us · The Last of Us: Left Behind · The Last of Us Part II|
|Books and comics||The Last of Us: American Dreams (Issue 1 · Issue 2 · Issue 3 · Issue 4) · The Art of The Last of Us · The Art of The Last of Us Part II · The Last of Us Strategy Guide · The Last of Us Remastered Signature Series Strategy Guide|
|TV series and films||The Last of Us TV series · The Last of Us film (cancelled)|
|Stage adaptations||The Last of Us: One Night Live|
|Soundtracks||The Last of Us Original Soundtrack · The Last of Us Part II Original Soundtrack|
|Real-world events||Firefly Pendant Contests · The Last of Us Design Contest · Photo Mode Contest · The Last of Us Day (2020) · Play Like Ellie|
|Miscellaneous||The Last of Us Podcast · The Last of Us: The Board Game|
|Main characters||Ellie · Riley Abel|
|Supporting characters||Winston Asher · Princess · Marlene|
|Groups||Survivors · The Infected · Fireflies · The Military · Smugglers|
|Fireflies||Marlene · Kerry|
|The Military||Winston Asher · Princess · Corporal "Dickhead"|
|Other Characters||Roberta Coen · Anna|
Weapons in The Last of Us: American Dreams
|Long Guns||Assault Rifle · Hunting Rifle · Double Barrel|
|Melee Weapons||2x4 · Switchblade|
|Throwing Weapons||Smoke Grenade · Brick|