Dark Horse will release a comic called The Last of Us: American Dreams in 2013 around the same time as The Last of Us, detailing the backstory of Ellie. Growing up in military orphanage, Ellie didn’t think there would be another way to live other than joining the army, but an older girl puts her on a path to meet Joel, changing her life forever.
“At first I was very reluctant to do anything like this, just because we’re still developing the game,” said Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann. “There’s a lot to be done in the game and it requires so much energy that I didn’t want to be distracted by something else. At the same time, I didn’t want to just hand off these characters and find a writer, find an artist and do this thing and just say it’s not canon. If we were going to do this, we wanted to do it right.”
“The hard part was — where was Ellie before all these events of the game? How was her character different? And then trying to make those differences be a big part of this story,” he said. “In the broad strokes we kind of knew her backstory, and then we picked out a particular event and said ‘let’s flesh out this event for this story.’ Just like we do with the game, it’s very character-driven. That’s the journey of Joel and Ellie, here we have the events of Ellie before, but we introduce this character Riley who Ellie is very drawn to for reasons you’ll see in the story in the comic. The relationship that she forms with this other girl sets up some of the events that lead into the story of the game.”