By Dave Morris
Eleven years ago, Nine Inch Nails (NIN) released Year Zero at the tail end of the eight years of partisan rancor and paranoia that was the Bush
Administration. The album was rife with anxiety for what was to come, and it was heavily inspired by a treasure trove of dystopian literature.
Leading up to its release, the record was promoted via a groundbreaking alternative reality game (ARG) conceived by NIN mastermind Trent Reznor, his art director Rob Sheridan, and digital studio 42 Entertainment. For months, fans eager for a taste of the carefully constructed world of Year Zero visited websites based in this parallel universe, searching for Easter eggs and speculating on what the album would sound like. It was an incredibly immersive experience and whole lot of fun.
Naturally, there were all kinds of rumors about the album being adapted into a television show or a movie, and Reznor himself even confirmed having met with networks executives at HBO to pitch it. Unfortunately, nothing publicly materialized from these efforts, and eventually such talk faded as NIN cranked out another two LPs in the wake of Year Zero’s release.
This weekend is the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), easily one of the biggest annual events in the comic book industry. During
its retailer presentation, IDW Publishing, the fourth largest comic publisher and most well known for its adaptations of existing intellectual properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, and many others, made a series of cryptic announcements that bore the logo of the U.S. Bureau of Morality, a key component of the ARG!
At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that those of us who have been dying for more of this fascinating world will be getting the story of Year Zero in comic book form! No announcements have been made about the creators that will be bringing it all to life, but considering how notorious Reznor is for his meticulous quality control, we can all rest assured that it will be handled by top talents.