Tag: Graphic novel »
Sometimes, it's quite easy to forget how truly innovative iPhone and iPad apps can be. They can revolutionize concepts that we've taken for granted in an earlier guise, something that the folks behind NIKO and the Sword of Light hope to achieve.
Having recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to aid their project, four college friends from London and Toronto hope to change comic books massively, by launching the first fully animated hand-drawn comic book app. They certainly have the pedigree, too. Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera, from Imaginism Studios, are well known for their work on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, while Adam Jeffcoat and Jim Bryson, of StudioNX, have worked for companies such as Nickelodeon, CBBC and EA Games.
With a plan to launch NIKO and the Sword of Light this summer, the team told me a little more about exactly how it all came to be and precisely why it's worth taking this Kickstarter campaign seriously.
"Niko was born from the idea that we wanted to make something different from the types of cartoons and movies that were out there. Something dark and edgy that enabled us to tell a story that would transport our audience…through awe inspiring landscapes full of wondrous characters and monstrous beasts.", explained Adam Jeffcoat. "We wanted to take the darker feel of graphic novels and combine it with the style of modern animated movies to come up with something that would appeal to both adults and children alike!"
As he explains, the story is set to be a classic battle between "dark versus light" with "one tiny hero against all the odds." After all, it's an apt concept given that "[the] real world always seems to be faced with so much darkness every time you turn on the news." Discussing the team's addiction to TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Spartacus, Adam pointed out that they "love the idea that our world could have once been a place where magic existed, where dragons roamed and where the forces of dark and light were at constant war with each other."
Further inspiration stemmed from "modern graphic novels such as Hellboy", focusing on a "darker and more adult way" of telling a story.
Ambitiously, Adam and the team didn't want to stick to typical ways of doing comic books or graphic novels: "Right from the start we wanted to to something that hadn't been done before." The iPad played a pivotal role given, "this thing bridges the gap between static and animated." Adam feels such interactivity will add to the experience too, "to create a sense of real tension."
The combined work of StudioNX and Imaginism Studios is a truly modern way of doing things, given that one half of the team is based in Toronto and the other half is in the UK. With a sound designer in Mexico, and coders located in Australia and the US, Adam extolled the virtues of Skype, email and Dropbox to make it easier to be working so remotely.
Acknowledging the importance of retaining momentum throughout the Kickstarter campaign, Adam also explained the importance of getting marketing just right. Facebook has proved a valuable ally, thanks to the team's focus on keeping fans informed each step of the way.
While the glimpses of work are fleeting, NIKO and the Sword of Light looks quite special already, thanks to some beautiful artwork within.
The Kickstarter campaign has around three weeks to go and it's already nearly hit its goal. If you're interested in participating, check out the campaign page, which offers some pretty cool pledge rewards, as well as learn more via their Facebook page. We'll be sure to keep up to date with all the latest developments, also.
Dark Horse Digital and Bethesda Softworks have got together to release for iOS devices Fallout: New Vegas - All Roads, the 48 page graphic novel originally available through the Fallout: New Vegas Collector's Edition.
The graphic novel introduces the seedy world of New Vegas and the characters within. The ideal accompaniment to the console and PC hit of last year, All Roads even contains clues to in-game missions for those able to spot them. It unravels an intriguing tale of loyalty and violence that serves as the ideal prologue to the game's main storyline.
Artwork features the works of Jean Diaz, Geof Darrow, Peter Doherty, and Wellington Alves with the story written by the game's creative director: Chris Avellone.
For those who missed out on the Collector's Edition of the game last year, this is a great read offering some valuable insight.
It's out now via an in-app purchase within the Dark Horse Comics app. It's priced at $2.99.
Having spent many years of my life trying to draw, I've come to accept that I'm never going to be a comic book illustrator, as much as I'd love to be. Apps like ToonPAINT go some way to repairing my bruised ego, however. It's an app that allows users to create cartoon images from their own photos.
Once the image is imported, the app converts it to a sketch format and opens up the possibility of coloring in the photo. Using some fancy image processing algorithms and a series of different colors, ToonPAINT opens ordinary photos up to the world of the graphic novel look. It's all very easy to do but with some pretty cool results.
It's a neat app and doubles up as a great way to entertain kids who never fail to love coloring pictures in.
ToonPAINT is normally priced at $1.99 but until November 12th, it's available for free. Enjoy the artistic creations that this app can produce.
Graphic novels appear to be going through a bit of a renaissance period in recent times with increasing numbers of people intrigued by the very notion. So it's pretty cool to see a cumulative effort between a BAFTA (the equivalent of the Emmys in the UK) nominated screenwriter, a BAFTA winning executive producer and an award-winning graphic artist come together in the form of a new iPhone based graphic novel.
The novel entitled Exodus169 is all about an epic journey through space to the Planet Lumina, where humans hope to establish their first colony beyond Earth. Obviously things are bound to not quite go according to plan and it all makes for a gripping novel.
The novel is accompanied by stunning artwork and an original and fully-voiced soundtrack which all add a touch of class to proceedings. Depth is provided through a number of extras such as videos, character profiles, character blogs and even an on-board newspaper with new content uploaded weekly.
It's interesting stuff and at a decent price too. The app along with Episode 1 and the regularly updated extras are free while Episode 2 and future instalments are only $0.99. Well worth a look for any graphic novel fan.
As a female technology buff I feel especially bad that I didn't realise it was Ada Lovelace Day on 7th October, a day that aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. Way back in 1842 she translated Italian Mathematician Luigi Menabrea's description of Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Her fascination in Babbage's work led to her developing an early form of computer programming thanks to her powerful mathematical mind. She tragically died at the young age of 36 due to cancer.
The reason for this history lesson other than to educate? There's a light hearted app out called Lovelace & Babbage that aims to provide part entertaining comic book, part informative and educational tellings of their lives and experiences. After all, the best way to learn is to not realise it's happening!
The comic book is consistently funny and intelligent in its portrayal and certainly makes for a great change from more conventional graphic novels. It's a free app so an ideal excuse to give it a read. Users then have the option of paying $2.99 for further storytelling in the form of The Client. For those who enjoy it, there's a new adventure coming out in early 2012 entitled User Experience.
Coming soon to the App Store from iSeeToon is Ill-Fated Relationship, a comic book app that centers around the dark romance between two serial killers. It promises an indie art film style more akin to Western graphic novels rather than the typical brash comic book style of other Manga-esque series.
The app contains 20 chapters in all following the complex and film noir style storyline that iSeeToon promises. We've got two trailers below that ably demonstrate the kind of experience that comic book fans have to look forward to. The videos and screenshots certainly show off a great looking style that will hopefully provide a pretty mature and dark experience. It'll certainly make a change from the more Western offerings of the likes of D.C and Marvel.
iSeeToon is set to be released on the App Store later in the month and will be launched at a sale price of $4.99, to increase later on to $8.99.