Welcome to… Electricomics.
Almost three years ago, Alan Moore had an Idea.
Whilst working with director Mitch Jenkins on The Show, an eerie film and TV concept which seemed to have a life of its own, he imagined the children in the background of a scene reading comics on transparent flexible scrolls called Spindles. The comics, he idly supposed, would be Electricomics and would be yet another facet of the multi-nuanced and multimedia world of The Show.
So far so dull right? Big Idea Man has yet another idea.
Alan Moore ideas have an uncanny habit of inveigling themselves into reality, by fair means or foul, they emerge somewhere and demand to be taken seriously.
Almost a year on, when the small film project had inflated in the manner of an airbag deployed in case of cultural stupor, to become not just one but several films, not just one story but dozens of them woven together into a huge billowing cloud of wonder. It was then, that a colleague of theirs happened to chat to a friend and mention that scrappy little idea, Electricomics.
That was all the chance it needed, and before you could say ‘Hold on is this wise?’ or ‘ Don’t we all have other jobs to do?’ there was a meeting and a pitch and a funding application to the Digital Research & Development fund for the Arts. The path was not straight or quick, but in the end it arrived here, in this website, in this project, before your very eyes.
The team that was assembled then could not be more delighted, and more than a little surprised, to find themselves here and now in this position. They have been charged with the task of producing new comics for the digital age. They must attempt new storytelling techniques, create and use new comic making tools which they must then make freely available to everyone.
This large and somewhat daunting burden will be shared with them by the mighty talents of Leah Moore, John Reppion, Garth Ennis, Nicola Scott, Jose Villarrubia, Pete Hogan, Peter Snejbjerg, Colleen Doran, Paul Davidson, Simon Bowland and Todd Klein. Supporting these fine folk will be the research team of Dr Alison Gazzard from the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education and Daniel Merlin Goodbrey from The University of Hertfordshire.
The stories produced will not only showcase what is possible but also hopefully inspire others to do the same. The Electricomics toolkit will give users the power to create their own Electricomics.
Different, better comics, completely new and fresh in every way.
Ocasta Studios will create the app and open source toolkit over the coming year. Collaboratively with the talented creative team of storytellers, artists and researchers, Ocasta are going to develop this transparently and openly so keep an eye on the Electricomics GitHub.
Right now, as this project launches, Electricomics is still an idea up in the ether, a hope and a plan before it becomes a reality, but like I said, Alan Moore ideas usually find a way to get through.