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Exploring the Possibilities of the Comic Medium, Without the Constraints of the Industry

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.

Wrong.

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.

Already known for revolutionising the comic book industry in the 1980s, Moore is pushing boundaries again with Electricomics – an app that is both a comic book and an easy-to-use open source toolkit. Being open source and free, the app has wide potential not just for industry professionals, but also businesses, arts organisations and of course comic fans and creators everywhere.

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 we’re going to develop this transparently and openly so keep an eye on the Electricomics GitHub.

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Electricomics will be self published by Moore and long time collaborator Mitch Jenkins as Orphans of the Storm, and funded by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts. As a publicly funded research and development project, Electricomics will be free to explore the possibilities of the comic medium, without the constraints of the industry.

Electricomics will be a 32-page showcase with four very different original titles:

  • Big Nemo – set in the 1930s, Alan Moore revisits Winsor McCay’s most popular hero.
  • Cabaret Amygdala – modernist horror from writer Peter Hogan (Terra Obscura).
  • Red Horse – on the anniversary of the beginning of World War One, Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys) and Danish artist Peter Snejbjerg (World War X) take us back to the trenches.
  • Sway – a slick new time travel science fiction story from Leah Moore and John Reppion (Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon, 2000 AD).

The research team will be led by Dr Alison Gazzard, who has published widely on space, time and play in interactive media, and is a Lecturer in Media Arts at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education. Joining her, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey is a pioneer in the field of experimental digital comics and senior lecturer at The University of Hertfordshire.

About the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts

The Digital R&D fund for the Arts is a £7 million fund to support collaboration between organisations with arts projects, technology providers, and researchers. It is a partnership between Arts Council England, Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta.

We want to see projects that use digital technology to enhance audience reach and/or develop new business models for the arts sector. With a dedicated researcher or research team as part of the three-way collaboration, learning from the project can be captured and disseminated to the wider arts sector.

Every project needs to identify a particular question or problem that can be tested. Importantly this question needs to generate knowledge for other arts organisations that they can apply to their own digital strategies.

Download the full press release.

Interested in getting involved in Electricomics? We’re hiring mobile and web developers!