Whilst there is no set definition, a Graphic Novel can best be described as a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art. However, unlike a comic book, it is neither serialized or sub-divided.
Yet there are countless stories originally conceived as serial publications, which were then collected into a single volume and labelled as a Graphic Novel, so that it would be an indicator of quality and to distinguish them from the popular comic strip.
This poses no problem to Comics Experience 4.0
Comics Experience 4.0 is not intended to be an evolution of the Graphic Novel, but rather an exceptional multi-level story, able to adopt and – at the same time – to revise the language of comics, both in form and contents.
This is an experience not to be considered as read-only. Rather the various messages found within the novel should be “lived” as something to research, explore and understand.
To give new shape and new content to this type of narrative, Man Born Again has been carved around 4 sections:
1. THE BODY
We chose a theme and a setting that the history of our world seems to have forgotten. To do so, we needed to re-define and re-establish the Western comics genre, treating it as if it were a movie, or more precisely, a TV series: in the first place by using real actors, secondly by giving the reader an opportunity to enter into the story themselves, to feature side characters and extras.
To enhance the characters recognition we borrowed a peculiar cinematic visual technique called matte painting and combined it with graphite and ink and other expressive techniques typical of “classic” comics.
In that way, the psychology of the characters and their inner self will be far more visually prominent
2. THE VIEW
In addition to introducing these new characteristics, Comics Experience 4.0 target is to eradicate, develop and extend the typical patterns of Graphic Novels from the narrative point of view.
In order to access extra bonus material, the reader will be challenged to discover high resolution hidden symbols and other visual elements. They will also be able to find links to real life events and trivia related to the story.
The “multi-level narrative” structure makes use of symbols and other visual elements inspired by the Native Americans symbolism, which acts as a conceptual model to represent their values.
In this way, the search for the hidden symbol or action, will stimulate reflection and will aid the reader in gaining awareness: a process that will describe what the main character of Man Born Again will experience himself through the crisis of his soul.
3. THE VOICE
We believe that the production of hundreds of thousands comic books printed on paper and their widespread distribution on heavy-duty vehicles, contributes to several ecological factors as pollution and exploitation of natural resources. This is not the best solution to convey a message to the widest possible audience. The web can bring a message in a more user-eco-friendly way and through a more creative and innovative language. For all these reasons, we created custom applications to support the new media platforms usability and we chose to use the web to promote, sale and disseminate our work.
4. THE SPIRIT
We have said previously that in order to enhance the characters recognition and their expressiveness, we borrowed a peculiar cinematic visual technique called matte painting. But what if the story is about spirituality? How can you touch the reader’s soul?
Our answer is: using music to revise the language of comics.
Comic fans like us, love the illustrated story board and get excited by well done drawings, but we must admit that music tugs everyone’s heartstring. The power of a song and what it does to bring back memories is undeniable. A song heard many years before can trigger dormant memories and in the same way, the soundtrack that accompanies each episode and each season, will become the soundtrack of our journey across Comics Experience 4.0. This is because at the end of every good story, the way the hero looks at the world will change and this will enable him to choose. Choose whether to love or hate, to live or die, to remain paralyzed in his crisis, or to radically change himself to be reborn. Again.