Bonnie Cha

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Anomaly Productions Brings Interactive Twist to Graphic Novels

AnomalyA well-written book can make the characters come to life in the mind of a reader. But one media company is also using technology to help characters literally jump off the page. Today at the D: Dive Into Media conference in Dana Point, Calif., Anomaly Productions showed how it’s bringing new and old media together to make storytelling better.

Late last year, the company published a 370-page graphic novel called “Anomaly” both as a hardcover book and a standalone app for iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook devices. Along with it, Anomaly Productions released a companion augmented-reality app for the printed version, providing readers with extra material, much like DVDs.Anomaly_2

“Anomaly” and its AR app are the brainchild of comic artist and Witchblade creator Brian Haberlin, and Skip Brittenham, one of the most powerful attorneys in Hollywood. On Monday afternoon, Haberlin joined AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka onstage for a demo. Using a smartphone camera and the Anomaly Ultimate Augmented Reality app, Haberlin transformed the dead-tree version of “Anomaly” into an interactive story, complete with animated panels and voice narration.

“Even back when I first started doing comics in 1992, we wanted to do interactive stuff, but we didn’t have the devices or the bandwidth,” Haberlin said. “Now, with iPads, tablets and wireless bandwidth, we can do anything we want. We’re at the infancy of this stuff. It’s developing the language of this storytelling, and we’re having a lot of fun being a part of it.”

anomaly 2The hardcover version of “Anomaly” costs $45, and the companion augmented-reality app is free (Haberlin says it’s the longest original full-color graphic novel ever done). The standalone app provides the first chapter of the book for free, but to unlock the rest of the chapters, you’ll have to pay $4.99. The company plans to release two additional titles later this year: “Shifter” in July, and “Between Worlds” in October.


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