Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Project Spotlight: 'Parabolis' by The Art Mechanics

It can be hard deciding on which format you want to use to express your creative endeavor.  After all, they each have their own benefits and drawbacks, and if you've got the chops to back up your enthusiasm it can be tough choosing between a song or a poem or a comic to tell a story, for example.  Sometimes it's just easier to combine the best of multiple worlds.  That's what Eddie Han decided on for fantasy epic Parabolis.  Wanting to work with both prose and images, he decided on a rather novel (pun totally intended) format: that more like a magazine than a traditional novel, comic, or illustrated book.  What results from that is an immersive work that brings the reader in in more ways than one.

Han and illustrator Curt Merlo have a sample of Parabolis up, and viewing it makes it easier to understand the format than explaining it will.  The "novelzine" combines the narrative of a novel with the layout and visual elements of magazines.  In a way, the use of maps, diagrams, and images reminds me of the complete effort and thought Jonathan Hickman puts into his comic books, only in this case extrapolated to the whole work. 

Parabolis could still use some backing, so be sure to check out the rewards.  It ranges from reading digital installments to a printed version of Parabolis to cool things like maps, posters, shirts, and even an action figure.  The sample gives hints at an intriguing story, but if nothing else Parabolis is an interesting experiment in storytelling that shouldn't be missed.


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