Comics Preview: BREAK: RUN, a glow-in-the-dark story, currently offered via Kickstarter

Break: Run

Cartoonist: Nima Afshar
Release Date: Currently part of a Kickstarter campaign ending soon, summer 2021 for campaign backers
Format: Full colour 60-page square-bound comic
Publisher: Three Fold Comics (threefoldcomics.com)
Price: $10 (AUS) for digital, $20 (AUS) for printed via its Kickstarter campaign, which offers more for backers who purchase beyond that. For this crowd-funding campaign, click here.

A post-apocalyptic cyberpunk adventure…

On a deep space colony where nuclear war has already damaged the planet, we find Branko Nourbakhsh and his people trying to find their way. His commanding officer Amon decides to slaughter a mining crew who calls for help, stealing resources in order to help their clan survive. Branko opposes Amon but is unable to stop him.

Ten Years later in the City of Argos, Branko is contacted by an old friend. It’s happening again; he must return. But a bounty has been placed on Branko’s head, he has to get past trackers and bounty hunters. Time is running out.

This is a very ambitious, first full-length glow in the dark comic book graphic novel, using a silkscreen printed technique for separated layers. The experience is further optimized with a ultraviolet black light.

Break: Run‘s creator, writer, artist is Nima Afshar, an Australian cartoonist of cyberpunk, sci-fi, and other imaginative stories. This book is his latest project offered to all through his current Kickstarter.com project, where you can purchase a limited run copy.

Here’s a video explaining more of Break: Run and its creative process:

Here’s a preview of sample pages from break: Run. Nima Afshar offers a larger preview of the first 24 pages at threefoldcomics.com.

Huge thanks to Nima Afshar for providing the information, art, and leads to his great project. Time is running short for his Kickstarter project, so get your copy now if interested!

Comic cyberpunk thriller Thumbs, set for TP release, this winter

Thumbs

Image Comics recently announced a trade paperback collection of Thumbs, a rapid-paced, science-fiction series by award-winning playwright and comics writer Sean Lewis (Coyotes, The Few) and award-winning artist Hayden Sherman (The Few). This trade paperback collects the complete series, issues #1-5, and set for release in January 2020.

The story sets Adrian Camus, a rockstar tech designer, recruits children who excel at his games into his real-life war against the Power, a group of politicians and advocates aiming to take Camus’ tech away from the people. Following a life-altering injury, eponymous recruit Thumbs finds himself torn between two sides of the muddy, escalating conflict.

Image Comics presents thumbs as heartfelt, action-packed, and forward-thinking, a standalone story for fans of Black Mirror, Blade Runner, and Tokyo Ghost.

The Thumbs trade paperback will be available in comic book stores and digital apps on Wednesday, January 29 and in bookstores on Tuesday, February 4.

Here is a 4-page preview in the meantime (huge thanks to Image Comics):

E3 2019 Gaming News: Read Only Memories: Neurodiver

Neurodiver 2

Interesting news surface at E3 for fans of the cult indie cyberpunk hit, MidBoss’ 2064: Read Only Memories…

Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, the next mystery adventure set in the world of MidBoss’ 2064: Read Only Memories, will delve the psyche of PC and Mac in 2020.

Return to the vibrant cyberpunk world of Neo-San Francisco from 2064: Read Only Memories, filled with friendly and familiar faces including Jess Meas, the gene-spliced, hybrid lawyer, TOMCAT, the notorious hacker, and Lexi Rivers, former police officer turned private eye.

Here’s a little preview…

Neurodiver will introduce new characters, locations, and mechanics, including the ability to dive into and change other characters’ memories, as well as overhauled art and an unsolved case to crack with multiple endings.

Take on the role of ES88, a telepath employed by a powerful organization called MINERVA specializing in neurotechnology and extrasensory projection phenomena. In exchange for a procedure arming her with a Neurodiver, a powerful genetically engineered device allowing ES88 to dive into others’ memories, and employment at the agency, ES88 gave up her identity and memories.

A rogue Esper, a naturally gifted psychic, is on the loose and wreaking havoc through the subconscious minds of Neo-San Francisco. Track down this mysterious rogue known as the Golden Butterfly by using the Neurodiver to search the memories in which it hides. Read Only Memories: Neurodiver’s Deep Dive mechanic enables ES88 to identify, manipulate, and unlock information, though overuse can irreparably corrupt her target’s memory.

Set to retro-inspired music from Scarlet Moon artists, this colorful point-and-click adventure explores themes of memory, perception, and identity through the lens of a person who willingly gave up everything she was.

“The mystery of the Golden Butterfly is the perfect opportunity to expand the Read Only Memories universe,” said Cade Peterson, CEO of MidBoss, “Everything fans of 2064 loved is still there: diverse characters, an immersive cyberpunk world, fun puzzles, and a great story.”

For more info on Read Only Memories: Neurodiver, follow Midboss on all the best social media sites and visit midboss.com

Ophiuchus webcomic series, coming to print this summer

Ophiuchus Cover

Ophiuchus, a colorful webcomic series by Alexis Leriger de la Plante and Natasha Tara Petrović will be collected in its entirety and debut in print from Image Comics this August.

Perfect for fans of Sloane Leong’s Prism Stalker, the day-glo drenched, cybernetic Young Adult/Teen adventure of Ophiuchus follows the story of a lone sentry to an ancient inactive warp gate. But when a strange being breaks through and infects her with a sentient virus, she’s approached by two machines who implore her to follow them to the center of the universe and put an end to the malevolent rot before it spreads to the surrounding worlds.

“Ophiuchus is a strange, personal project—it was based on a dream I had about trying to return home to a dead world, and confronting the ghost that was left of it,” said Leriger de la Plante. “We really went into it hoping to eventually turn it into a book one way or another, but we never quite expected the reception we got, and we almost lost our minds when Image decided to print it. We always felt the comic would be best in print, and that really went into every aspect of making it, so we’re extremely excited for it to reach a new audience in its intended format. The comic holds a lot of our love, so if you’re interested in loss, revenge, skeletons and robots, this is a comic for you.”

The Ophiuchus complete, standalone graphic novel will be available in comic shops on Wednesday, August 21 and available in bookstores on Tuesday, August 27. It will also be available in digital form through the many popular platforms out there.

Meanwhile, here is a 5-page preview below (thanks to Image Comics)…

 

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Paul Pope’s cyberpunk classic, Heavy Liquid, anniversary edition is set

unnamed (46)

Paul Pope’s critically acclaimed, science-fiction/cyberpunk classic comic book Heavy Liquid will arrive on shelves anew as a 20th-anniversary remastered edition trade paperback, from Image Comics this August.

The original series originally released as a five-issue comic story from DC’s Vertigo imprint. Heavy Liquid became an underrated hit in time with an Eisner Award-nominated and listed as TIME Magazine’s 100 most important science fiction graphic novels of its decade.

Heavy Liquid takes place in a future where New York has evolved into a sci-fi metropolis, following a fugitive called “S”—on the run from a murderous gang—who becomes entwined in a mystery that’s littered with love and drugs. At the heart of this mystery is an addictive substance called Heavy Liquid that’s both a drug and an art form. In his search for the one artist skilled enough to render Heavy Liquid into a perfect sculpture, S finds himself battling deadly psychopathic foes as well as the inner demons of addiction. If he can survive these physical and mental trials, S might just discover the shocking secret behind Heavy Liquid, and find a love he thought lost forever.

This new edition will collect issues #1-5 of the Heavy Liquid series and feature newly remastered colors by Pope to restore them to his original vision, making them more vibrant and powerful. This new edition is designed and edited by the artist himself, restores the artwork for the first time to its original “widescreen” format (wider than typical US comics), and features a newly refined two-color palette. The opening and closing 16 pages are in full color, including newly designed artwork for this edition and all of the original “virgin” cover designs, with logos and added type removed.

The Heavy Liquid 20th-anniversary trade paperback edition will arrive in comic shops on Wednesday, June 19.

In the meantime, here’s a preview:

E3 2018: Cyberpunk 2077, a promising trailer of dark, dystopian edge

 

Cyberpunk 2077 is set to bring back the urban dystopian science fiction style, to the latest generation in gaming from The Witcher series developers, CD Projekt Red.

The new game recently revealed at the 2018 E3 Expo in Los Angeles, with a promising trailer. Cyberpunk 2077 is set in an open world, narrative-driven role-playing game set in the universe of the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG books first published by R. Talsorian Games in 1988.

A bit more from a recent release from CD Projekt Red:

The game follows the story of V — a hired gun on the rise in Night City, the most violent and dangerous metropolis of the corporate-ruled future. A robust character creator will allow players to choose V’s gender, visual appearance, character class, as well as historical background — all of which may influence the shape of the game.

With dozens of hours of main story arc quests, and many more of additional activities, there’s always something to see and do in Night City. Players will experience all of it entirely through V’s eyes, with an interactive dialogue system that gives them greater narrative agency.

Returning in Cyberpunk 2077 is CD PROJEKT RED’s hallmark of choices and consequences. As they make their way through the streets of Night City and its sky-scraping megabuildings, players will face difficult decisions that will ripple through the entire game.

Personal Impressions: I’m looking super forward to this, as it has all that I have been wanting in a character and story driven RPG mass world-building with that classic feel of dark cyberpunk style, not really felt since the days of Shadowrun, Deus Ex, and the first half of Final Fantasy VII. The music is also a nice touch.

Cyberpunk 2077 is planned for release on the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. For more information, visit cyberpunk.net.

 

Image/Top Cow brings new BONEHEAD techno-thriller, for early winter

Image/Top Cow will bring Bonehead, a new gritty new techno-thriller by writer Bryan Hill (Romulus, Postal) and Rhoald Marcellius (Marvel: Contest of Champions), to comic shelves this December.

In a near future, a sprawling megalopolis sees the rise of “Boneheads,” parkour gangs who use neuro-linked helmets to augment their abilities and live for the thrill of physical risk. As a gang war threatens to tear the city apart, a mysterious Bonehead rises—a man with no past who might be the key to saving the city’s future.

“Glitch, the team that produces Bonehead , has a vision of a possible future and humanity’s simultaneous evolution with technology,” said Hill. “It’s a compelling concept that deals with many things we’re experiencing as a society, and I’m enjoying working with Rhoald on these concepts of futurism, humanity, and identity.”

“I grew up loving urban and underground culture, so it’s been my long-time dream working on gang war themed comics,” said Marcellius. “And given the cyberpunk setting, Bonehead is my perfect avenue. I’m also BIG on action, and this book is what it’s all about—acrobatics and street fights. The characters are designed by the talented Machine56, and I gotta tell you that the designs are sick! It’s really a bunch of my favorite stuff in a blender, and I’m having a blast. I hope you guys will too!”

Bonehead #1 hits comic book stores Wednesday, December 27th.

Tech-noir tactics ALL WALLS MUST FALL indie game Kickstarter succeeds and exceeds

Independent developer, inbetweengames, recently announced its tech-noir tactics game All Walls Must Fall successfully completed its Kickstarter funding campaign (€36,576, $39,193) at over double its initial goal (€15,000, $16,073).

For those not familiar, All Walls Must Fall is an isometric tactics game where the action happens to the pulsing beat of the music. You control time-traveling secret agents as they jump and loop through a single night in the city of Berlin. Using a pausable real-time system, carefully plan your decisions and use powerful time manipulation abilities to your advantage, as you carry out your mission in the shadows or in plain sight. Levels are procedurally recombined using a bespoke system developed by inbetweengames, giving All Walls Must Fall a highly replayable campaign structure, while still offering individually crafted components and set-pieces.

The story: The Cold War never ended. For 150 years, both sides have used time manipulation technology to observe and counter each other’s every move. Now this fragile state of affairs is approaching breaking point, as a rogue nuclear strike has been ordered that will send the world into turmoil. Both sides have scrambled to send agents back in time to find the person behind the order in the hope they might prevent it. If they fail, the whole world will turn to ash, forever.

The trailer:

 

Many stretch goals have been met, including:

“Vandalism”  – Increased environment destructibility and a deepening of the game’s cover system.
“Drone Warfare” – Hackable enemy drones added as well as new mission and room types.
“Bad Language” – New dialogue options added as well as the ‘disinformation’ mission type.
“Discrimination” – New gameplay centered around the nightmare of clubbing door policy to life while also diversifying the club’s range of NPCs.

Also, two new music tracks with a further track announced during the campaign. Jukio Kallio (Nuclear Throne, LUFTRAUSERS) has contributed a pulsating acid techno workout while Ben Prunty (FTL, Gravity Ghost) has added a 8-bit electro crawler. Esteemed electronic producer Kuedo (Severant, Slow Knife) is providing a dark and minimal techno track, rife with the future anxieties the game depicts.

“We’re totally overwhelmed by the support of our generous backers,” said Jan David Hassel, Designer at inbetweengames. “The Kickstarter went way over what any of us could have reasonably expected or hoped for. Now the real fun, not to mention hard work, begins as we deliver on the turning the Kickstarter into a reality. We’re totally committed to giving players the dopest, future soviet club experience possible.”

All Walls Must Fall is planned for initial release via Early Access on Steam. For more info on its Kickstarter campaign, further funding, and release info, visit the Kickstarter page.

Short Science Fiction Film – Temple (by Nguyen-Anh Nguyen)

Temple

  • Director: Nguyen-Anh Nguyen
  • Actors: Osric Chau & Yue Qi
  • Sound design, Musical Score: Cult Nation & Kannibalen Records
  • Time: 9:14 Release: Released on Vimeo February 29, 2015, premiered in 2015
  • Notes: For more info, visit thefilmeffect.com/temple

Synopsis :

“2045 A.D. A new genetic disease is causing humans to reject their own organs. Cybernetic enhancements are the only means to survive. One desperate man is forced to steal cybernetic implants to save an innocent life.

Personal Thoughts:

A beautiful combination of great VFX, sound, scripting, and editing.

The story content itself is a reinvention of several dystopian concepts left from the past 80s/90s era of sci-fi urban cyberpunk fiction. One being the idea of the failures of genetic enhancement, though in this setting the enhancements are necessary for survival. I can only wonder what kind of genetic diseases could lead to this sort of necessity. Another being the idea where technology wins and surpasses humanity, as we see not only the boost of tech in humans but in vehicles and city development as well. The “filthy air” and “flood” are hints and perhaps warnings towards continued harm to our global environments.

Then we have a major theme and moral dilemma for the sake of drama. Our main character and narrator cares little for the opponent, as we have little back story from him other than his want to survive and fight back. He takes no joy in the fight, as he must save another he cares for from dying. In this cruel world, we ponder his moral judgement in the choice of who lives and who dies, based on his martial arts skills. Yet here we are, and can hope for a happy end beyond the nine minutes shown.

The martial arts action is great though not as necessary I think to the overall story. We have a feeling we know who the winner will be and that may deescalate where the overall tension goes. Yet, the brutality and gore result does heighten the gritty mood and shock of the violence this world brings. There is a high degree of nihilism we get from the feeling where “we all have to become monsters.”

The music is very captivating, with elevated electronica mixed with ambiance and tension. The audio set mood feels established for the grit and futuristic noir. The visuals of deep colors and grainy filters used with timed depth of field techniques feel suitable, feels modern to this era of indie filmmaking. These are good things. Together with the great editing and cinematography present, I can envision a full movie worthwhile for independent audiences looking for hard-sci combined with meaningful action sequences.

Overall, a great watch that serves enough as a standalone tale leaving much open. This would be a great prologue to a large story where perhaps the woman is the main protagonist, and perhaps a more cheerful ending. I can hope someday for that bigger story.

– Orion T

MUSIC: Ghost in the Shell – Inner Universe, by Origa

WARNING: Features graphic violence and nudity.

  • Title: Inner Universe
  • Composer: Origa
  • Length: 4:54

Notes: Expanded version, regular version used in the first season of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime series.  Footage is from the original Ghost in the Shell movie produced by Youtube user “fenman01.”

Lyrics (English Translation):

Angels and demons circle above my head
cleaving through thorns and Milky Ways
He who does not perceive his calling,
does not know true happiness…

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

I am Calling Calling out!
Spirits, I am calling!!!
To remain myself longer…
Calling Calling, in the depths of longing!
To remain myself longer!

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

Stand alone… Where was life when it had a meaning…
Stand alone… Nothing’s real anymore and…

…Endless running…
While I am alive, I can try not to fall while flying,
nor to forget how to dream…to love…
…Endless running…

Calling Calling out! For The Place of Knowing!
There’s more that what can be linked!
Calling Calling, Never will I look away!
From what life has left for me.
Yearning Yearning, for what’s left of loving!

To remain myself longer…
Calling Calling, in the depths of longing!
To remain myself longer!

Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!
Watch in awe! Watch in awe!
Heavenly glory! Heavenly glory!

Personal Thoughts:

I post this today in response to the recent announcement of the Dreamworks backed Ghost in the Shell live-action movie, starring Scarlett Johannson.  I can’t really care. I know what Scarlett Johannson looks like shooting guns and acting badass in some sexy outfit. If they want to add a cyberpunk setting and put some familiar situations to GITS fans using a shit ton of CGI FX, than whatever. Of course, there is the whitewashing..off to a good start with its star. I’m sure the removing of Japanese elements will not stop there.

But what matter in the end, is original content can not be ruined.. The original movies and the follow-up animated series of series will always be out there in some obtainable form. I will go deeper into what makes GITS so great, another time. For now, I just really like this opening to the follow-up animated series (with choice visuals from the classic). And, I will always best remember the GITS movies and series as fantastic animated science-fiction drama.

– Orion T