Assay Comics and Graphic Novels

My Exploratory Journey or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love my Ph.D. (Part Seven)

This is the seventh log entry of my ‘exploratory journey’. I’m developing a practice-based Ph.D. thesis in Media Arts titled “Transmedia Storytelling and Speculative Worldbuilding: Graphic Literature and Cinematographic Strategies in the Construction of a Transmedial Franchise”. In this article, I will talk about the new ideas I had for my speculative fiction transmedial franchise, but first things first: the overall storyworld I’m creating will be named ‘Chronicles of Time and Space’. This is a change from the title I had when I was developing this project for my master’s degree in Cinematic Studies: ‘Chronicles of the Earth and the Sea’.

An entertainment transmedial franchise is nothing without a good storyworld and a fan base. I’m still in the phase of creating the best stories I can within the storyworld I’m building. Until recently my main focus was on the first monomyth of Uluru, a young 2.0 human being raised by two intelligent machines in the center of Australia. The first dramatic arch of Uluru, the first graphic novel, will be made available next year online for free. Because I decided to participate in the Netflix contest for Portuguese TV series in June of 2020, I invested some time writing about the second monomyth of Uluru. This second story arch will result in the next two graphic novels.

Last month of August, I was the chosen scriptwriter for the ‘Projecto ACBD’ [01], an Instagram project where a person writes a short story and a few artists illustrate the script (a sort of Portuguese Art Cred initiative). For the one-page short story, I decided to explore the Martian section of my storyworld. I enjoyed the idea so much, I decided to invest more time in building the narrative about the new character: a post human called Vidalia. I’m developing the step-outline for the new story. Below, I share one of the pages (translated into English) sent to the ‘Projecto ACBD’, illustrated by the Portuguese artist Patrícia Costa.

I’ve read, on the Producers Guild of America website, that a “Transmedia Narrative project or franchise must consist of three (or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe (…)” [02], therefore, I decided to abandon the Production Bible for “Uluru” and create a Transmedia Bible for the franchise, where I include “Uluru” and two other narratives: “Vidalia” and “Dragon Head”. I’ll be dedicating an article to these narratives and the Transmedia Bible in the future. For a better exploration of my storyworld and the transmedial outputs for my low budget franchise, I believe it’s necessary to explore the three stories I mentioned above.

The Transmedial Bible will come in handy when contacting Portuguese animation producers. This will probably be done after the publishing of the “Uluru” comic book online is concluded and I start preparing the crowdfunding campaign for the printed version. The Transmedia Bible I’m writing now is based on the production document I sent to the Netflix contest; therefore the format I’ll be pursuing is the TV series format. The Netflix contest didn’t accept animation, but I believe that is the adequate medium for the stories I’m writing. My goal with the Transmedial Bible is the creation of an anthological animated TV series where I will tell three stories in three seasons. The first season, ‘Chronicles of Time and Space – Uluru’, is set 200.000 years in the future where we learn about a project to reintroduce the human species on planet Earth. The second season, ‘Chronicles of Time and Space – Dragon Head’, is set 500 years after the first season. The third season, ‘Chronicles of Time and Space – Vidalia’, is a prequel and it begins when the first settlers arrive on Mars, in 2033.




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