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Comic Books, TV
If the action of Star Wars Battlefront simply isn’t immersive enough for you, just imagine a scenario in which Stormtroopers are waiting for you in the parking lot, and intergalactic bounty hunters lurk in the produce section of the supermarket. In augmented reality, of course.
The mysterious Trixi Studios explores that possibility in a video showing test footage captured using Google Android’s Project Tango development kit. We’re treated not only to a rolling BB-8, but also to Boba Fett and Stormtroopers exchanging fire with the user.
Last year, Australian artist Sutu launched a Kickstarter campaign for Modern Polaxis, an innovative comic about a paranoid time traveler whose private journal is brought to life in augmented reality, with readers using an iPhone or an iPad and a free app to uncover his hidden secrets and conspiracy theories.
However, Sutu didn’t stop with the comic. As spotted by CNET, he recently had an image from Modern Polaxis tattooed on his forearm, and discovered the process had no affect on the app; it still reads the augmented reality layer from the comic. The effect, as you can see in the Instagram videos below, is pretty amazing, resulting in a tattoo that can be appreciated on two levels.
Priya’s Shakti is a comic that aims to change the world, or at least, one part of it.
The creation of writer Ram Devenini and artist Dan Goldman, Priya’s Shakti uses elements of Indian religion and mythology to take on the difficult topic of rape and send a strong message that it’s a crime and the victim is not to be blamed for it. The comic tells the story of a rape survivor who’s cast out by her family, a situation that angers the gods; the resolution comes with a call to action.
The comic is available for free on comiXology and debuts in print this week at the Mumbai Film and Comics Convention. However, it’s not limited by the usual distribution structures: As Devenini explains to ROBOT 6, the creators have partnered with the Indian charitable trust Apne Aap Women Worldwide to get the title out to girls in classrooms and communities far from comics shops. They also painted street murals in Mumbai that include an augmented reality feature; when viewed with a smart phone, parts of the murals are animated.
I spoke with Devenini and Goldman about making the comic, the special features, and how they plan to spread the word.
Priya’s Shakti is the first comic released in India to use augmented reality, a digital effect that animates some of the panels when they are viewed with a smart phone.
That’s impressive, but it’s not the most remarkable thing about the comic. What sets Priya’s Shakti apart is the subject matter: It’s a story about rape. In the comic, a rape survivor and the goddess Parvati travel around the country and the world, fighting sexual violence and the attitudes that underlie it.
Producer and writer Ram Devineni and artist Dan Goldman (Red Light Properties) created the comic, which has been awarded a 2014 Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund grant, and they partnered with the NGO Apne Aap Women Worldwide, which works for social and policy changes to improve the standing of women throughout the world, to help get it into as many hands as possible.
If your standard comics-reading experience, whether in print or online, has gotten a bit humdrum, perhaps Modern Polaxis is the solution.
The brainchild of Australian artist Sutu, it’s the story of a paranoid time traveler, presented as his private journal, brought to life in an augmented reality comic book. Polaxis hides all of his secrets and conspiracy theories within its pages — in the “augmented reality layer” — which can be discovered by readers with an iPhone or an iPad and a free app (a beta version is available from the iTunes store).
Sutu has finished about 20 pages of illustrations and animation, and now he’s turning to Kickstarter to help complete the project.