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Matt Ritter and Adam Elbatimy on 8-bit ‘Nova Phase’

Cover#1Veronica Darkwater lives in a world that’s a bit jagged around the edges. That’s because she’s the heroine of Matt Ritter and Adam Elbatimy’s Nova Phase, a comic that is drawn in an 8-bit style reminiscent of old-school video games.

Robot 6 readers got a sneak peek at the first issue late last year, and now the first two issues are available on comiXology; the first issue is free, and the second is just 99 cents. Ritter and Elbatimy plan on a six-issue story to be released digitally first, with every two issues collected into a print comic by SLG Publishing. Eventually, the whole story will be collected in one print volume.

This comic raises some interesting questions of technique and format, so I asked Ritter and Elbatimy to share some of their process and their thinking.

Robot 6: I know everyone asks this, but I’m going to start with it anyway: Where did the idea for this comic come from? Why do a space opera about a bounty hunter in 8-bit-style art? Did the story come first, or was the art a part of the concept from the beginning?

Matthew Ritter: I was interning over at Dark Horse Entertainment, and I wanted to pitch them something before I left. So I contacted my artist friend Adam, who I had worked on other projects with/for. We both loved comics and pixel art, so as we tossed ideas back and forth we settled on pixel art. We talked about some video game spoof comics and other ideas, and eventually I wrote a little short piece set in the Nova Phase world, he liked it, and so we went on from that.

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8-bit heroics in Matthew Ritter’s ‘Nova Phase’


Comics and video games. Chances are if you like one, you like the other to some degree. And if that’s the case, a lovingly old-school graphics to an upcoming comic series might hit that sweet spot and win you over.

Writer Matthew Ritter and artist Adam Elbahtimy’s Nova Phase is a six-issue seriescoming by way of SLG Publishing that uses the nostalgic 8-bit pixelated graphics to create a new sci-fi story. Described by Ritter as “full of pixel art, adventure and crushed dreams,” Nova Phase will premiere in January as a digital-first release through comiXology, with subsequent issues released monthly and a print collections of the first two issues in February.

Nova Phase is a treasure hunt through the blackness of space, with these pixelated heroes and villains going after one goal: a mythical world bearing untold wealth called Una Tesara. On one side is a down-on-her-luck bounty hunter named Veronica Darkwater, who’s vying for the treasure  with a crazy military commander seemingly pulled straight out of the original Metal Gear or Bionic Commando.

So suit up, commandos! Here’s an extensive preview provided by the creators to get you dialed in.

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