The Wormworld Saga
A little more than a year ago, when the iPad was released, I decided that it was time to take a look at the world of comics. When I first thought about it, the concept seemed perfect: Entertaining fantasy or sci-fi stories, brought to me on my iPad through beautifully illustrated pictures. Unfortunately, after a brief market analysis, I found out that ‘beautiful’ isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when you look at typical run-of-the-mill comic. Most of them rather look like rough sketches, printed by an inkjet which is missing at least one color…
My rescue came at the very end of 2010, when the German artist Daniel Lieske published the first episode of his free digital graphic novel 'The Wormworld Saga'. Being read more than a quarter million times within the first four weeks, it became a huge success and proved, that Daniel obviously had hit a nerve. The comic looks a gazillion times better than your average superhero novel and was, from the get-go, designed to be read on a computer screen, rather than to be printed out on paper.
The next logical step for the series, besides working on chapter two, was to create a native iPad App for it. Since this is a rather costly endeavor, Daniel created a kickstarter campaign to fund it. Raising about twice as much money as required, the campaign turned out to be ‘huge success no. 2’ and eventually enabled the artist to quit his job and to dedicate all of his time to the Wormworld Saga. Naturally, the second result of this campaign was the iPad app which was just released this weekend and which brings me back to the topic of user interfaces.
To make it short, the app delivers on all fronts. It makes use of the same vibrant colors and beautiful art style as the comics. My favorite part is the main menu, in which you can skim through all available episodes (notice the glow around the selected ‘magazine’) and which instantly makes me want to collect ALL of them. Which I did… But it’s only one right now… What a petty…
The app enhances this existing comic by giving you the opportunity to hide the speech bubbles and, with the ‘pro’ version, to seamlessly switch between the preliminary sketches and the final artwork. And, as if this wasn’t enough, the paid version also comes with additional comments and articles, describing the process of creating the Wormworld Saga.
As you can probably tell, I am rather exited about the graphic novel as well as the app, especially since both of them are free! If you want to support Daniel Lieske, you can unlock the enhanced version of the first episode for $2.99 with an in-app purchase. I also recommend a look at his shop, where you can buy high quality prints of his work. Keep in mind that Daniel is doing this for a living now so show him some love!
Links: The Wormworld Saga App (iPad, free) - The novel’s homepage