If you are looking for exciting, innovative stories that are told by professional creators, that can be rendered on any internet-enabled device, that combine games, animation, and comics — and for free, then you may want to pay attention. The AEON (Arthawk Entertainment Online Network) is building new worlds that will totally consume your attention. AEON is attempting to build an online transmedia network that is designed for people who love all the things that they themselves love — animation, games, comics, and film.
The company’s content is produced by professional game developers, animators, filmmakers, comic book artists and writers. Each of their transmedia series will be produced as comics, animated episodes and episodic games, all within the same story-verse. Participants in these worlds will be able to read, watch and play, while sharing their favorite characters, series and games with family and friends. The AEON will be free to play, free to view, and free to read on any internet-enabled device. Needless to say, this has never been done before. This then, is the fulfillment of the promise of transmedia — which essentially is the combining of different media to tell different parts of the same story.
The first of these worlds is Blackjack – The Series, by Alex Simmons, which is about the globe-trotting adventures of an African-American soldier of fortune, set in the 1930s. The AEON’s goal for the Kickstarter is to raise the funds necessary to enable them to finish the first transmedia episode of Blackjack. Part one of the comic (11 pages) translates into a two-minute animated episode, as well as some beginning gameplay. Upon reaching their funding goal The AEON will be able to produce this initial segment. Moving beyond their initial goal and achiving stretch goals will allow them to produce additional episodes of Blackjack games, animation and comics, as well as produce previews of their other upcoming series — enabling them to produce a full season of content across different platforms.
It is The AEON’s plans to launch four series initially. These include BlackJack (created by Alex Simmons), Space Station Orbiter: Cloud 99 (created by Christopher M. Taylor), Action Angels International (created by Derrick Richardson & James Allen Jr.) and I Am Power Unlimited (created by Derrick A. Richardson & James H. Allen Jr.). Members of the AEON executive team include Founder/CEO Derrick A. Richardson; Animation Consultant Mike Kunkel; Animation Co-Producer Jessie Lasaten; Technical Consultant Jean-Francois Bezequel; Creative Christopher M. Taylor; and Editor-In-Chief Alex Simmons.
These are people who love comics, animation, games, films, and TV, but feel that entertainment has simply gotten way too expensive. It costs a family of four over $100 to go see one movie (and that’s just with popcorn!). Cable gets more and more expensive, comics are now $3.99 apiece and console games are $70. All of this makes popular entertainment barely affordable for the people who love it most. That’s where The AEON comes in. The AEON defines themselves as 21st century descendants of the penny dreadful, pulps, movie serials, comics, double features, and theatrical animated shorts. Their intention is to take the rich history and storytelling of the past, join it to the cutting edge technology and distribution systems of today and produce affordable, professional-level entertainment for everyone, not just those who can afford it.
This, then, is a new platform for a new world.
This project will only be funded if at least $100,000 is pledged by Wednesday, July 2 2014.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comic books for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comic book articles and reviews.