The Lightstream Chronicles Graphic Novel
The Lightstream Chronicles Graphic Novel
The year is 2159 in the global capital, Hong Kong 2. This epic, sci-fi, crime drama is a graphic novel created entirely in HiDef CG.
The year is 2159 in the global capital, Hong Kong 2. This epic, sci-fi, crime drama is a graphic novel created entirely in HiDef CG. Read more
The Lightstream Chronicles is a design fiction journey into a world where man has replaced God, science has replaced religion, government has replaced private enterprise; a world where anything can be simulated, all things replicated, where pleasure is unlimited, and death is optional. Welcome to the future.
You can help put this 220+ page, full color and hardbound graphic novel on your coffee table and immerse yourself in a HD digital version, too.
And I'm giving away a FREE test drive. The entire first 40 pages—all of Chapter 1—is yours to download. Keep reading for the link below.
The Lightstream Chronicles is a science-fiction crime drama set in the year 2159. There is a single global government structure, New Asia. The setting is Hong Kong 2, a mega-city with 51 million people that serves as the global capital. Technologically and genetically enhanced humans, synthetic humans, and replicated humans thrive -- as does crime. There are two worlds: TopCity, the upper floors of the metropolis where sunlight reaches and wealth abounds, and DownTown, the bottom of society.
It is in the darkness of DownTown that a renowned scientific prodigy, Dr. Sean Colbert, chief designer of some of the most sophisticated and commercially successful synthetic humans, is brutally assaulted and left for dead. The high-profile crime is given top priority and in the rush to find those responsible and administer justice, Chief Science Officer Kristin Broulliard, her right-hand "synthetic" Toei-N, and human detective Jack Guren are left will little choice but to enlist the help of the newest, ultra-sophisticated police detective, a T-Class synthetic, named Keiji-T. This new synthetic, designed and programmed by Sean Colbert himself, has proven capable of determining guilt with upwards of 99 percent accuracy and is the first synthetic ever to be authorized to harm a human.
As the clock ticks, it appears that not everyone wants Keiji to succeed.
If you are a comics fan, then you already know the supremely satisfying experience that comes from turning the pages of a engaging story, full of rich, gorgeous detail. Now, take that experience three steps beyond. Imagine that experience in even, greater intensity, presented as hefty, glossy, hardbound pages. Then, what if you could zoom in, zoom in, and zoom in—up to five times or more—to inspect all the eye-candy and nuance of every panel? That is the immersive experience of The Lightstream Chronicles. There is a print version and a digital version, and Chapter 1 is already completed; you're invited to download it (High Definition - 69MB) and take a test drive. I'm giving you Chapter 1 so you can feel confident that this project is for real and have a sense of the bigger experience you're in store for. I have already crafted a scale model of the future in CG, using the latest state-of-the-art technology and graphics software. The world of Hong Kong 2, New Asia is rich in detail and back-story that you can begin to explore right now, without pledging a dime. It's all on The Lightstream Chronicles website. I want you to see that this world is worth visiting. If you’d like to see more of this world, supporting this project will help bring it to life and into your home.
I'll give you the short version (the long story is on the website). In 2010, after 30+ years as a professional designer, I left the corporate design world and decided to pursue this idea of creating a sci-fi graphic novel. I went back to school full time to learn about the scripting process – the scholarly side of sequential art (comics), to hone my 3D skills, and to earn an MFA degree so that I can teach when this is all over. That process has thus far enabled me to produce a full script and the completed first chapter. I've got a little more than a semester to go until graduation.
1. Great looking and thought provoking. If you make a trip to The Lightstream Chronicles website, you can see the depth to this world, get previews of all the characters, and get a solid understanding of just how much work is behind this. That's also, where you will find Chapter 1. This is the real proof of concept: 42 pages set up as "spreads." The art is indicative of what will follow. If you play around with it, you’ll find you can zoom-in (5x or more) to see the intricate details that almost never exist in a conventional comic. The file is 69MB, however, so make sure you're ready for the download. This size ensures that the images stay high res and top quality.
2. An installment plan. Just less than 2 years may seem like a long time to wait. It could be completed sooner, but I’d rather be early than late. I’ve therefore been liberal in my estimate of the time required to complete the project. If that wait works for you, our lower-level tiers will provide you with the finished story once it has been completed. However, for all pledges at the Hong Kong 2 reward level (or above), as each chapter is finished, you'll receive a custom thumb drive with that chapter. This will make the long wait for the final chapter much more bearable and recalls the serialized nature of comics. I will keep you updated on when these things are happening, through my blog and through Kickstarter. Contributors at these reward levels will have received all 6 chapters in all their digital glory on six individually numbered thumb drives — the complete collection — by the culmination of the project. Assuming the worst-case scenario, on the very longest chapter (chapter 6), there will be 25 weeks between installments. You could look at it as though you're waiting for the next season of a favorite TV series. Some installments, such as chapter 3 could be delivered in as little as 16 weeks.
3. Multi-layered. Extensive re-readability. The beauty of reading a graphic novel is that you, the reader, determine the pace. Unlike a movie that drives you forward relentlessly to the finish, you can linger over this experience. Examine things. In prose novels authors have the luxury to wax on about how a particular character is dressed, their physique, or the nature of their countenance. Here, you can study all that, in living color—and it all has meaning, or I wouldn't have put it in there. Sometimes the meaning is obvious; other times it is more subliminal. I invite you to examine each chapter more than once, as you’re sure to uncover something new each time. By the time you have fully examined your last chapter, voila! Your next chapter has arrived. The hardbound edition is right at home on a coffee table, where it’s sure to draw the attention of your friends and family. In the digital version, which is available starting at the "V" Level, you can zoom in and around the frame and look at the details and the information that tell you much more than the verbal narrative alone ever could. Finally, this is a polished, quality product, through and through. For me, there's no other way.
First and foremost, I want to get the book and digital versions finished and distributed. Toward that end, the dollar goal covers all the hardbound printing, custom flash drives, rewards, shipping, and associated expenses. Anything beyond that will go, first, toward any improvements to hardware or software that will speed the modeling and rendering process, software licenses, and upgrades. I’m not looking to get rich off this project. Success to me is bringing this story to fruition and delivering it with exceptional quality. If I am blessed enough to raise additional funds, then I can extend the time before I have to get gainful employment allowing me 100% focus on this project. That will also speed delivery.
Risks and challenges
Building a CG graphic novel at this scale is an epic undertaking. It's a lot like creating a feature length animated film—by yourself. In fact, the screenplay that was the basis of this graphic novel was indeed an 87-page script: feature length! Aside from a percentage of models that started as a stock wireframes, the majority of this world is built, customized, textured, lit, and rendered entirely myself. So, the biggest challenge is time: but I'm confident that once you test drive Chapter 1 you'll feel it's worth the wait until the final chapter is complete.
For perspective, Chapter 1 took longer than the others probably will, (about 6 months), because I was also ironing out a lot of wrinkles and visual conventions for the first time. Now that these decisions have been made, they won't have to be made again.
Timeline: From November of 2012 to May of 2013, progress will be a bit slower since I'm finishing my MFA and teaching design; but my delivery dates have already considered that. Plus, I have been dealing with this level of multi-tasking from the beginning and I have stayed true to my task. My work is my hobby, and my life. The good news is that I love doing this.
Funding: I'm committed to this project. As you can read on The Lightstream Chronicles website. Committed enough to quit my corporate job, go back to school and make this my life. So, once I receive my degree in May of 2013, I am prepared to meet the deadlines even if I have to work part-time. Of course, if there is more funding, I will have more time to focus on getting things completed sooner.
Experience and know-how: I bring 30+ years of experience in graphic design, set design, art direction and business, so I am an expert at the design process, estimating, budgeting and forecasting. In addition, I have 20+ years working in CG. The thing about working in CG everyday is that you do get faster and you are always learning.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)