MGM Options British online comic for TV series

Seizing an opportunity to leverage the current wave of popularity and notoriety surrounding the new digital graphic novel sensation The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore, MGM Domestic Television Distribution has acquired an option to develop the Factory Publishing property created, produced and directed by British photographer and author Howard Webster as a possible television series.

The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore is an exciting digital graphic novel that’s creating quite a sensation abroad,” said Chris Ottinger, MGM’s Executive Vice President of Worldwide Television in announcing the company’s option of the property. “We see this as a great concept that will make an exciting series for worldwide audiences.”

The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore is a trilogy of graphic novels designed for iPod and PC download, published by Factory Publishing in association with Triumph Motorcycles. The stories combine comic book illustration, with 3D animation, live action photography, newsreel archive and an original music score, pushing the boundaries of the graphic novel genre and , say Factory, creating an entirely new form of media and fan generated content in the process.

Nominated at MIPCOM 2007’s Mobile and Internet TV Awards in the Best Short Form Mobile and Internet Drama category and an official honoree at this year’s Webby Awards, the online trilogy is set in a time where the British Empire has never ended and America is just a virtual world hosted on a vast global game network.

When Jonas Moore (portrayed online by British film and TV star Colin Salmon — Resident Evil, Die Another Day, Prime Suspect and the upcoming Punisher: War Zone, and Blood: The Last Vampire), a character personally created by the network’s founder, becomes self-aware he is tagged by the network as a virus and goes on the run.

As he moves from one artificial game world to the next, his knowledge of the games and the real-world gamers spreads like a virus to the other game characters, freaks, creatures and monsters who live as slaves within the network – precipitating a revolution and fight for freedom against the murderously addicted real-world gamers.

A photographer, publisher, director and writer, Jonas Moore creator Howard Webster, who lives in London, founded Factory in 2002, a film and entertainment industry magazine exclusively for Hollywood insiders distributed in London, New York and LA. He spent the early years of his life between Lagos and Kaduna in Nigeria and Cheshire in the north west of England. He studied biology at the University of Durham.

Worlds Apart lead singer Steve Hart wrote the score for the production and also stars in the online version.

As well as a great looking comic (download as a PDF from here), The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore web site engages fans by inviting them to become part of the journey by downloading the Jonas Moore digital elements and animating their own stories or creating comic book adventures for Jonas Moore. Garage bands and musicians all over the world are also invited to strip out the music and send in their own soundtracks. The best fan-generated comic books, animations and soundtracks are posted on the site.

One recent competition winner was Birmingham-based Mick Trimble, currently working on the on spy-thriller Septic Isle, one of many ceators who has benefitted from the StripSearch scheme (a comics talent search ) who has had work published in several small-press comics and magazines and is part of the Midlands Comics Collective. Download his winning entry as a PDF here

The whole concept of The Worlds of Jonas Moore seems to be directed at involving as well as enthusing its potentiual audience with a great story. According to Webster, “Branded content and fan generated content is a vast, evolving beast with huge metrics emerging from the web. The business models that drove the revenue big media agencies and global advertising agencies is collapsing and the easy relationship between big media buyers and media agencies and the net and gross fees that earned them massive paydays is thankfully dying.

“It was, in my opinion, a snug cartel based upon suspect metrics that didn’t actually take into account how people actually interact with media. All it favoured was a justification of the media spend on the part of the manager who sanctioned it and the fees.

“In an effort to reinvent themselves the global media agencies are trying to claim they are now somehow experts in the field of branded content; the new content digerati.,” he continues. “They’re not. In branded content terms they’re the embarrassing father drunk at a wedding trying to look hip on the dance floor dancing to sounds of the 1980s. The global media agencies are simply trying to copy what teenagers and web-heads are already doing in their millions with content on the web and are attempting to charge brand directors huge sums of money to do it.

The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore is a wake up call to the global community of content generators mashing up video, music and imagery,” he argues. “Jonas Moore calls for web-heads and garage content creators to take back the content on the web; send your ideas to the global brand directors – they will be better than the big media agency’s ones (ideas designed by committee and sanctioned by someone in a suit) – get the brands to give you the money to create great content. If you get them 5,000,000 hits a month for an idea they will come back for more and you will be saving them a great deal in agency fees. The average Mac has everything pre-loaded on it for you to go for it.

“Jonas Moore is also a wake up call to the global brand directors – realize that the media agencies are not experts on the web or its content. It’s time for the brands to support the global community of creatives and say goodbye to the global media agency dinosaurs and their expense accounts.”

• Previews for The Many Worlds of Jonas Moore digital graphic novel can be seen at www.jonasmoore.com and www.factory-publishing.com.

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Digital Comics, Digital Media

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