Blogging about my interest and searching the Web for stuff geeky and odd is the best part of my day. It’s great to just sit with my computer, relax, and explore and find about new (or old) Web content for the first time. Now, here’s the bad part of blogging, I’m not a writer. So, I have some trouble communicating my opinions and views on subjects without a string of redundant “…it’s really cool!” or “…it really sucked”. So, having said that, Nawlz is really really cool!
What’s a Nawlz, you may ask. Nawlz is a unique digital comic created by artist and interactive designer Stu Campbell (a.k.a. Sutu) and first launched back in 2008. Described as a
interactive cyberpunk adventure, Nawlz is an amazing mix of illustration, sound, motion, and fun (that last word is the word I like best to describe this comic, fun). I read the first season of comics and I loved the interactive stylized art mixed with monotones then sudden splash of colors and sounds. So, what’s the story about? Here’s a quote from the Nawlz about page where they say
Nawlz depicts a future world of youth culture where technology is so advanced that reality is augmented with holographic overlays and multi-sensory interactive experiences. The story follows Harley Chambers, a young cyber-graffiti artist trying to ‘cast’ his ’sleeper real’ to cover the entire city. (A ‘real’ is a sort of technological hallucination, like a mind broadcast, creating a virtual environment that overlays reality, available for all to experience. Anyone can have a Real and they can customize and design it to look any way they want. The process of projecting thoughts onto a Real is known as casting.)
For me the site was a good sort of crazy. Though it was hard for me to figure out the story (without first reading a summary or about page) and what was going on with Harley and his bizarre holo-imagination trips (not sure if that best defines it…), I still enjoyed the illustrative style and the interactive elements of the site made want to keep clicking and find out what happens next. The whole experience reminded me of the paper “pop-out” books from when I was a kid, but on a computer. There is this sense of having everything laid out in front of you, and then in small little areas there are more places to explore. And with each click I kept wondering what new little surprise would be on the next page. Then there was the use of color. For the most part the comic has a “shades of gray” (though it’s not really gray…) gritty, noir type feel. Everything is kept very monotone except for those explosive moments when Harley is having a techno-hallucination and bright colors flow out onto the page. There is also this weird sense of motion that comes for each page, even though the art is 2D and mostly static. I know Chudd and I don’t have any sort of rating system, and never will, but if you’ve got some time I’d say, yeah, check it out and have fun with it.
You can find out more information about Nawlz at their about page. In this post I’ve include a trailer video for the site and a three part tutorial showing how the comic is made.