A graphic novel of a new kind? This is indeed the concept of Phallaina, the first narrative device of a scrolling strip! This multi-award winning project designed by Marietta Ren, co-published by Small Bang and the direction of Nouvelles Écritures de France Télévisions, is presented in the form of a digital and interactive graphic novel, designed for touch screens and curious minds!
"It's the story of Audrey, a young girl who suffers from hallucinatory attacks during which she sees whales. A neurologist/researcher tests her and finds a physeter, an anomalous structure that allows its wearers to remain in apnea for a long time."
Phallaina is above all the intimate story of a personal transformation, mixing cognitive science and mythology. A veritable UFO in the world of comics, which has now recorded more than 80,000 downloads since its launch in January 2016.
A new format: the scrolling strip
The scrolling strip is an innovative format that originates from the first forms of narration, such as tapestry or ancestral Chinese scrolls. Marietta Ren knew how to reinvent these traditional forms of narration to adapt them, in her own way, to the new customs.
Its concept is based on a very long horizontal comic strip (with a length equivalent to... 1600 iPad screens), where a whole graphic and interactive composition takes place, using visual animation and sound design effects. The user experience is as simple as it is fluid: a simple sweep with the finger allows the user to move forward in the story.
A graphic format that allows the creation of an immersive and hybrid narrative, at the crossroads of cinema, comics and illustration: a real treat!
A co-constructed and hybrid human experience
Phallaina is also a human adventure co-constructed between different creative development organizations. First there is Marietta Ren, at once author, director and illustrator, who was responsible for the story's visualization for almost a year. Then the Nouvelles Écritures de France Télévisions collaborated with Small Bang to develop a great collective narrative and propose a cultural and civic narrative innovation that places the human experience at the heart of the project. A team from animation film and from application development added animation and sound to the narrative, and the package was integrated into the custom-developed engine to combine animation, sound and horizontal scrolling.
The urban planning agency Oïkos and the development company Intuitive travel brought all their creativity to the project to make a physical, ambulatory and acoustic panorama, inserted in the urban space, which had been presented at the PULP festival and the Angoulême comic strip festival in 2016.
Now you can live the experience in its digital version thanks to an interactive sound system available on the application, which allows you to hear the sound as you wander, so you can be immersed in the deepest part of the story.
The application is available as a free download on iOS and Android, in French or English. With already 5000 monthly active users in 2017, and an average score of 4.8 out of 5 on the stores, it's already a real success story... just waiting for you!