NEOMAD Interactive Comic
Appy Chat & Giveaway
Developer: NEOMAD Comic
When did you decide to develop this app?
This app was developed as part of the Yijala Yala Project www.yijalayala.bighart.org , which has been running in Roebourne (Ieramugadu), a remote indigenous community in the Pilbara, WA. The NEOMAD process began in 2011, when young people developed ‘Love Punk’ characters for a zombie film. The Love Punks have since gone on to create more films, live music, dance and been ambassadors for their work and their community by speaking to local and national media. After using Photoshop and tablets donated by Wacom to create over 2000 animations for an FWA award winning online game (lovepunks.com), the Love Punks then began building on these skills towards NEOMAD. The Yijala Yala Project works with community members to create content and develop skills that assist in communicating their cultural heritage to a wide audience. Yijala Yala Project includes inter-generational programs in theatre, music, dance, filmmaking and digital media. It is one of several projects currently run by Australia’s leading arts and social change organisation Big hART.
When did you first release this app?
This app was first released in August 2012. It was officially launched at the 15th Bucheon International Comics Festival in South Korea. In South Korea two Love Punks also ran a masterclass for students from all over the world and participated in the International Childrens Comic Awards. Now NEOMAD Episode 2: The Last Crystal is about to be launched into the world, starring a total of 40 members of the community as characters.
How long did it take you to develop this app?
Yijala Yala’s Digital Media Coordinator (and award winning creator of NAWLZ) Stu Campbell has been running digital media workshops in the community since late 2011, so young people have been building their skills towards NEOMAD ever since then. The process of doing the line art, then colouring the comic in Photoshop, then porting each episode to iPad takes between 3-6 months.
What is your favourite feature?
In the latest update, Episode 2: The Last Crystal, when users tap on the speech bubbles they will not only hear the dialogue read to them by members of the Ieramugadu, but the written language will also toggle between English and either Ngarluma or Yindjibarndi. These two languages are commonly spoken in Ieramugadu and it is exciting to be able to share these languages outside the community, also providing a fun way for young people in the community to interact with traditional culture.
What is your favourite page in the app?
Personally, my favourite ‘page’ of the app is actually the second ‘page’ of Episode 1: Space Junk, where Garruwarra has parked his futuristic hoverbike under a tree and is listening to his Grandfather, Marli, tell him the story of his birth. The sound and images are beautiful and having the hoverbike there is such a cool, subtle example of blending contemporary and traditional culture. There’s a young guy with his space aged bike and an older guy seated by a fire telling a traditional story – both ways can coexist. You can hear the fire crackling and hear faint echoes of a traditional Yindjibarndi ceremony, which was recorded at a recent corroboree held in honour of the great Yindjibarndi elder Ned Cheedy. Everyone in the Ieramugadu community has a favourite line or favourite scene, most of the kids know all the words.
What skills were you hoping to help the end user to develop?
NEOMAD is narrative based. We hope that this will spark young people’s interest in indigenous culture, by using sci fi as an entry point. There are definitely literacy skills that could be developed by reading the words then pressing the speech bubbles to hear the words read out. We are hoping that young people around Australia will also learn something about the indigenous cultures still very active in Australia today. It is also hoped that we will spark young people’s imaginations by thinking about their future, a bright future full of hope, where family and culture are strong, cars can fly, robots play pranks and space exploration is something everyone does on a weekend.
What age range would this app most suit?
We’ve had toddlers who’ve loved swiping and tapping and hearing the voices, but we have also had lots of parents and teachers and comic loving adults who appreciate either the sci fi genre or the positive story
Are any new updates coming soon?
We are currently working on Episode 3, the final episode, which is due out by July.
What else would you like people to know about it?
I guess we’d like people to know that:
1) even though it’s a sci fi it’s based on real places (the Burrup exists, the community exists), real people (all the characters exist in the community pretty much as they are in the comic, although with cooler names and crazier hair and wardrobes) and real stories (of ancient gods of the skies and earth).
2) that kids were very involved in the process of making the app. We have documented this process in entertaining and educational short documentaries. Here is the making of Episode Two: http://vimeo.com/59198602
Here is the making of Episode One:http://vimeo.com/46567425 and here:http://vimeo.com/47348199
3) that this app was made as part of a bigger project called the Yijala Yala Project. The characters in the comic also star in an award winning online game: www.lovepunks.com , a music video clip which featured regularly on rage:http://vimeo.com/41964083 and a touring theatre performance called Hipbone Sticking Out.
(by Deanne for Smart Apps for Kids)
New release Neomad is incredibly difficult to write a quick precis about but I’ll have a go. It’s done in a comic book style and the graphics look stunning on the iPad. It’s set in Australia and is a fictional story about a cast of characters, all based on real people who have provided the voiceovers. The story itself is a fantasy and is set in a hi-tech, dystopian future that combines spy bots, flying vehicles together with ancient indigenous beliefs. There’s a standalone story about the birth of one of the characters together with Episode 1 of a three-part story. It’s got music, live action and a group of lads called the Love Punks who are going to save the universe (in-between playing pranks and razzing each other). My new favorite jibe is now: “ya dumb wing!”
NEOMAD is an epic 3 episode sci fi adventure series, a futuristic fantasy based on real characters, places and stories. This groundbreaking interactive comic combines animation, live action film, music and voice overs.
Set in the Pilbara Desert of Western Australia, Episode 1: Space Junk follows the Love Punks on a high speed chase through a digitised desert with spy bots, pranks, magical crystals and a crashed rocket booster branded with a mysterious petroglyph…
The app includes:
-over 60 pages of illustrations with sound and animation
– 3 x live action films
– extras including a music video and a behind the scenes look at how the comic was created by artist Sutu (creator of the award winning NAWLZ) in collaboration with 30 young Indigenous people from Ieramugadu (Roebourne) through Big hART’s Yijala Yala Project
Please spread the word and support the young people of Roebourne by adding a review and finding us on Facebook!
Category: Apps & Games for older age group
Updated: 14 February 2013
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
Website: NEOMAD Comic
Facebook Page: Yijala Yala Project
Vimeo: Yijala Yala Project’s Videos
App: NEOMAD Interactive Comic for iPad
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