Bottom of the Ninth

Good afternoon, everybody. 

I am so excited to share with you an interview I did with Eric Allen, the 3D developer of the new animated graphic novel, Bottom of the Ninth.  Have you heard of this?  It looks Absolutely Amazing!! Incredible art, coupled with animation, humor, and a story about a heroic girl all wrapped into a graphic novel.  You have got to see this. To get you all excited about it here's the trailer:

Crazy, cool, right?

Great, on to the interview with Eric. 

How would you describe this animated graphic novel, Bottom of the Ninth

It is a new way to read and enjoy a variety of mediums in one setting. You get the fun of a comic with word bubble that are read to you. You also get animated panels on each page. The comic seems to live because of these effects. In addition to this, you can click on other panels and they will play an animated short of the scene. All of this really creates a world that pulls you in. It is easy to immerse yourself into this book and feel the emotions that the characters are going through. The interactivity makes you feel like you are there with the characters.

What sets this graphic novel apart from others you can read on i-pads?

As far as we know it is the first of its kind so there are not really any others to compare against. There are interactive books and other media, but we think this is the first interactive comic made for IOS devices. It is basically a short film that is wrapped within a comic. There are easter eggs all over to find. Ryan Woodward is the creator and producer of this comic and most of the credit really goes to him. He is an extremely talented artist and very humble about his abilities. He commissioned 5 or so artists including myself to create the app with him.

Would non-baseball fans enjoy this read?

Most anyone would easily enjoy this interactive graphic novel. Kids will either be drawn to the baseball or the female lead character. Adults will love the interactivity as well as the educational value of having an entertaining book that reads along with you.

Tell us a bit about the lead character, Candy Cunningham.

This is really the story of Candy Cunningham and the world she lives in. Set 200 years in the future, gravity modification has warped the way we play baseball.  We follow Candy on her struggle to become who she was meant to be. Stereotypes and judgements about her ability play with her mind as she struggles to prove herself in this intimidating world.

When did this project start? 

The concept was thought of in 2005. We began production in January 2012

How long did it take to complete?

We finished up all of the development for it in the beginning of June 2012. So that is roughly 5 months.

What was your contribution?

I was the 3D developer in charge of creating the 3D world. The awesome Paul Gerla was hired in Feb/March to assist as the production was ramping up. The 3D world was growing at a pace that we needed two artists dedicated to it. I built and textured roughly 90% of the models. I also helped a little with the motion graphics at the end of the production process.

(@llie here: My son loves this fan guy.)

Tell us one of your favorite parts or scenes.

I love the panel where Candy is ready to pitch into the batter box and it is lit up. Ryan wanted this to be so overwhelming and distracting that it would seem almost impossible to focus while pitching. I helped with some of the motion graphics for this shot and I think we all made this really show his vision. I also love any of the stadium shots. Overall, pages 7, 10 and 12. are my personal favorites. I am a little biased though. 

What influence do you think this graphic novel will have on those in the future?

I hope that it ushers in a new medium. I love the amount of craft that went into this app in all levels of the production. Somehow, we had time to make this really look nice. Ryan's attention to detail made this comic what it is. He is truly a stellar artist.

How can we view/purchase Bottom of the Ninth?

Ryan woodwards "Bottom of the Ninth" app is only $0.99 USD in the Itunes store. 


Wow, that was So much fun. Seriously. Thank you, Eric, for sharing your time with us.   This graphic novel is absolutely incredible!  Be sure to check it out!


KT said…
Ya! That looks A.MAZ.ING! Seriously so cool.

Also, this Eric guy sounds amazing. :)
Julie E said…
SO COOL! Definitely need to check this out.

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