“For thousands of years there has been another dimension that sits parallel to ours. This place is full of dark unnatural creatures, some of which have crept into our own myths and legends … Dystopia!
Over many years, the Dystopian legions have been desperately seeking to tear down the veil between our worlds and at times have been able to penetrate the veil to torment us in our dreams, hunt us when we’re alone, attacking our minds, bodies and souls.
The Desomites and their legions gather in the deep of Dystopia to break down the veil forever and lay down eternal suffering and torment to our world.
An ancient race of humans known as the guardians have been defending the human dimension against these supernatural forces across the ages.
Blessed with stronger abilities than most, but through the millennia their numbers are dwindling…”
…. And so goes the introduction in the first of the Dystopia Graphic novels, the reading of which provided as near a visceral and energising graphic novel experience as I’ve had for some time, more of which I’ll talk about shortly. However before that, and while my regular reader ponders whether I actually know what ‘visceral’ means, let me give you a little background on this incredible venture. While you’re reading the next bit, on a totally unrelated note I’m just away to look for a dictionary………..
The Dystopia Graphic Novels originate from the creative mind of UK based horror aficionado, Jaye Adams. It seemed to me immediately that Jaye and I are kindred spirits when it comes to sharing a love (some may say obsession) with horror. Not only that, but our love of the genre meant that it inspired us to create something from that obsession. In my case it was attempting to occasionally succeed in putting a coherent and correctly spelt sentence together on my website – in Jaye’s case it was to create a new company Dystopia RIP just a couple of months ago, and begin creating apps specialising in the horror genre.
If that wasn’t enough for the clever so and so, she then plans to create a whole range of different apps including games, VR, graphic novels, social apps and news apps for the horror community. Not that I’m jealous or anything, but bloody hell Jaye, let the rest of us mere mortals achieve something worthwhile too before you conquer the world!
The first two major apps Jaye has published as part of the Dystopia RIP range are Dystopia Horror Graphic Novels Episodes 1 & 2. While these are currently available as separate apps and only for IPad, she’s focusing on the next updates to these over the next few weeks to adapt them for IPhone usability and to merge them into one app before Episode 3 is launched.
So intrigued was I about the concept of Dystopia RIP that I decided to see whether Jaye’s plethora of talents also included being able to withstand some legendary piercing 5D interview questions. See what you think……
Q) Can you give a brief outline of the Dystopia story so far?
A) Three young girls have gone missing and Max Dresden, a detective, is leading the investigation. One of the girls is found brutally mutilated and Max starts to unravel that the murderer is not like his usual un-subs. Max stumbles upon a dark dimension that sits beneath ours, full of monstrous creatures and demons that are bleeding through to our dimension and an ancient legend that this battle between worlds began thousands of years ago. He hunts a vampire, who he learns committed the gruesome acts on the girls but what is coming is far more insidious.
Q) What are the influences in regard to the plot/characters?
A) Being a big horror fan, particularly of supernatural creature storylines, the overall plot I designed is probably a creature feature cocktail of many things I’ve enjoyed watching and reading over the years. When my partner and I (Jonathan Corner) really started to drill down into key individual storylines for each of the episodes, structure and characters, we definitely found inspiration from several places on what we wanted this to be. We liked the idea of the lead character being a detective like in the Grimm TV series and the Deliver Us From Evil movie because we liked the realism of how someone in this type of job could stumble upon strange occurrences and murders that the creatures of Dystopia will undoubtedly inflict.
Although there are several races of creatures that will feature throughout the story, we didn’t want to go as far as the likes of the Grimm TV Series or Buffy The Vampire Slayer, for instance where every episode surrounds a story about a different monster from the previous episode. Like Penny Dreadful, we wanted to build bigger storylines that focus on a particular monster across a few episodes before moving the storyline on and moving the monster featuring in the storyline on. I loved writing the legend of how it all started in episode 2 and I definitely had the Underworld 1 movie introduction monologue in mind when I wrote it!
Q) The story so far has a nice mix of animation/voice/3D art and sound effects – will this remain the format as the story progresses?
A) We like the mix of this format and chose this so we could give our audience a dynamic experience. A nice blend between watching horror and reading horror and so we do plan to keep the format the same but this might not work for people and so will consider adapting in the future to what people feel isn’t working. However, we do plan for our next major updates to the app over the next 3 weeks to be to make it usable for IPhone as well as IPad and we’ll be amalgamating episodes 1 and 2 before we release episode 3 so that all future episodes will be accessible within one app for users.
Q) What, if anything, can you tell us about the future Dystopia plot?
A) Well…As I mentioned earlier we have designed the storyline to build over time and it will unravel some huge twists and sub plots…even a prophecy! Currently the only monster Max has encountered is a vampire but there a quite a few more other Dystopian races that will feature throughout the storyline. We have designed at a high level a further 16 episodes with planned scope for at least another 16!
In all honesty, reading these first two novels was a hugely enjoyable experience. The fact that the images from the story, some of which are included here, were deemed as too adult themed to include on the AppStore app page quite frankly as more then enough to interest me in the first place. Horror is meant to frighten, to shock and occasionally, to offend if it is to live on as an authentic genre and not fully succumb to what the likes of Amazon et al regard as being ‘acceptable horror’.
The story quite clearly takes its influence from a range of classic horror narratives and this is no bad thing as the team take these themes, weave a nice contemporary texture and interlace t all with a fabulously eerie and atmospheric soundtrack. There are a number of genuinely ‘shock to the system’ moments that pounce upon the reader in a number adrenaline-fuelled surprise attacks. The dialogue is crisp and moves the narrative nicely along without detracting from the stand out moments of horror.
It will be interesting to see what direction Jaye and the team take in future instalments in terms of the mix of experiences. I felt that most things worked very well; the mix of speech and written dialogue is good, and the overall sound effects are incredible. I was less enthused by the interactive element involving the solving of the puzzle/game, however that could be more a reflection of my personal reticence to such things.
Whether or not this form of story telling is the future, well for me is irrelevant because in truth it serves as another exciting medium for telling stories of genuinely exciting horror. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole sexy, chilling experience and I have no doubts that you will do too.
It’s early days yet for Dystopia RIP, but I foresee a hugely successful and exciting horrific future ahead. I shall certainly be going along for the ride!
You can find the Dystopia Rip website at www.dystopia.rip
You can also view the 2 episodes as follows…..
Episode 1 IPad AppStore link – https://appsto.re/gb/CHk4ib.i
Episode 2 IPad AppStore link – https://appsto.re/gb/cXKljb.i