More Than Words on a Page: Experiencing the Story with NARR8

These days, I consume my comics exclusively digitally. I certainly still hold a nostalgic love for enetering my friendly, neighborhood comic shop and picking up a trade or two, but you can’t quite fight the convenience of picking up your tablet and letting your fingers do the walking.

Yet, most digital comics are exactly that — the comic book page digitized onto the screen of your choice. While adequate, it’s, frankly, pretty boring.

NARR8 provides a noteworthy exception to that otherwise stagnant landscape.

Designed specifically for mobile consumption (with more platform support coming down the pipe), the Russia-based NARR8 seeks to open a content channel focused on interactivity and experience, as opposed to merely reading words on a page.

NARR8 hosts almost two dozen various series, each containing a number of episodes, purchasable using in-app currency on the device of your choice. The stories’ genres run the gamut — action, sci-fi, nonfiction, even children’s edutainment are represented among its offerings. Regardless of genre, each story capitalizes on interactivity to keep the reader’s experience engaging: through motion panels, minigames, or other special effects. Given the capabilities of the multi-core tablets/phones all of us carry these days, it’s almost surprising that few (if any) other companies are seeking to maximize on the technology the way NARR8 does.

Darya Trushkina, Senior Vice President of Business Development at NARR8, was kind enough to respond to an email interview with us to talk about NARR8: how it differentiates itself from other platforms, what titles she considers “must read,” and how the biggest winner at NARR8 could be you by generating revenue from your published work.

For those who don’t know, would you please explain what NARR8 is, and how it differentiates itself from other digital content services?

Darya Trushkina: NARR8 is a mobile app that is redefining the way we read, create and share content by presenting an engrossing 15-20 minute interactive reading experience complete with animation, music, sound effects, and gamification and interactive features that bring stories to life like never before. NARR8 features motion comics, graphic novels and educational periodicals in a slew of genres – action, sci-fi, horror, romance, and children’s content. NARR8 is available on iPad, Android, Amazon, Windows 8, Facebook, and now, for web browsers. It’s a completely cross-platform app, so you can create a single NARR8 account, load it up with some episodes, and use and of the above platforms to resume reading exactly where you left off.

NARR8 App Available on Android, IOS, and now on Web

Hit the jump for the full interview with Darya Trushkina, talking about all things NARR8!

Review: The Star Wars #3

The exploration of an alternate Star Wars universe continues this week as Dark Horse Comics debuts issue #3 of The Star Wars. This month’s installment hits a bit of a stumbling block as it loses focus on the grand story for part of the issue and spends what feels like

Review: Star Wars #10

I am positively amazed by Brian Wood’s continued ability to take characters who have been around for decades – many of whom have been the subjects of innumerable stories – and still make them interesting. Star Wars #10, the latest issue in the ongoing series from Dark Horse Comics, showcases

Batman: The Brave & The Bold Comes to NYCC!

Did you watch Batman: The Brave and The Bold? We sure did. Do you miss Batman: The Brave and The Bold? We sure do.

Ready your Hammers of Justice! To celebrate the Season 1 Blu-ray release of the animated series that left behind the dark tone established for the Caped Crusader in the 90s andbrought back the camp of both the 60s television series and comics of the Silver Age, The Paley Center for Media will be hosting a screening and panel during New York Comic Con on October 11th.

Open the Fridge will be in attendance and we could not be more excited. As much as we loved the style of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini during the run of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, and Justice League, Batman: The Brave and The Bold gave fans a strong dose of over-the-top humor, featured some of the most obscure heroes and villains in the DC Universe (brought to life by the best voice over talent in the business), and also acknowledged decades of Batman history, both from the screen and the page.

Want to join us? Fans attending NYCC have the opportunity to join as tickets are available free of charge and on a first come, first serve basis to enjoy an episodic screening and discussion with Batman himself, Diedrich Bader.

To snag your own ticket, all you have to do is send an email to [email protected] with:

  • Your name
  • Your email address
  • A statement that you heard about the tickets from us at Open the Fridge!

Be sure to make your move soon, though. Only a few tickets remain!

We also have it on good authority that another panelist will be joining Mr. Bader, and if our suspicious are correct, the panel has the potential to be quite OUTRAGEOUS!

Hit the jump to read the press release for full details!

Review: The Star Wars #2

We’re returning to a galaxy even farther away than usual, where beards are in and everyone has a lightsaber. Issue #2 of Dark Horse Comics’s limited series The Star Wars lands this weeks, continuing the untold story from George Lucas’s original rough-draft screenplay. This week we get straight to the action,

Comic Event Review: “Infinity,” Part 2

Six issues down with ten to go, and “Infinity” just keeps on impressing. Part 2 of Hickman’s epic is a pretty heavy gut punch. There are plenty of revelations, tragedies, and fist pumping moments to go around — so let’s dive in and break this all down!

Infinity #2

Infinity #2 starts with a little vignette on The Peak, S.W.O.R.D.’s orbital defense station. It’s a neat little piece that lets us see Abigail Brand (A new favorite of mine!) kicking some ass and realizing just how big of a hole the Earth has found itself in.

Before getting into the story proper, Hickman provides us with a brief recap of the invasion that was depicted in New Avengers #9. Normally, recaps like this drag a book down, but this one was actually helpful: it helped me understand that Dr. Strange wasn’t resisting the poisonous words of Ebony Maw, but was actually falling under his thrall, so thanks for that Mr. Hickman!

Things start to pick up when Corvus Glaive confronts Black Bolt on his throne. I wish there were a word for “pure evil swagger” because Corvus Glaive has all of it. He and his entourage march up to Black Bolt’s throne, demand the heads of all Inhuman children between the ages of 16 and 22, and then threaten to destroy them all unless they give Thanos his “tribute” (mic drop.) Medusa tries to fight back, but her threats fall on deaf ears and empty veins. As a show of their might and fearlessness, Glaive has his escort kill themselves to show the Inhumans that death is not a threat worthy to them. The best part of this sequence was the look on Maximus’ (Black Bolt’s crazy mostly evil half brother) face. Everyone stares in horror while he rocks the ‘holy shit that was awesome!” look. Corvus Glaive did make one miscalculation: one does not $%&@ with Black Bolt.

Hickman changes gears, bringing us to Shi’ar flagship Lilandra in orbit above Whaan Prime along with a portion of the remaining galactic fleet. Cap and the rest of the Avengers that managed to escape the defeat at The Corridor barely get a minute to breathe before they are beset by more Builder ships. (This sequence reminded me of that BSG episode where the Cylons attack every 33 minutes.) They are broken and beaten, but still they fight on.

While Cap, Gladiator, and the other Avengers battle the Builders, we are treated to an interesting study of Ex Nihilo. Hickman begins to peel some of the layers back on this very strange and enigmatic character, and what is being revealed is a surprisingly human and somber creature. He was created to bring life, yet those who created him are hellbent on ending life. It’s a wonderful conflict brought into sharp focus when the small Builder force, accompanied by another Ex Nihilo named Jerran Ko, is defeated. In defeat, his Aleph orders him to commit suicide upon Whaan Prime. His death unleashes a plague that quickly sweeps the planet, extinguishing any remaining life on the plane. God bless artist Jerome Opena providing the perfect look of abject horror and then solemn mourning for Ex Nihilo. I look forward to more from this very interesting character!

Hit the jump for the full recap/review of the three issues in part 2 of Marvel’s “Infinity” event!

Review: Star Wars #9

Twists and cliffhangers abound! Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly present suspense with a side of action in issue #9 of the ongoing Star Wars series from Dark Horse Comics. Each storyline in this month’s issue results in either a startling revelation or an out-of-the-frying-pan moment, furthering the high-quality storytelling that Brian

Comic Event Review: “Infinity,” Part 1

After almost a year of teasing, Jonathan Hickman’s Infinity event is finally here, and, boy, are we in for a ride. Infinity is truly Hickman’s baby. With Hickman at the helm of the Avengers and New Avengers for about a year under the Marvel NOW! banner, all plotlines have lead to Infinity. It has been a rather organic transition to “event mode” — a pleasant change from the abrupt halt in ongoing storylines of which Marvel is often guilty.

Hickman has provided a handy storyline diagram (Hickman sure loves his diagrams) to give the reader an idea of how this story should be read. As you can see (and unsurprisingly), Avengers and New Avengers are essential to the plot. Hickman has stated you can get away with only reading Infinity #1-6, but you should also be reading his Avengers books to get the full experience. After reading the first part of the event, I couldn’t agree more.

As a result, I have decided to review Infinity in the stages the author has laid out. So first up, we will be taking a look at Part 1: Infinity #1, Avengers #18, and New Avengers #9.

Infinity #1

With so much packed into one issue, Infinity #1 is a tour de force. Hickman takes us from the far reaches of the universe to the bed chambers of the Inhuman King Black Bolt to Titan and to Palermo, Sicily of all places. It really is awe-inspiring. The story opens up with a the same vignette we saw in the Infinity Free Comic Book Day issue. One of Thanos’ Outrider creatures has returned with news of a planet that owes the Mad Titan tribute, and Corvus Claive, a member of Thanos’ Black Order, journeys to planet to claim it. Upon return to Titan, the tribute is revealed. I won’t tell you what’s in the box (WHAT’S IN THE BOX?!) but let it be known that Thanos’ smile will chill you to the bone.

Hit the jump for the full reviews of the first three issues of Hickman’s Infinity event!

Preview of Arrow Season 2

I’m still amazed how good Arrow wound up being. What was initially thought to be a television rehash of Batman Begins turned into a great interpretation of one of DC’s more underrated heroes, bringing him and his adversaries down to “street level” while still acknowledging the source material. With the

Review: The Star Wars #1

If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ve doubtlessly seen the original Ralph McQuarrie concept art for Episode IV, featuring images such as a duel between Darth Vader and a gas mask-wearing Luke Skywalker, lightsaber wielding Stormtroopers, and a very Metropolis-inspired C-3PO paired with a multi-armed R2-D2. While George Lucas’s original

Review: Star Wars #8

“Antilles.” “A family name foul with rebel ties.“ I guess that’s an easy generalization to make when it’s practically the “Smith” of the Star Wars universe. August brings us issue #8 of Dark Horse’s Star Wars series, and tension rises as the paths of the heroes and villains begin to