‘Cyber Dreaming’ Doco – Stuart Campbell’s ‘Nawlz’ Universe – Interactive Comics

You’re going to have bear us with for a bit of a lengthy post here, but discovering this man’s work has been a rabbit-hole of rewarding discovery.

Happened to catch Cyber Dreaming on ABC a couple of months ago, a short documentary around graphic artist Stuart Campbell, and the long-form directorial debut of Indigenous director Majid Heath. Cyber Dreaming focusses primarily on Stuart’s work with kids in the Indigenous community in Roeburn, and the creation of the Cyber Love Punks project as a full multimedia endeavour and educational tool.

If you’ve got a spare half-hour I really recommend checking out the short-documentary while you still can: http://www.abc.net.au/arts/stories/s4033964.htm

Blessed with ability and paying it forward, Stu’s an interesting artist and unique character, miles away from the self-enclosed art-world of days passed. It was sometime in the early-2000’s that he started experimenting with flash to build sites and online communities, and continued to bridge his art with real-world adventure and new technologies.

Stu’s recent focus has been on the interactivity of bringing posters and street art to life through Augmented Reality, and then on to Modern Polaxis – the Kickstarter funded Augmented Reality comic book coming soon having recently received funding.

What we really want to talk about it though is Nawlz – the cyberpunk narrated, sci-fi world created by Campbell and brought to life in a manner we’ve never seen before. In his own words, Stuart “liked the challenge of drawing something people hadn’t seen before, and Nawlz certainly delivers.

 The fully interactive comic comes alive on your computer or tablet, scrolling whichever way the story suits, the panels matched with music, effects and animation that envelope you in an unreal world.

Not only is it stunning to look at, but it’s the storytelling that really captures us. The futuristic setting emulating enough basic characteristics to allow you to follow and empathise with but in a setting and situations that we couldn’t dream of. The creativity from a relatively unknown writer here is incredible.

We read a lot of comics, and I have no hesitation rating this as the best new comic story we’ve read since Bryan Lee O’Malley first dropped Scott Pilgrim on us. The characters inhabit an incredible world, with Campbell delivering enough grittiness and randomly unexplained plots to make it believable. In the way that O’Malley captured the dorky innocent side of our lives, Campbell recreates the badman loner we also wanted to be.

Told through the eyes of Harley Chambers, you can still discover the techno world he inhabits as he does. The graffiti of the future is ‘casting’ your ‘sleeper’, though Harley’s everyday world of mashed-friends, dreams, chasing ‘clicks’ and discovering his ‘real’ is addictive as it is accessible.

Nawlz may be over four years old now, and up to it’s second season that we’re yet to get start, but we’re stoked to have recently discovered it. Check the original trailer for Season 1 below, just above the launch video for the iPad series and right down the bottom part 1 of 3 in how it was created.

For more details you can check out the HQ here: http://www.nawlz.com/

via Nawlz
NAWLZ is a 14 episode cyberpunk adventure series that combines animation, interactivity, music and text to create a never before seen digital panoramic comic format. The story follows Harley Chambers as he kicks through the futuristic City of Nawlz, engaging in overlaying virtual realities, mind-bending drugs and other strange techno-cultures. Nawlz is full of hidden dimensions that require a tap, tilt and swipe to explore.