NYCC 2014: Darkrose Studios and The Benefits of Transmedia for Comic Book Publishers

TRDWTR, a 30-part graphic novel series, Darkrose Studios, written and created by Morgan Rosenblum, art by Ray Dillon

TRDWTR, a 30-part graphic novel series, Darkrose Studios, written and created by Morgan Rosenblum, art by Ray Dillon

Darkrose Studios is an indie comic book publisher, known for TRDWTR. Darkrose Studios is based in Manhattan, New York, and actively engages with transmedia. This coming Thursday, October 9, the founder of Darkrose Studios, Morgan Rosenblum, will be chairing a panel about self-publishing at New York Comic Con. In this discussion, Mr. Rosenblum will explain how comic book publishers can use transmedia storytelling as a source of revenues, and avoid any potential pitfalls.

Mr. Rosenblum will be joined on his panel by Adam McGovern, Anthony Del Col, Matt Kadish and Molly Knox Ostertag. The panel will take place from 7:15 PM to 8:00 PM in conference hall 1A01.

Press release follows:

Press Release: October 7th, 2014

New superhero franchise hopes to change the way comic books
are published: Darkrose Studios chairs a panel on self-publishing
at NYCC following the success of their first title

New York. On October 9th, the CEO of the indie publisher Darkrose
Studios, Morgan Rosenblum will chair the panel on self-publishing at
New York Comic Con. His unique approach to publishing, as well as the
success of his first title has piqued the interest of the industry.

Although graphic novel sales are still the major source of revenue at
Darkrose Studios, they do not see themselves as a comic book
publisher. Morgan Rosenblum, founder of the Manhattan-based atelier,
sees the role of his company as trans-media storytellers. “We take an
idea”, he says, “and from that idea we tell a story. As the story grows
into a series, we build it out in all directions and across all media. […]
Our hope is to inspire and captivate you.”

Mr. Rosenblum readily admits that transmedia storytelling is not a new
concept. Its core idea is to tell a story across multiple media (e.g.:
print, TV, radio, web) in order to capitalize on the strengths of each
medium and create a more immersive experience for the audience.
Over the years publishers have been experimenting with this idea, but
no final recipe seems to have emerged. This is why most authors still
tell their stories the tried and tested way – via print publications.

Darkrose Studios’ own creation, TRDWTR, is a superhero story that is
told across four different mediums. Alongside of the graphic novel,
there is an animated motion comic, a live-action series and a website
with game elements.

According to Mr. Rosenblum, each component provides an additional
dimension to the 2D world of printed comic books. “We are trying to
stimulate the imagination of our fans using the animated motion comic,
make the action seem more real using the live-action sequences and
interact with our fans via our website by giving them various missions
to complete,” he explains.

In contrast to Darkrose Studios, most publishers do not view
transmedia storytelling as a viable option. Many of them feel that
getting their story picked up by a media giant is the only way of
crossing over into another medium. Mr. Rosenblum hopes that his
panel at NYCC will inspire them to attempt it on their own.

He sees transmedia storytelling not only as a way to tell deeper, more
engaging stories, but also as a way of diversifying revenue sources. He
says that, “instead of selling book copies, you can sell virtual weapons
to allow the character to advance in the story. Alternatively, you can
charge your audience to unlock alternative story lines, story arcs or
endings while keeping the core story free.”

He adds, “While I wouldn’t claim to have a recipe for success for
transmedia publishing, I certainly have a unique take on it. I think this
is why some industry people are taking an interest in it. For instance,
despite TRDWTR being my first title, I’m already being asked to host a
panel discussion on self-publishing at NYCC. For me this shows that the
comics industry is hungry for fresh publishing solutions.”
Mr. Rosenblum will be joined on his panel by Adam McGovern, Anthony
Del Col, Matt Kadish and Molly Knox Ostertag. The panel will take place
from 7:15 PM to 8:00 PM in conference hall 1A01.

Quick Facts:
Darkrose Studios: Launched in 2012, DRS are a rising star of the
comic book world. Quietly but surely DRS have built up a social media
base consisting of over 150 thousand followers.

TRDWTR: Pronounced ‘treadwater’, is a 30-part graphic novel series.
Each part contains 4 single-issue comics. Part 1 has been released via
Amazon on October 01, 2014. Part 2 comes out in 2015.

trdwtr.com: The official site of the franchise allows those unfamiliar
with TRDWTR to unlock large portions of the graphic novel free of
charge, as a reward for completing various virtual and real-world
missions. It also provides troves of bonus content, which allow fans to
engage deeper with the TRDWTR universe.

Animated Motion Comic: The first issue of TRDWTR has been
adapted into a motion comic, which can be seen here:

Live-Action Series: A live action series based on the graphic novel
has entered pre-production as of April 2014. Portions of it will become
available via trdwtr.com. A teaser trailer can be seen here:

Be sure to head out to New York Comic Con taking place October 9-12 at Javits Center.

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Filed under Comics, Darkrose Studios, New York Comic Con, New York Comic Con 2014, Transmedia

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