A new interactive graphic novel seeks to re-frame the War of 1812 for a tablet audience in 2012, with a unique blend of fictional narrative and historically-based storytelling.
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has released its latest mobile application, offering a free and interactive way to rediscover the country’s history: The Loxleys and the War of 1812 was produced in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage and based on the book by Renegade Arts Entertainment.
The app is available in both official languages; the iOS version is now available at the online Apple store, and an Android version is expected to launch on Google Play on December 18.
The app was produced by Jennifer Moss and executive produced by Loc Dao, with Vincent McCurley as creative technologist.
The Loxleys and the War of 1812 tells the historically-based story of the Loxleys, a fictional Upper Canadian family torn apart by the war that raged along the Niagara Peninsula some 200 years ago.
The app serves up an immersive history experience for users aged 12 and up, with vivid illustrations, animation, music and sound effects. It includes an interactive map that shows users where they are in the story as they follow along and a soundtrack featuring prominent Canadian, American and British indie bands. The NFB will also offer Canadian educators a study guide to help them incorporate the app into their classroom activities.
The original graphic novel was written by Alan Grant (Judge Dredd, Lobo, Batman) and illustrated by Franco-Ontarian artist Claude St. Aubin (Captain Canuck), a member of the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame.
Canadian colourist Lovern Kindzierski has been recognized by the Comic Buyer’s Guide survey as one of comics’ most influential colourists of all time. The graphic novel was lettered by multi-award-winner Todd Klein (The Sandman).
The graphic novel incorporated historical research by Mark Zuehlke, author of For Honour’s Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace. First Nations historical consultation was provided by leading First Nations historians Darren Bonaparte and Al Corbiere.
Canada’s fastest growing comic book publisher, Renegade Arts Entertainment was created by Alan Grant, actor Doug Bradley and Alexander Finbow, and is based in Canmore, Alberta.
The Loxleys and the War of 1812 is the latest in the NFB’s growing family of apps, including the PixStop app for iPad which lets users make their own stop-motion animation films.