Guest Blogger: Robbie Morrison on Dave Gibbons’ ‘Treatment’
Some gigs, you just can’t say no to. Out of the blue, around Christmas 2011, I got an email asking if I’d be interested in working on a project with Dave Gibbons.
Regardless of the fact that he co-authored Watchmen, one of the most influential graphic novels of all time, Dave is an artist whose work I’ve loved since I was a kid reading 2000 AD, the legendary UK science fiction comic. So, aye, I might be a wee bit interested.
In addition, the project wasn’t going to be in the traditional comic-book format, but would be published on the iPad via the Madefire App, a new platform for sequential storytelling.
To my knowledge, the majority of digital comics have been created primarily for print and then reworked to fit the computer screen – almost the equivalent of the old ‘pan-and-scan’ method of resizing widescreen film for the much smaller TV screen. Madefire’s aim was to develop stories primarily for the digital format, allowing writers and artists to take full advantage of an exciting new range of storytelling techniques.
Treatment is a fast-paced, action-packed, five-minutes-into-the-future series of crime thrillers, in which law enforcement has been privatized and turned into the most popular reality show ever seen. Dave’s first story – a tight little thriller premiered by Dark Horse Comics in 2011 – sets the scene perfectly.
While that story takes place in an American city, Dave’s idea was to expand Treatment internationally, with every major city having its own show and team of players.
Treatment: Tokyo focuses on Kaidan, the Ghost, most feared player in Asia, as he cuts a swathe through the Tokyo underworld, courtesy of storyboard/concept artist Kinman Chan.
Treatment: Mexico plunges players Ramon Rodriguez, Gabrielle Amaya and Manny Santana into a bloody war with the drugs cartels, illustrated by master storyteller Dougie Braithwaite.
Stories in other locations are already in development – Seoul, Moscow, Paris and New York, amongst others. Who knows, maybe your city will be selected for Treatment? Leave a reply here to find out – or ask Dave yourself: he’ll be signing at the Madefire booth (4902 and 4904) throughout SDCC.
Dave has talked of digital comics as being like the Wild West, a bold new frontier of storytelling, the potential for which is only just being realized. If that’s the case, I like to see the Madefire team as the Magnificent Seven riding into the sunrise to take up the
As long as we don’t get distracted by arguing about which one of us is Steve McQueen…
- Robbie Morrison
Robbie Morrison is a British comics writer most known for his work in 2000 AD and as the co-creator of popular character Nikolai Dante (with Simon Fraser). He wrote Treatment: Tokyo and Treatment: Mexico for Madefire.