Ascent from Akeron

A group of rebellious teenagers who make a startling discovery on the dark and dystopian world in which they live. A sci-fi story for desktop.

Storytelling and imagination can be enough to change the world…

Ascent from Akeron is a post-apocalyptic thriller set in the distant future that imagines a world without superheroes. The four episodes and a prologue that are out now feature stunning digital art, subtle animation, visual effects, a custom soundtrack and audio effects.


Akeron is a forsaken place on a small, isolated island. There is no history and no future. The destroyed city festers at the foot of a gigantic tower that rises like a monolith from the center of the island. The island is permanently shrouded by thick black clouds, plunging it into a permanent state of near-darkness. It’s been like this for ages. On Akeron, no one has ever seen the light of day…

The people of Akeron are permitted to exist by the unseen superior beings that live above the black clouds, so long as they provide electricity to the tower. A mysterious race of Elders controls the coal mines and everything else that exists on the island. They spy on the people of Akeron and warn them to abide by the strictest of rules and that curiosity kills. Yet a 17-year-old boy, Machai, befriends a group of rebellious teenagers, and follows them to a secret place they go…


The main characters

Ascent from Akeron: Machai

Machai is the central figure of our motion comic Ascent from Akeron. Machai’s view of his world, his unique sensitivity, emotion, and courage will make him a great leader. The bond with his father is tormented by his obedience to the rules of Akeron. (from episode 1)


Laika is an only child of a broken home. Raised by a rigid father, she is a survivor. She has physical strength greater than other girls her age. She is practical, pragmatic and independent. Most of her friends are boys.


Chaos is a voice of reason. He’s active and pragmatic loyal and decisive. When something needs to be done, Chaos will do it. If he can’t, it’s likely nobody can. (from episode 1)

The gang on a small raft they built (from episode 2).


4 episodes

Ascent from Akeron was originally conceived as a trilogy by William Maher. A prologue and the first four episodes were produced by Submarine Channel as a pilot to set up the world of Akeron and its main protagonists. Submarine Channel ran a successful Kickstarter to fund the 4th episode.

Ascent from Akeron post apocalyptic motion comic

Creative team

Writer William Maher is an Irishman who began working in the American movie industry in the 1990s. Specializing in visual effects, William worked on several superhero movies such as X-Men before moving into writing and directing films of his own. He directed ‘Sleepwalking’ starring Dennis Hopper and Charlize Theron. His visual effects career includes Mars Attacks!, X-Men, X-Men 2 and Batman & Robin.

Born in Barcelona, illustrator and storyboard artist Gustavo Garcia moved to The Netherlands when he was a kid. His debut graphic novel Gagarin came out in 2012. He worked on many award-winning films and interactive productions, including the Digital Emmy-winning interactive documentary Last Hijack Interactive.

Producer Femke Wolting is the founder of the award winning studios Submarine and Submarine Channel. She produced and directed many award-winning interactive stories and feature documentaries, including Last Hijack and More Human Than Human.

Co-producer Tommy Pallotta is a visionary storyteller who creatively blends technology with filmmaking, animation and interactivity. Tommy first connected Richard Linklater with animation when he produced Waking Life. He followed up with A Scanner Darkly. Tommy directed the Emmy nominated transmedia thriller, Collapsus,and co-directed with Femke Wolting the feature documentary/animation hybrid: Last HijackCurrently is the producer of the Amazon Prime’s animated thriller series Undone.

Creative developer Erik Loyer is an award-winning media artist and user experience designer who uses tactile, performative interfaces to tell stories, and builds tools such as Panoply to help others do the same. With Ezra Claytan Daniels he created the interactive comic, Upgrade Soul.

Submarine Channel is a multiple award winning digital outfit with offices in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Submarine Channel produced the world’s first interactive comic The Killer in 2001, and the award winning The Art of Pho in 2011.

Ascent from Akeron worldbuilding: map


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