Upgrade Soul

Critically acclaimed interactive graphic novel about an elderly couple who volunteers for a visionary rejuvenation procedure. Due to a terminal complication, the couple is faced with severely disfigured, yet intellectually superior clones.

Story

With fluid navigation, interactive 3D and dynamic music, Upgrade Soul tells the story of Hank and Molly Nonnar, wealthy science buffs who decide to fund a risky, experimental therapy to rejuvenate the human body, with only one condition: that they be first in line to receive it. When dangerous complications develop… the battle for psychological dominance begins. When the procedure experiences a fatal complication, the couple is faced with severely disfigured, though intellectually superior duplicates of themselves. Soon, it becomes clear that only one version of each individual can survive, and a psychological battle for dominance begins.

Upgrade Soul was published in print in 2018 by Lion Forge. (Book Depository | Amazon)

Upgrade Soul Ezra Claytan Daniels interactive comic

App

The Upgrade Soul app is an immersive version of the science fiction graphic novel written and illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels. Featuring an original score by Alexis Gideon and interactive design by Erik Loyer.

The iOS app is currently not supported by iOS 11 and above.

Features include:

  • 3-D effect turns your device into a virtual picture box.
  • Stunning original score by experimental hip hop luminary Alexis Gideon syncs to your progress and dynamically reacts to your gestures.
  • Extra features and unlockable content enhance an already uniquely immersive reading experience.

What people say

“One of the best comics of the year, full of incredible depth of characterization, unexpected turns, difficult resolutions, and broad themes dealt with using pinpoint precision. It’s one of the rare works that yields deeper meaning each time it’s revisited, and where not a single panel of narrative is wasted: each development furthers a promise made to the reader that we are in the hands of a creator who is taking the questions he asks seriously.”
— The Comics Journal

“Gripping science fiction… an enchanting read.”
— MacLife

“Earth-shattering sci-fi. Upgrade Soul has profound things to say about mortality, aging, identity and the fundamental sense of self. Every choice, every component of Upgrade Soul simply works.”
— Paste

“Masterfully crafted. Daniels’s prose is haunting and cinematic, and his storytelling structure is magnificent, but his greatest talents lie in his artwork, which uses thin lines and surreal imagination to mix beauty and deformity to a point where the two are indistinguishable from one another.”
— Vulture

“A dazzling, disturbing piece of science fiction that examines aging, family and science gone wrong. It’ll grip you from the first page on.”
— The Beat

“A beautiful work of deep emotional resonance. It transcends the medium of comics, settling comfortably in the realm of literature. Nothing short of a masterpiece.”
— David Walker, writer of Cyborg, Shaft, and Power Man and Iron Fist

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Credits

Writer and Illustrator: Ezra Claytan Daniels
Ezra Claytan Daniels is a writer and illustrator based in Los Angeles.
His critically acclaimed graphic novel series, The Changers, began a unique career peppered with a number of collaborative multimedia projects ranging from video games to animation to feature documentaries.
Ezra’s graphic novel, Upgrade Soul, began life as a pioneering immersive serialized graphic novel for iOS in 2012. Upgrade Soul has been frequently featured on the Apple App Store, was named a 2013 IndieCade Finalist, and has been exhibited at The Hyde Park Art Center, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Fantoche International Animation Festival, Haarlem Stripdagen and the Fumetto International Comics Festival in Lucerne. Upgrade Soul was released as a single-volume graphic novel by Lion Forge Comics in 2018.
The graphic novel BTTM FDRS, written by Ezra and illustrated by Ben Passmore, came out in 2019. Ezra Claytan Daniels is the winner of the 3rd Annual Dwayne McDuffie Awards for Diversity in Comics. He is the co-founder of Screendiver and author of its Digital Comics Manifesto.

Composer Alex Gideon
Alexis Gideon is an American visual artist, composer and performer, best known for his innovative animated live video operas and multidisciplinary techniques. Gideon considers music the backbone and inspiration for all his work. Critic Alex Oliver writes, “It’s hard to know whether Gideon views [his pieces] as an occasion for the music, or whether the music is the midwife of the experience. Gesamtkunstwerk is achieved.”

Developer: Erik Loyer
Erik Loyer is an award-winning media artist and user experience designer who uses tactile, performative interfaces to tell stories, and builds tools to help others do the same. He is the founder and Director of Opertoon, creating and publishing tactile storytelling apps like Strange Rain which have charted and exhibited internationally, collectively garnering over 500,000 downloads. He is the internationally recognized creator and educator in the emerging field of digital and motion comics, and the developer of Panoply, an authoring tool that combines the visual language of comics with the Unity game engine.

 

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