This week David and I got to see a live action graphic novel called The Intergalactic Nemesis. The graphic novel actually started out as a radio drama that got translated to a graphic novel. This group then took the graphic novel and removed the dialogue to show the images without text and have a foley artist, three actors, and musician actual play and act live on stage with the images from the graphic novel displayed on screen. The artistry of what each of the elements brings to the story is really amazing and being able to watch the experience acted out live was such a fun evening. The other part that is great is that while we saw the book one there are actually going to be three books in total and they are all available on Comixology. The other piece is that they have all of book one available on YouTube and are working on the next two books as well. The way that all of these forces combine is one thing, but then the other piece is how the audience interacts with the actors and story that completes the whole picture.
Radio Drama to Graphic Novel
The very idea of turning a radio drama to a graphic novel is brilliant. It makes a lot of sense because with the characters and the sound effects you are supposed to get a good idea of what is happening. Turning that into a graphic novel just means that you draw what you would have imagined in your head. What is great about a graphic novel is the ability to create almost anything because if you can think it you can probably draw it. The important thing would be to understand the tensions and the environments that the scenes are taking place in, but that is where the radio drama foley artist comes in. They use noise to help paint the scene for the listeners and help them imagine the locations, which watching live on stage is truly incredible
Watching a foley artist live on stage is truly an experience. Some of the more amazing pieces were the parts where it was not a specific tool that made a noise, but the artist themselves. She would make the sound of wolves or the eerie sound of a consciousness attempting to break into a persons mind. It really was amazing the sounds that the foley artist could make. The other piece were simple things like using cement blocks to make the sound of stone moving or shoes on various items to make the sound of footsteps in a variety of conditions. One of the most amusing pieces was really using a simple toy vehicle with a wired remote to make the sound of a robot rolling down a hall. The simplicity of some of the way to create the sounds was really a site to behold. That combined with the music helped to create the emotion of the moment.
The music that is played during the live performance really helps to build tension, comedy, or romance. It lays out the underlying theme of the whole scene. What is interesting is that the themes are only partial ideas written out and then it is up to the piano player to fill them out further. This means that during every performance the musician decides where to take the music of the scene based on the audience and the actors. It creates a unique experience for every live performance. Making repeat viewings a more interesting perspective.
There are three actors playing all of the various parts and it is not just about the voices that they create, but the way they interact with each other. The actors embody the various characters with different facial expressions and even body motions. The various voices that the actors use is really incredible in their range. I think one of the most interesting parts is the three actors working together to create the many voices in a crowded diner or tavern. None of the words were actually discernible, but it made it sound like you were in a crowded location with a lot of people talking. All of the actors did a fabulous job and really brought the various characters and creatures to life.
This really was one of the neatest experiences that David and I have been to in a while. It was just such a unique way to put together a story and something that you just do not experience very often. I would say if you have an opportunity to see it live you should, but in the meantime I would definitely recommend watching the episodes of book one on YouTube.