A few vignettes at the end, exactly fourteen, we find a double page. Both capture the same image, the solar halo that borders a total eclipse. Both are accompanied by your text. The first says: "There are only two possibilities here. Or we are faced with the greatest coincidence of the news in the history of world literature." And in the opposite: "Either it is not a coincidence."
The comic in question is called The secret of Psalm 46. Messages hidden in art (Diabolo Editions, 2016) and the coincidence of which he speaks, and that gives title to the book, is the secret behind the name of Shakespeare and how that name is interwoven with that psalm. But this comic is also the most unusual example of a growing trend and that in Ka-BOOM we wanted to explore: the wide, varied, and profound offer of the Spanish comic publishers on the videogame. And not merely books that address the game as a conventional essay or that offer parallel adventures for heroes and heroines of the pixels. No. We talk about such unusual things as this comic, which is the adaptation to the cartoons of the Galician Iván Sende of a university conference of the videogame designer of LucasArts and academic of the medium Brian Moriarty.
"The interest in video games is growing. Not only to play them, but to know their origin, the creative process, their influences. All those who started playing the first videogames several decades ago want to know where they came from Given this and that some comic book readers come from this world, it is logical that both authors and publishers decide to join these two media, "explains Lorenzo Pascual Sobrado, editor of Diabolo Editions. There is, finally, a happy pairing between the hunger to know and the desire to buy.
Today, at about half past six, at La Casa del Llibre, Rambla de Cataluña 37, Barcelona, Norma Editorial will present a book, of spectacular format, of title Gray. They will be accompanied by their author, Conrad Roset, an artist who along with two designers with a key, Roger Mendoza and Adrián Cuevas, made history of the Spanish video game last year with the title Gray; a game that won countless awards, including an Oscar of the Video Game, the Game Awards, and an Annie Award, the main awards of the animated cinema granted by Hollywood.
The volume in question is a unique artifact. It is presented as an art book of the game, but it does not offer conventions of such genre at all. It's more of a silent comic, a storyboard gigantic, divided between chapters, which allows the reader to appreciate, without using a word, the exploration trip followed in the video game. Its enormous dimensions (30x35 centimeters) allow to transmit the same landscape scale present in the interactive work.
Luis Martínez Guereño, editorial director of Norma Editorial, talks about the pleasure of "returning to work with Conrad after the book Muses"and that the volume offered now is" a pleasure for the eyes. "It also speaks of the matter in question, this growing commitment to hybridization between ninth and tenth art beyond the conventional. And it does so using a word that every time It sounds more: transmedia. "The comic and the video game travel through analogous worlds. They are two narrative languages that complement each other. Contemporary fiction increasingly explores the transmedia format and allows fans to explore their favorite stories from different languages. "
Putting numbers to the question, it is clear that the pairing has commercial reasons. The sector in Spain, strictly adhering to the billing of companies based in this country, not video game sales, invoice 713 million euros; Spanish cinema has not reached 100 in the last year. The comic, which at least is growing, for its annual numbers of around 60 million. The difference is obviously very large, to the point that publishers like Vicente García, editor of Dolmen Editorial, which publishes the longest running comics magazine, does not hesitate to qualify that "the comic editor knows that it ensures minimum sales" betting on this line.
All publishers agree that the word to define the buyers of their books that play the video game is not overlapping; It is convergence. "The good book / comic reader who plays video games seeks to expand the history he has played. Also, who knows something about video games, knows that everything has changed a lot, that there are now true stories behind each game, sometimes with a depth superior to that of a novel, "says García.
It also helps the cultural context. The words of Minister Guirao, that this newspaper led to its coverDeep squid The passionate debate, which I could witness actively and passively, of the last Congress of Cultural Journalism organized by Santillana Foundation, too. But editors like Martínez, de Norma, believe that the pairing comes long and has been gradually consolidating: "The acceptance of the comic and video game by cultural critics have gone hand in hand, but the synergies were already there years. For example, the sleeves of Zelda They have been in the market for some time. The comic book market has always opted for the video game and they have complemented each other, although it is true that the offer has grown a lot in recent years. "
But this synergy is not just a matter of getting close to the sun that warms the most. From the other side, publishers specialized in publishing videogame essays, there is also the case of entering the comic. The example, Paper heroes, the most prolific Spanish publisher of the present in publishing video game essays that was unmarked with a comic, nominated for the Eisner (the Oscar of the comic), which delves into the biography of the creator of Tetris and in all the fascinating process that led the best-selling video game of all time to leave Moscow and conquer the world. "We could almost talk about a historical essay through the cartoons," explains Isaac Fernández, editor of Paper Heroes. "There are many real anecdotes, a very interesting plot with a very powerful political background. We fell in love with this comic at first sight."
A love, this one from the comic and the videogame, which seems to be going long.
Angel Luis Sucasas He is the narrative director of the Tequila Works video game studio and novelist on labels such as Planeta, Dolmen Editorial and Nevsky Books.