Titanium Rain Audio Comic

Now this is pretty exciting. Titanium Rain is a great, near future war series, published a while ago by Archaia before it went on hiatus. Now it’s getting a new life as an audio drama. With its more grounded, believable sci-fi edge, this could really work. Official details below.

TITANIUM RAIN COMES TO AUDIO
The AudioComics Company to adapt Glitchwerk Studios property as a full-cast radio drama

To be alive is to be at odds with the world. Man against nature. Man against man. The instinct to survive is what has made us who we are.

The AudioComics Company is excited to announce that they will be adapting Glitchwerk Studios’ graphic novel series Titanium Rain as one of their next full-cast audio theatre productions, with the first book in the trilogy recording this fall for a winter 2012 release, with parts two and three to be recorded later that year. The work will be adapted for audio by co-creators Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, and directed by AudioComics Company Co-Producer William Dufris.

Currently published by Archaia Entertainment, Titanium Rain is a sci-fi war epic set in the year 2031 where a civil war in China has escalated into a global conflict that has decimated entire nations and millions of innocent lives. And for many, like US Air Force pilot Alec Killian, survival in this new age means that man and machine must exist as one. In the spirit of films such as Ghost in the Shell and Blackhawk Down, Titanium Rain follows Killian’s journey through mankind’s worst, only to discover its best.

Titanium Rain is the antithesis of the post-apocalyptic ‘trend’ we’re seeing today in film, on television, in comic books. That’s part of the reason why it’s such an appealing audio project, the idea that we can rise above our mistakes rather than be dragged down by them is one worth exploring,” says director William Dufris, who also directed The AudioComics Company’s premiere production, Starstruck. “Also, it’s a great character-driven book. Actors are always looking for roles they can really sink their teeth into, and TR is chock full of great character studies.”

Co-creator Josh Finney: “From Titanium Rain‘s initial conception I had always wanted to hear the story translated into an audio production, going so far to actually commission a full-blown soundtrack by musician Jonathan Sharp (New Mind, Bio-Tek). Now with the AudioComics Company onboard this dream is finally shaping into a reality. Stay tuned. This is going to be amazing.”

The first volume of Titanium Rain has been a consistent best seller, both in the US and abroad. The title was also the center of a controversy when the first volume was delayed when Chinese printing companies refused to print the book due to Titanium Rain‘s so-called “politically sensitive” content, leading to Archaia Entertainment’s decision to manufacture their books elsewhere.

In addition to adapting the work, both Finney and Rocha will attend the voice-over recording sessions for Part One of the audio trilogy, and will have a hand in casting the project as well. The completed piece will be available on compact disc and pay-per-Mp3 downloads; Jonathan Sharp’s soundtrack for Titanium Rain will also be available as a separate Mp3 download, to be released concurrently with Part One of the TR audio production.

Glitchwerk Studios is the combined talents of husband and wife team Josh Finney and Kat Rocha. Glitchwerk specializes in science-fiction/fantasy art, concept art, and graphic design. Their style features a fusion of 3D modeling, digital painting, and traditional art techniques. In addition to their original comic book properties UtopiatesTitanium RainLD30, and the forthcoming World War Kaiju, Glitchwerk’s art has been featured in the acclaimed UK magazine Interzone, on several CD album covers, in numerous collectable card and online games, and on television (Star Trek: Enterprise). Titanium Rain is one of the few graphic novels on the comics landscape created entirely by a married couple.

The AudioComics Company, under the guidance of producers Lance Roger Axt, William Dufris, and Elaine Lee, provides superior audio entertainment with its professional full-cast audio theatre productions of both licensed properties and original works from the world of comic books, graphic novels, and related media, accessible in today’s market with today’s sound. The AudioComics team is working to establish relationships with top name comic book companies, sci-fi writers, sponsors and the entertainment industry in Hollywood and New York, and to give these audio theatre pieces worldwide exposure. Their debut production of the original play script of Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta’s Starstruck has received critical acclaim from comics and audio professionals alike.

Starstruck Audio Drama Review

I must confess I’m not an avid listener of audio dramas. I did, however, listen to 2 BBC CDs from the ’90s focused on the KnightFall saga in which Batman broke his back and The Death of Superman. Those two epics helped cement my love of comics in my 20s and I’ll always have fond memories of them. I can’t say the same about the audio dramas. Both are 3 CD sets and were as equally cheesy and disappointing as each other. In some parts they were just embarassing, but perhaps for someone who isn’t as much a fanboy, they could really appreciate it. What I’ve heard of GraphicAudio’s dramatisations of DC’s 52 and Infinite Crisis series sounds much more intriguing.

Now, onto Starstruck, the latest audio drama I played on my daily commute over a few days. I’ll admit I’ve never heard of the original comic that this is based on, but I was curious nonetheless.

The press release explains the unique project it better than I can, so here goes.

Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta’s science fiction comedy masterpiece comes to the world of radio drama as The AudioComics Company announces their debut full-cast audio production of Starstruck on compact disc and pay-per-MP3 download; the show will also air on selected radio stations throughout the United States, beginning with WMPG FM in Portland, ME. The recording of the play that became the critically-acclaimed independent comic book series comes just after the completion of the re-mastered 13-issue Starstruck comic series from IDW Publishing, which will be available as a 360 page hardcover collection in February of 2011.

Produced by The AudioComics Company in association with Portland Community Radio WMPG, the audio adaptation of the original off-Broadway production was adapted for the medium of audio by co-creator Elaine Lee, and directed by AudioComics Company co-founder William Dufris. (Bill is best known to audiences as the voice of “Bob the Builder.”) The recording also employs composer Dwight Dixon’s re-recorded music from the original 1980’s stage productions, as well as several new compositions.

Set many years after the events of the comic book series, Captain Galatia 9 and the crew of the Harpy are on a mission for the United Federation of Female Freedom Fighters. When the Harpy runs into a living ship inhabited by a team of galactic evildoers, including Galatia ’s insidious sister Verloona Ti, the outcome of the battle may well decide the fate of the free universe!

I wouldn’t describe it as a comedic masterpiece, but I have to say, I’m very tempted to get IDW’s Feb-releasing hard cover collection, or the TPB that was released in September with new colours by Lee Moyer and art b the talented Michael Kaluta. I think not being familiar with Starstruck had me at a disadvantage, as there were no visual descriptions and as I listened to mp3 without any CD case, I had no idea what any of the characters looked like. To me, they were just disembodied voices speaking into my ears, though the occasional exposition and brief character history from the authoritarian English narrator does work well and appears naturally through the course of the madcap story.

The voice acting is well and never veers into pantomime overacting. A pleasure droid who sounds like Marilyn Monroe, a tough talking ex-nun, an evil woman who reminds me of Futurama’s Mom, etc. It’s pretty impressive how much just a voice can conjure up a character and even with a somewhat large cast, it never gets confusing as to which character is speaking.

As it’s a sci-fi comedy, there’s some wild ideas (a spaceship blob made from Galactic Girl Guides), authentic sound effects and made up technical words and alien races and the story is easy to follow, if perhaps a little longer than necessary. Although it’s not outrageously hilarious, I did chuckle out loud more than a few times, and the flashbacks, witty dialogue and comedic timing, plus the deadpan delivery of the narrator all add up to something with its own charm.

There is some profanity littered throughout the 2 Acts, but it does have a child like sense of fun, almost at times veering to the levels of Batman on TV in the ’60s. Definitely for fans of similar sci-fi craziness like Red Dwarf and Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Starstruck is available from The AudioComics Company as a two-disc CD set and pay-per-MP3 download through CD Baby, ZBS.org. and The AudioComics website. Downloads are available through iTunes and Amazon MP3 too.

BTW, here’s IDW’s enticing description of their TPB.

STARSTRUCK HC

Elaine Lee (w) Michael Kaluta (a & c)

The classic, galactic-spanning saga of Starstruck, the renowned stage play/radio drama/heady science fiction classic, continues! Collecting all 13 issues of the completely remastered Starstruck series by Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta. 280 pages of Starstruck and Galactic Girl Guides adventures, covers, pin-ups, glossary, postcards, and so much more! The first truly comprehensive collection of this material in a grand, over-sized hardcover edition. This beautiful book features some of the finest art ever by put to paper by Kaluta, including many pages that were never printed in the original run. Additionally, Kaluta painstakingly added approximately 20% of art to NEARLY EVERY PAGE to ensure the aspect ratio of the comic would be consistent and correct. The end result is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, a head-spinning, synapse-snapping, soul-searing ride to a world like no other… the world of Starstruck.

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