On May 3rd, Magic Pony hosted the closing party of TIFF Nexus‘ Comics Vs. Games creative jam. The initiative celebrated the cooperation of game designers and comic artists to create 5 new games and explore new media art forms. The closing party was attended by game creators and artists, comic fans, gamers of all kinds, and many people who were discovering these subcultures for the first time. Refreshments were provided by TIFF Nexus, which kept the packed crowd very cool. It was definitely one of Magic Pony’s most successful and exciting events!
Comics Vs. Games received some great reviews and press. The coordinators, artists, and designers were interviewed by the Space Channel, and Electric Playground. If you didn’t catch it, Shaun Hatton of EP interviews some of the game’s designers at Magic Pony:
Miguel Sternberg of The Hand Eye Society was the coordinator of Comics Vs. Games, and collaborated on Black Church Brigandage. Matt Hawkins of Attract Mode curated the accompanying art print show and sale. It featured posters created by each of the 5 games’ artists, as well as original game and comic-centric prints by various other artists.
Anyone who played the games instantly fell in love with them, even if they didn’t consider themselves comic and video game fans. The games were easy to play and it was typical to see young children playing against adults—and winning. Each of the 5 games featured different video game structures, like fighting, collecting, and role playing.
Black Church Brigandage
By Andy Belanger and Miguel Sternberg.
In this brutal 8-bit game, you are fighting over the newborn antichrist; players must pick sides: whether to save the baby, or sacrifice him! and you must pass the little antichrist to each other by throwing him! But be warned, it’s a bloody mess if you miss. A darkly entertaining game to play, and definitely one of the most interesting concepts! This game is actually based on Andy Belanger’s newest comic project, Black Church, so ask your local comic shop about it!
By John Martz and Farbs
Cumulo Nimblers is a game without an end; you could play it forever—it’s that addictive! Up to four players have to bounce on moving clouds to collect coins. The more coins you collect, the brighter and happier your colourful cloud-hopper becomes. However, players can jump off of each other and send the competition falling out of the sky. It’s a continuous game of gaining and losing coins, but it’s visually engrossing.
By Emily Carroll and Damian Sommer
The Yawhg is a mystery role playing game that operates like a choose-your-own-adventure story. Players need to make decisions to prepare for the Yawhg, a mythical enigma whose identity you discover as the game progresses. It’s a turn based game that multiple players can work together on, and each decision leads to a new path, so each new game is unique. Carroll’s art is vibrant and refreshingly expressive.
The Mysterious Aphroditus
By Kyla Vanderklugt and Christine Love
In the Victorian universe of The Mysterious Aphroditus, 2 players battle it out in a London theatre to capture the heart of the mysterious, androgynous Aphroditus. An interestingly antiquarian take on the versus-fighting genre of video games, players take turns using moves that have a rock-paper-scissor structure. Vanderklugt’s rough line art has a polished feel to it, and the earthy tones make it a beautiful game to play.
We’re No Angels
By Steve Manale and Jamie Fristrom
We’re No Angels is a hilarious take on the deaths of some of music’s biggest names: Elvis, Hendrix, Tupac, and Winehouse. God is the ultimate groupie, so he forces these musicians to play for him for all eternity. Players must fight against angels as these music legends, getting power ups from drugs! Steve Manale’s caricatures are instantly recognizable, and this hilarious game is definitely a must-play for anyone that enjoys these musicians.
Also featured at Comics Vs. Games was Jason Shiga’s and Andrew Plotkin’s Meanwhile, an iOS-based comic that, at first, seems simply about a boy getting ice-cream. The structure of the comic is similar to a choose-your-own-adventure story, but with almost infinite possibilities. It makes an amazing sequential art experience. Daniel Benmurgui’s Nuovo Award-winning Storyteller also combines interactive media and comics. The player is able to create and alter comics to solve puzzles and progress through levels. It stretches your creativity and is an amazing platform for the player to experiment with stories, and be rewarded for their imaginative ideas.
If you’re interested in getting a commemorative print from the show, we still have a few posters from the games, and other prints, available! You can check them out on our online store.