André Sedlaczek and Reinhard Wedemeyer created a refreshing Start Wars parody "Das Wars noch lange nicht - Sternenkrieger privat", a story and experience we’d like to share with you. It is in German, but very easy to understand and flow. Check out the sample at the bottom of the page.
How did you get the idea of creating a Star wars parody…
André: One day I watched episode 4, for maybe the 13th time. When it comes to the light saber fight Obi Wan vs Darth Vader I realized how old fashioned it was. It was light years away from the dynamic and fast fights as we could see in the episodes 1-3. I had to laugh about a scene that never ment to be funny. In this moment my brain starts to put the Star Wars characters into cartoons. Actually I never made a cartoon about this special scene, hmmm …
Reinhard: I met Andrè Sedlaczek on the book fair in Frankfurt. I have seen the printed version of his Star Wars parody and I loved it. I asked him why there is no digital edition and he told me that there is one but not really digitally what he wanted. It was a one to one version without any animations. So I told him, that I am interested in creating a animated version of his book. This was the beginning of a work together with a great illustrator with great ideas. He has the skills of drawing and parody stories and I have the skills of sounds, music, animation and creating digital cool things.
What has been the feedback from readers and your colleagues/designers when they saw this book?
André: The feedback was very positive. Even big Star Wars fans like to laugh about their heroes. A few of my colleagues were shocked as I told them I made a Star Wars cartoon book, because they had this in mind for themselves. As they saw this motion-cartoonbook their faces changes in colour, from white to green!
Reinhard: The Feedback was amazing. Some of my designer colleagues and friends were very skeptical and they thought it would be more interactive. But at the end they were very surprised and said that this motion comic is the perfect mix of joke, animation and sound. After reading the result they have seen and understand that often it is enough to use a little bit of what is possible. This is one of the main failures big publishing companies are doing. They creating complex books combined with an ipad app which is not understandable for non technicians and the products are very expensive. At the often times the simple things works better.
Where do you see innovation for digital comic books happening, and are you planning more books/more versions of the books?
André: To my mind a digital cartoon book is a contemporary extension for the print version. We can put much more information in it. The reader has the opportunity to see my pictures in a different way. In this animated cartoons it's possible to present the pictures first without the bubbles. It's like a movie scene: first you see the whole setting and after that you could read the information which are nescessary for the joke. There are also sound effects added. They help to emphasize the the special Star Wars feeling. We have so many ideas while working on this motion-cartoonbook, so I guess there will follow some upgrades.
Reinhard: From my point of view I have to say that motion cartoons or animated digital comic books are an addition to printed versions. The audience is different. People who prefer printed books are not the same who like the digital eBook. But at the end I think this is a great advantage for newcomers for young people with great ideas. I think we are in step between print and digital reading. The next generation may be will have paper with animation like in Harry Potter. Who knows. For now we can start to move the future forward and start to create something new and great. We have so many ideas how to involve the reader into the book to get a new reading experience. I can say that my children in a age of 6 and 10 who loves star wars love the digital edition too very much. Especially that the joke is like a short scene like André told.
What was the reason to use PubCoder and what was your experience?
Reinhard: This is my part because I am the web designer, animation guy and also the musician who brought this cartoon to life. As I started looking for the right authoring program about an year go, no tools on the market had the features I needed. At the time I also tested PubCoder 1.0, but was not completely satisfied with the experience. So I started programming by hand. The problem is that this is very expensive because you have to do everything by hand. So I then tested some other possibilities from big companies and I have to say the result were o.k. but not really a working ePUB3. After a while playing around to find the best and economical solution I had again a look at PubCoder and I have seen that this tiny and interesting program turned into an grown up strong tool with the ability to be the market leader. So I decided that: „I will only use one solution and I wisely choose PubCoder". In two or three days I learned most features offered by PubCoder. At the end this was the best experience I had in creating EPUB3. There are some things PubCoder can improve for the future but the actual status is a brilliant working program with many possibilities. I talk to Enrico and other people in the team in a regular basis and I see they are open for new ideas and improvements so I decided to keep only using PubCoder for the next projects because this is a great program and we need tools like PubCoder to change the way we create EPUB3.
Users need to learn how to use PubCoder. At a first sight it has some parallels to ibooks Author, PowerPoint, some Adobe programs. So for me it was not so hard to understand how the program is working. By going deeper you realise PubCoder is more like a html and css programming tool with endless possibilities. At the end my experience was between being a designer and a programmer, but this is what I love. Without any programming experience you can do some nice effects but if you understand css and animations in depth you can do much more. At the end I was very quick in comparison with hand programming and this is great. And of course one of the best is that I can produce also apps and the price is fair in comparison to competitors.
What is your recommendation to create an ebook like this?
Reinhard: I can say that it is not easy to do anything alone. It is indeed a good idea to split the production. In our case it was a perfect split. André also knows how to use Photoshop so he gave me great files I could work with. He is also the Author and illustrator so all the starting ideas were coming from André. On the other side he is not a programmer, but he was open minded and helped me to create animations. I am the designer, programmer and animation person. With such a great work from André I could focus on what was important, and how to use the program to get what I wanted. So this was a great expereience for me. We trust each other and our abilities and supplied each other perfectly. So I am looking forward to see the next project I can work with.
Download "Das Wars Noch Lange Nicht – Sternenkrieger privat" here