Bravest Warriors, a transmedia property developed by our friend Fred Seibert and his buddies at Cartoon Hangover, just finished their first animation season on YouTube. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the show is about four do-gooder teens that fly around the galaxy in their space whale ship righting the wrongs and fighting the bad guys. When they aren’t braving Lavarinths and fending off Memory Donks, they are chilling at home in their invisible hideout (intentionally shaped like the Frederator logo) with their pets Impossibear and Catbug. Each animation episode is a few minutes long, perfect when I want to kill time and shirk my responsibilities.
I already watched this twice since I first started this blog post on tumblr.
The more I engage with this fledgling series, the more I find out about the qualities of a good transmedia story.It isn’t enough to merely adapt a story for screen and print, there needs to be a compelling reason for it to bridge multiple mediums. Otherwise it will all seem like a pathetic attempt at a cash grab.
“Bravest Warriors” does well in piquing viewer interest in crossing over from its free-to-watch animation to its comic books.For the sake of explanation, I will need you to imagine the first time you bought weed.
No seriously. Imagine it.
Alright. Imagine the first time the person you are holding it for bought weed.
Usually the stories you hear about drug dealers (as opposed to experienced because we are all substance-abuse free productive members of society) trying to expand their sales involve offering free samples.Now why would anybody give free marijuanas to people? Especially because they are the most intoxicatingly addictive substance known to man that will most definitely kill you or at least give you some long-term debilitating disease (right)? Because they expect you to get hooked on it and want to come back for more.With money.
Now how does this relate to transmedia?If you want to tell a transmedia story, you have to have that hook in all of your mediums.Suspense and curiosity sucks people in to want more of your story. What Bravest Warriors did to make me go a week without eating lunch to buy their comics was to pepper their story with suspense.The tension of which could only be resolved by my seeking more of the story through its other mediums.
To save you the details, I have constructed an image explaining what I mean.
If you need me, I’ll be refreshing etsy in case the catbug plush comes in stock again.