Heart of Empire CD-Rom Sample

Heart of Empire cover

Since multimedia comics are a hot topic these days, I found it timely that I got the following press release recently from James Robertson, the Bryan Talbot site webmaster:

I have just posted the whole of the first chapter of the Heart of Empire CD-Rom onto the Talbot fanpage.

I have always found it difficult to explain exactly what the Heart of Empire CD-Rom is… – because it is so much! It’s a labour of love from myself and Bryan that is the Director’s Cut of Heart of Empire and also tries to explain “where do you get your ideas from?”

It has every single page of Heart of Empire in all formats – original pencils, inks, and final coloured versions, together with 60,000 words of annotations and every front and back cover of the comics with Bryan’s comments and observations. There is also a gallery of additional illustrations showing where Bryan got some of his inspiration from – and the entirety of the Adventures of Luther Arkwright in the new digitally re-mastered “best ever” version.

Originally released in 2001, this was an unusual enough product (and promised so much) that I ordered it even though I’d never read either of those series at the time. I blush to admit I still haven’t — it’s a really complete disc that’s pretty overwhelming.

The “free taste” approach is exactly what this needs, because many people today may not have heard about the books, and they need to try before paying for the deluxe version. And even if they were giving away the whole graphic novel to read online, I suspect that interested readers would still buy the disc, because it’s got so many extras. The first chapter sample linked above, by the way, includes all those extras.

I’m surprised that the PR didn’t mention Talbot’s recent triumph Alice in Sunderland, which explores multimedia in a similar yet completely different (print) way and has been getting lots of good press. It would provide a good hook, “check out his earlier experiment”.

Another quibble: the link to buy the disc isn’t at all obvious from the presented first free issue. The store links should be very easy to find with efforts like this. Anyway, the sample is quite extensive and will distract the interested for a good while, so go, browse.

3 Responses to “Heart of Empire CD-Rom Sample”

  1. James Schee Says:

    This is SO cool, as I’ve been wanting to try something from Talbot for a while. Thanks!

  2. Jim Perreault Says:

    I do heartily recommend “Heart of Empire” ; it is a great series.

    I’ve never read “Adventures of Luther Arkwright”, which this is a sequel to. Fortunately, they do a good enough job of explaining the background that it was not a problem.

    “Heart of Empire” did have the problem, when in was published, that Princess Diana was a significant character. That’s problem not too much of an issue now, since it has been 10 years since her death. But I know Talbot was concerned when the comic was first released.


  3. James Robertson Says:

    Hi Johanna: based on what you said here – which is actually totally valid – I went and edited the free first chapter of the Heart of Empire CD-Rom to make it a lot easier to see / find the links to buy the full thing….

    Can you let me know if you think I have succeeded? – as the author of it I am almost definitely too close to see it as a new reader would see it…






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