Throughout the past few years, virtual and augmented reality have seen major forward strides in the mediums and stories they can tell. VR and AR experiences are not just limited to video games and movies anymore; they can be used to enhance your overall connection with a piece of art or expand the universe you’re exploring. In 2012, author Skip Brittenham and artist Brian Haberlin were trailblazers on that path, combining a science fiction graphic novel with its own Augmented Reality experience. At 370 pages, Anomaly is the longest original, full-color graphic novel published, but Brittenham and Haberlin were not content to stop there. The world of Anomaly, which deals with the ramifications of a human-colonized galaxy, has both its own Augmented Reality app that you can use along with the printed book, and an interactive graphic novel complete with voices and animation. Now, Brittenham and Haberlin have tackled creating an Augmented Reality for their latest endeavor, Between Worlds.
More fantasy than sci-fi, Between Worlds also deals with the idea of exploring worlds beyond our own, as well as the genesis of all magic. It is a story of two teenagers who feel alienated and isolated in their small town, but must grow up quickly when an urban legend about a magical wishing tree transports them to another universe full of incredible powers and dangerous creatures. Though this story is a novel with an accompanying Augmented Reality experience, the original draft of the story has over 200 gorgeous illustrations — just wait ’til you see what that special edition might look like. Just before the book’s official release, our own Dan Casey sat down with Brittenham and Haberlin to find out the inspiration, process, and challenges behind the expanded universe of Between Worlds.
Between Worlds is available online and in bookstores now.
Image: Brian Haberlin/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers