September 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
I first began working on Upgrade Soul at the same time that I began working on my first graphic novel, The Changers, in 2001. I self-published The Changers in 2003, and intended Upgrade Soul to be a fairly immediate follow-up. Many factors have contributed over the years to the prolonged gestation of Upgrade Soul. Most notable among them was that I simply lacked the confidence to commit to it. I didn’t feel comfortable enough as a writer to tackle what had grown into a very dense plot and I didn’t feel comfortable enough as an artist to do justice to what I’d determined would be the most realized story I was capable of writing.
In late 2007, I completed the final draft of the script and pitched the book to publishing contacts I’d made following the success of The Changers. By then, however, any momentum I’d achieved after The Changers had slowed to a halt, and I was unable to find a home for such an uncommercial story from an unknown creator. I sat on the story for three more years, during which time I did, among other things, two interactive comics projects with acclaimed interactive artist Erik Loyer. One of these projects was the experimental interactive comic, Ruben & Lullaby, for the iPhone.
In the spring of 2010, Erik described to me an interactive comics reader he’d begun developing for iPad. The Reader pointed toward nothing that’d been done with comics before, promising a new level of depth and immersion by taking full advantage of the unique capabilities of the iPad platform. Erik expressed his interest in adapting Upgrade Soul for the reader, as the inaugural release for what I felt certain would become a groundbreaking way to read comics electronically. After some hesitation, and even after spending some time collaborating with Erik on a new story, I decided this outlet would be the perfect impetus to finally complete Upgrade Soul, almost exactly 10 years after its conception.