Proving anew that an amazing supply of wild, wonderful, category-bursting material is out there on the Internet: the 2003 Sundance Online Film Festival Viewers Award winner for animation, Broken Saints.
An online graphic novel created by Brooke Burgess, Andrew West and Ian Kirby, Broken Saints is an epic of 24 chapters averaging 40 minutes each. The mood of hallucinatory mystery is enhanced by the nature of the “action,” which develops over a series of near-static tableaus created with Macromedia’s Flash and accompanied by cool, creepy down beat and dub music (soundtracks available here).
The characters are anime-esque, but emotionally richer and more supple than many of their Japanese counterparts. The intro alone, with freaky stabs of lightning revealing skeletal, demonic, and possessed faces was enough to send my 3 year-old screaming out of the room, “Ahhh the ‘puter, ahhh, the ‘puter!!”
In addition to the Sundance award, Broken Saints has also won Best Cartoon at San Francisco’s Flash Forward 2002, and the Pixie Independent Film Award for Best Website with Motion.
I like this bit from the site’s FAQ:
- Why do you call it ‘graphic literature’, and not just an ‘online comic’
‘Online comics’ tend to be still panels that are clicked through. This is fine if your goal is to shuttle readers through as quickly as possible – but the idea with BS was to create something ‘literate’ (well-written), graphical (powerful effects and emotional artwork), and moving (emotionally AND spatially).
Since “graphic literature” is the term used in the comic industry to separate the more mature and intelligent works from the average blow-em-up-superhero-big-tits-square-jaw stuff, it seems the more appropriate moniker.
Who are these guys?
- They live in beautiful North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Andrew draws every character and background with love. Ian mixes every shot, every sound, and every effect with singular passion. Brooke agonizes over every word and cinematic transition like he’s giving birth to triplets.
What’s the story about?
- In the quiet corners of the Globe
Four strangers receive a Message
Together, they will face a coming Darkness
And learn that the greatest Love
Is often the greatest Sacrifice
You want specifics?
Hope. Fate. Love. Fear. Death. Hate. Power. Consciousness. Betrayal. Change. Mercy. Compassion. Wisdom. Awareness. Will. Discipline. Faith. Courage. Empathy. Paranoia. Revenge. Forgiveness. Sacrifice.
And the Good and Evil in us all.
So there you flippin’ go. It’s the coolest.