Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
1

Comics Interview

The Mill talks Doritos and Pepsi Max webcomic - interview

By
In an intriguing move, Pepsi Max and Doritos have launched a new joint ad campaign centred around a tailor-made comedy webcomic. With two new superheroes named FireFingers and IceFist heading the campaign for the new Doritos JalapeƱo Fire and Pepsi MAX Citrus Freeze, Superpowerful Combination consists of two webcomic episodes with a range of interactive elements.

Digital agency The Mill have been working on the project, creating the webcomic from scratch. Digital Spy spoke to Nick Moorland, The Mill's creative art director about the challenges of the project and their attempts to make the most of the webcomic format.

FireFingers and IceFist from the Doritos and Pepsi Max webcomic


Can you run us through the concept of the webcomic?
"The new yet somehow continuing adventures of FireFingers and IceFist is the story of Jack Scoville and Gary Lime, two regular joes who are gifted superpowers whilst consuming the new Doritos Jalapeno Fire and Pepsi Max Citrus Freeze. Naturally.

"The webcomic is an attempt at pushing a fairly unexplored genre (online comics) into a new and exciting space by using mainstream comic book production techniques and talent coupled with interactive storytelling."

How much of the 'FireFingers and IceFist' concept was given to you, and how much did you conceive yourselves?
"Doritos and Pepsi MAX came to us with a 30s TVC script, some name suggestions for the main characters along with their required powers and a basic outline of what they would like to see happen across the comic episodes. We then built a team of writers, artists and creatives with the right experience to produce all of the elements we thought we needed.

"After defining the plot, character traits and the scenarios, we produced a two episode script with interactive sections and a full storyboard with animation direction and artwork specifications. At the same time, our concept artists developed the look of the characters and the environments."

FireFingers and IceFist from the Doritos and Pepsi Max webcomic
How familiar were you with comics and the process of making them before the project began?
"As luck would have it, there are a huge number of comic book fans at The Mill so there was no shortage of reference material to pour over. We are also lucky to have a number of very talented illustrators here, many of whom have worked on comics before so that side of the process was covered.

"Producing the artwork to be used in an interactive way was a new challenge for everybody though and required a lot of initial planning and storyboarding before any ink was put to paper.

"Many of the scenes in the comic were made with several assets that were produced independently and then put back together in After Effects and Flash. This gave us full control over all of the elements within any scene without anything looking 'stuck on'."

What were the most unexpected challenges you encountered on the project?
"Taking the conventions of comic book storytelling and adding interaction and movement sounds pretty straight forward but it's proved more challenging than any of us thought. Making an experience that feels like a comic book but with animation, music, sound effects and interaction, all designed to enhance the story at key moments is a complicated process it turns out."

FireFingers and IceFist from the Doritos and Pepsi Max webcomic
What did you find lacking in the webcomics you researched? How did you try to address those shortcomings?
"The bulk of online comics that we found were nothing more than glorified PDF readers. Some have full voiceover rather than speech balloons but felt like a boring cartoon, some are interactive but fairly low quality and some are frankly just a standard comic with a click to turn the page.

"We wanted to try and make a new type of comic that was exclusively for a digital platform, using interaction, music, bespoke artwork and just the right level of animation to bring a comic book to life."

The first episode of the Superpowerful Combination webcomic is available to read now.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...