Help me make the Clone Assassin interactive comic & alternate reality game

If you’ve ever wanted to see me get tasered/stabbed, today is your lucky day! Today I launched a Kickstarter with the help of some really talented people. I’ve hesitated to do crowdfunding for anything related to Phrenic because nothing we’ve done so far has required it and it takes considerable effort to get a good campaign running.

This comic idea all started when Phrenic actor Steve Mattsson was interviewed on Foes of Reality and talked about his former writing duties for DC, Marvel, and cult favorite Boris the Bear. We discussed doing a comic with his friend, Paul Gulacy, a legendary artist for DC/Marvel who is also credited for drawing one of the very first graphic novels.

I loved the idea but didn’t feel like we had a compelling enough idea to crowdfund. Just adding a comic to Phrenic would simply feel like ticking off the “Comic book” box in a transmedia checklist. We came at it from new angles, like having it be the prequel to a clone assassin video we filmed–which was a step in the right direction but still not enough.

Finally, we came up with the idea that would allow readers to interact directly with the clone assassin based on clues from the comic. The way it works is a reader might see a text message drawn into the comic, which the reader could send a message to in order to begin a conversation with Anya, bringing them deeper into the story. Other interactions may unlock comic panels only available to readers who interact.


Judging from the deeply engaged people playing our Zoe Trapp alternate reality game, I felt like this type of interactive experience would be worth the effort. Even if we fail, it will have been worth the effort.

But I’d really like to NOT fail. I think this is a very cool idea and we’ll be beating much larger players to the game with it. I set up a live example of how the alternate reality game can be played. Send “I need your services” to the Clone Assassin’s by text message to 971-717-2850 or to her Twitter handle @ikillclones.

Be part of comic book history and help us make this happen!

(Update: we did not make this happen, but you haven’t heard the last from the clone assassin!)

Phrenic now has an alternate reality game that starts with interactive video


I’m always looking for ways to get people interacting more deeply in the story of Phrenic. Sometimes that means allowing people to create their own content (like in Go Clone Yourself) or letting them make decisions about where the story goes in a Tweet Your Own Adventure game.

The latest way to get wrapped up in Phrenic is the Life Identical Genetic Enhancement Screening test. It’s an alternate reality game that begins with an interactive video. Zoe, a Genetic Enhancement Advisor, asks you questions in a “live web conference.” You can answer yes to all of her questions but it’s more fun if you express a little reservation or doubt. (There is also a standard sign-up form if you want to skip the interactive video.)

Fill out a quick contact form and Zoe will immediately send you a brochure about genetic enhancements, followed by secret emails about what’s really going on with the genetic enhancement testing. She might ask you questions or send videos, photos, or artifacts like sketches of cloning storage pods.

This interactive story is designed to have more episodes and artifacts added over time. Zoe’s emails and tweets represent a new chapter in the story and also fills in another piece of “Play” in Phrenic’s tagline “a thriller you watch, read, and play.” Zoe’s storyline ties into other storylines so when Phrenic’s Clone Assassin comic project comes out in a few weeks, you’ll see the same events from the perspective of Zoe, a customer service agent spying on Life Identical.

Go get screened by Zoe or connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

And if you want updates Phrenic, sign up here. The Clone Assassin stuff is going to be awesome.

(If you’re interesting in this sort of thing, I created the interactive video with Adventr and all of the immersive interactions are done using Conducttr.)