Submarine Channel


Ascent from Akeron

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A dystopian sci-fi motion comic written by William Maher and illustrated by Gustavo Garcia.

In a far future society, a group of rebellious youngsters accidentally discover the true nature of the dark world into which they’ve been born. They take fate into their own hands – rising up against the sinister forces that rule over their city of Akeron.



Ascent from Akeron is a post-apocalyptic tale set in the far future. Reading and images of all kind are outlawed. When our heroes-to-be unearth a treasure chest filled to the brim with ancient superhero comics from the 20th century, they are inspired to take fate into their own hands.

motion comic Ascent from Akeron

Interactive Motion Comic

Ascent from Akeron is an interactive motion comic that merges the medium of comics (reading) with cinema (watching) and new media (interacting). Animation -used sparingly but effectively- enhances the atmosphere of the story. The musical score by Mark Tschanz adds another dimension. The page layouts are dynamic but reading is as intuitive as reading a book; you use your mouse or the arrows on your keyboard to move forward or backward in the story.

Ascent from Akeron is created with the brand-new digital storytelling tool for Unity, Panoply – one of the most advanced and most flexible tools for creating sequential interactive stories. Panoply is developed by Erik Loyer.


Production strategy and Kickstarter

The first four episodes of Ascent from Akeron are considered a pilot. The complete story is 12 episodes. All four episodes of the pilot will be available on for free as of mid September 2017.

Our ultimate goal is to release all 12 episodes as a paid (iOS) app that includes special interactive features and bonus content. But we can’t produce the app until we’ve funded the remaining 8 episodes.

With initial funding from Submarine Channel and a huge time investment from everyone in our fantastic team we’ve been able to make the prologue and the first three episodes. But we want to tell you the whole story. So, in sync with the release of the prologue we launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund at least one additional episode. And it worked. Our audience believed in the project. Episode 4 was funded thanks to our amazing supporters on Kickstarter.



Ascent from Akeron is shortlisted for the Gouden Kalf Awards 2019 by the Netherlands Film Festival in the interactive category! The award ceremony for the “Dutch Oscars” takes place during the festival (27 September till 5 October, 2019).


A word from the author: William Maher

Writer William Maher worked as a VFX supervisor on big movies such as Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks! And he worked on some of Hollywood’s most successful screen adaptations of comic IP, such as X-Men and X-Men 2. Intrigued by the impact of these superhero frenchizes, Maher initially started developing the Akeron storyworld as a way to explore the concept of a world without superheroes.

So there I was working on yet another superhero movie and I’m looking at the box office numbers from the previous film I’d worked on, which were probably huge, and I’m wondering to myself: how did all this all happen?

How could so many people go to watch movies about superheroes?

I started to wonder about the impact comics have had on people – all over the planet. What kind of spirit do these stories awaken in them? What do they find in there? So I spent the next 10 years thinking about this, drawn by the certainty that there’s a story to be told about what story means. 

I started to wonder what difference it might make if comics didn’t exist at all. What if there was no such enlightenment? For that matter… What if there was no history? No heroes. No hope. No dreams. No future. No past. What if there was only work and obedience. What if kids grew up in that lifeless, controlled world? And what then? What if they discovered comics? Superheroes. Resistance. Fight. Passion. Light. Love. What would happen then? What would they become?

Motion Comic Ascent from Akeron made with Panoply



The writer, artist and producers are available for interviews. For more information, images or interview requests please contact Remco Vlaanderen by email or phone at +31 (0)20 820 49 40 (CET time zone).






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