NFB launches interactive graphic novel app

Canada’s early pioneers didn’t have iPads.

But that’s not stopping the National Film Board of Canada from launching a tablet app to take Canadians 200 years back in time to learn about their past.

The public film producer has launched The Loxleys and the War of 1812, a free interactive graphic novel app for tablets, produced in partnership with the Department of Canadian Heritage and based on the book by Renegate Arts Entertainment.

The story follows fictional Upper Canadian family the Loxleys and their experiences during the 1812 military conflict in the Niagara Peninsula.

The Loxleys and the War of 1812 features illustrations, animation, music and sound effects, targeting users ages 12 and up.

The app also includes an interactive map that shows users where they are in the story, and a soundtrack featuring Canadian, U.S. and British indie bands.

The NFB will also offer a study guide for Canadian educators to incorporate the app into classroom activities.

The free app, available in both English and French, is produced by Jennifer Moss and exec produced by Loc Dao, with Vincent McCurley as creative technologist.

The graphic novel was written by Alan Grant and illustrated by Claude St. Aubin (Captain Canuck), with work from Canadian colourist Lovern Kinzierski, lettering by Todd Klein, and historical research by Mark Zuehlke and First Nations historians Darren Bonapart and Al Corbiere.

Alberta-based Renegade Arts Entertainment was created by Grant, actor Doug Bradley and Alexandor Finbox.