SPACE DUCKS: Daniel Johnston’s Graphic Novel

By Jesús Rojas. March 20, 2012

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Before we start analyzing this comic for iPad in detail, it would be good to put in the picture those who have never heard of Daniel Johnston. He is a Californian musician who has been creating the most spontaneous compositions since the seventies. Among his greatest achievements, he has played in the famous Texan festival SXSW and he contributed to the soundtrack of Kids (Larry Clark) with two songs.

Also, there are many artists who admire him, like Beck, Eddie Vedder, David Bowie and Kurt Cobain, who used to wear a white t-shirt with the cover of one of Johnston’s records. The thing is that, in line with the release of albums like Hi, How Are You or Fun, this artist used to include a comic as the cover of the cassettes he distributed as best as he could.

Well, this artistic side of Daniel Johnston has just taken the leap to the touch screen thanks to Space Ducks, a graphic novel that is available on iTunes to the delight of the true admirers of this character. It is not a typical comic, it is more of an interactive experience that takes the user to outer space, a world inhabited by ducks and devils (a recurrent topic in Johnston’s life) where the user can have fun playing games similar to Space Invaders, listen to music from different artists or visualize animations based on the character’s inner world.

Daniel Johnston is a lifelong comic book fanatic and with Space Ducks he will manage to attract even more the attention of his wide legion of fans. To whoever wants to know more about the life and works of this peculiar composer, we recommend the film The Devil and Daniel Johnston, a documentary that deals with delicate topics such as his demoniac obsessions or the bipolar disorder he suffers.

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