ShiftyLook

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ShiftyLook
Division
FateClosed by Namco Bandai Games
Founded2011
DefunctSeptember 2014
ProductsWebcomics
ParentBandai Namco Holdings

ShiftyLook was a subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings that was focused on revitalizing older Namco franchises, with their first step being video game webcomics based on the company's various franchises. The subsidiary later offered webtoons, anime, playable games, music, message boards, and graphic novels as well. ShiftyLook regularly held substantial exhibitions at large US comics conventions, having a major booth presences and holding large giveaways of promotional merchandise.[1]

ShiftyLook shut down in September, 2014.

Webcomics[edit]

ShiftyLook was creating webcomics since the fall of 2011, with the goal of reviving various old Namco Bandai video game franchises. According to Editor-in-Chief Rob Pereyda, the original goal of ShiftyLook was to gain traction through webcomics first and to expand to other media such as web animation, games, and merchandise later.[2] Shiftylook collaborated with a large number of successful webcartoonists in order to produce their webcomics, including Jerry Holkins, Mike Krahulik, Scott Kurtz, Ryan North, David Malki, and Zach Weiner.[3] In July 2012, manga author Hitoshi Ariga began creating a webcomic based on Klonoa, becoming the first Japanese person to work on a Shiftylook webcomic.[4]

ShiftyLook decided to produce a webcomic based on Time Crisis in 2012 after it was voted as the most popular option in a poll held by Anime News Network, getting 21% of the votes. The Time Crisis webcomic was to be written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by JJ Kirby.[6] However, the project never took off and was subsequently cancelled.

Cartoons[edit]

In 2013, ShiftyLook produced two animated cartoons, titled Bravoman: Cartoon Of Unequalled Excellence and Mappy: The Beat. The former was a direct adaption of the webcomic, produced by Copernicus Studios and directed by Jim Zub and Matt Moylan. The latter was created by Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub and Mary Cagle in the style of their Blamimations cartoons.[9] In 2014, Graphinica produced five five-minute anime episodes based on Wonder Momo, in collaboration with Shiftylook. This anime series was released on Crunchyroll.[10][11]

Video games[edit]

ShiftyLook began publishing a videos games once their webcomics had gained enough traction.

  • Bravoman: Binja Bash! (iOS and Android; no longer available)[2]
  • Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster (Android; developed by WayForward; no longer available)[12]
  • Namco High (Browser game; moved to another website)[2][13]
  • Dig Dug: Burst of Adventure (Browser game; cancelled)

Closure[edit]

On March 10, 2014, they announced that the site would stop updating ten days later on March 20, and the server would be shut down after September 30 the same year. Some other digital merchandise also became unavailable that year.[2][14] The shutdown was announced by ShiftyLook's Casy Casoni, who wrote: "now that we have successfully revived so many franchises, the heavy lifting is completed – and so is our work. We battled the video games abyss and won, which means it's time for us to move on and let the hit-makers play with some new toys." Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly wrote that the ShiftLook model for building audiences and reviving properties "looks to have failed overall," as only a few of the properties (notably Wonder Momo and Bravoman) had gained sufficient popularity.[1]

Udon Entertainment CEO Matt Moylan, who provided a large quantity of ShiftyLook's online content and wrote 300 strips of the Bravoman webcomic, wrote that his work for ShiftyLook was "one of the most creatively rewarding experiences [he has] ever had in comics." Moylan stated that Bandai Namco likely invested too much funds into ShiftyLook up front and that plans to monotize its productions did not materialize until it was too late. Udon published graphic novel adaptations of two ShiftyLook webcomics as the subsidiary was shutting down: Bravoman: Super Unequaled Hero of Excellence and Wonder Momo: Battle Idol.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Reid, Calvin (2014-03-11). "ShiftyLook Webcomics Site to Shut Down". Publishers Weekly.
  2. ^ a b c d Gera, Emily (2014-03-10). "Namco High studio ShiftyLook is shutting its doors". Polygon.
  3. ^ a b c d e Goellner, Caleb (2012-05-09). "Shiftylook Celebrating 30 Years of 'Dig Dug' With Anniversary Webcomic Collaboration". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on 2015-12-08.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Big O's Hitoshi Ariga Draws Klonoa Webcomic for ShiftyLook". Anime News Network. 2012-07-14.
  5. ^ "The Best Comic Books of 2013, Part Two". ComicsAlliance. 2013-12-10.
  6. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (2012-05-26). "Namco Bandai's ShiftyLook to Launch Time Crisis, Valkyrie Webcomics". Anime News Network.
  7. ^ a b ""Rolling Thunder" and "Wonder Momo" Come to ShiftyLook as Webcomics". Comic Book Resources. 2012-04-19.
  8. ^ Nakamura, Toshi (29 January 2014). "Japanese Cult Classic Revived as New Game and Anime". Kotaku.com. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  9. ^ Johnston, Rich (2012-07-14). "ShiftyLook Moves Into Cartoons – Bravoman, Jim Zub, Scott Kurtz And More". Bleeding Cool.
  10. ^ 2014-01-29. "Wonder Momo Game Spawns Web Anime by Graphinica & New Game". Anime News Network.
  11. ^ Saabedra, Humberto (2014-03-10). "Namco Bandai's ShiftyLook Ends Later This Month". Crunchyroll News.
  12. ^ a b Johnston, Rich (2014-03-10). "ShiftyLook Closes – But Udon To Keep Their Comics Going If They Can". Bleeding Cool.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  14. ^ Pereyda, Rob (2014-03-10). "ShiftyLook's Next Step". ShiftyLook. Archived from the original on 2014-03-14.