Indie G Zine Review and Interview with creator Julian Quijano

Indie G Zine Review and Interview with creator Julian Quijano

Ever completed a game that just had those special qualities that just really stood out the most? Or on a more personal level, truly spoke to you not only as a player, but as a more active participant in the world created for its story? How much more actively involved can one be with the game beyond playing it? What lies beyond the player’s experience after setting aside the gamepad?

The answer: all you need is a sketch pad, to reflect on the experience and what scene stood out the most and then draw it.

The Indie G Zine: A Celebration of Both Art and Indie Games is an anthology consisting of 52 art pieces, each created by various illustrators in which each represent their favorite indie game. The anthology was curated by Monster Prom creator, Julian Quijano a.k.a. Beautiful Glitch, who conceived the idea from his love of great art and indie games, and merged both these art forms into one book.

Successfully Kickstarted, the Indie G Zine features an insightfully written foreword by Destructoid associate editor Jonathan Holmes, an illustration based on a game on the left-hand side per page, a description written by Quijano of the game’s unique features, along with the artist’s game experience on the right-hand side. These are accompanied by interviews with the game’s developers themselves at the end.

While illustration and gaming seem to be two separate forms of media, the Indie G Zine sets a prime example that an image depicting a major highlight of a story goes together with the source material that artist based it on. With the artists’ response to the magic behind the work of the devs, these worlds continue to expand and flourish. The artists’ personal experience and their relationship with the source material is not only further explored, but they offer new insights into the games’ uniqueness and timeless qualities.

Now, Quijano is Kickstarting Volume Two of the Indie G Zine:

 

In conjunction with the launching of this new Kickstarter, we had the opportunity to talk with creator Julian Quijano and ask him some questions about the original Indie G Zine:

IndieHangover: What inspired the idea to combine illustration and gaming together in one zine?

Julian Quijano: My process is almost always the same.

Firstly, I let myself get amazed by what surrounds me. In this case, the first step was getting in love with awesome art based on popular video games. I bought 6 pieces on PKMN Battle Royale. The concept was marvelous! At some point, I wanted to experiment with Kickstarter for the first time and I came up with a project around creating medieval styled prints depicting 80s and 90s cartoons. It was called “Pop Middle Ages”. At that time, I was playing Awesomenauts everyday. I love the ‘nauts designs and one day I decided to search for some cool fan merch based on it.

I found almost nothing.

Sometimes, when that happens to me I ask myself if it’s not possible for me open that door. So, I decided to include some indie games on Pop Middle Ages. Awesomenauts, Shovel Knight and Delver’s Drop. It was my 1st Kickstarter and it was mildly successful. It was a great experience even if I can’t call it a complete success to be honest. But I learnt a lot of it (and as a result, I appeared in Shovel Knight‘s credits!).

All this happened during 2014. I worked as a creative freelancer focused on business and communication. In 2015 I became head of communications in a small indie dev company. Once again, I started to gather new knowledge. Then I discovered some awesome art zines I insta-loved. Splendidly Evil, Dragon Ball Zine or Pepperbreath Zine. And it happened again. Everything made sense all of a sudden: the knowledge of the indie scene, the relationship with some artists, the discovery of how to use Twitter in a smarter way, the format of the art zine… It was my 2nd round with an art+indie games project. Prints wasn’t the answer, but a book!

It was my biggest project to this day and it seemed crazy, but it worked in the end! This time the success was clear with more than 300% of the starting goal. Instead of getting myself some money for the months working on it, I wanted to re-invest on improving the whole project, so the humble art zine became a beautiful book. That would be the origin story of the INDIE G ZINE. And obviously, it couldn’t be possible without the collaboration of tons of talented people: devs, artists, graphic designers, backers, etc.

It was something awesome that I feel it needed to exist so I decided to accept the duty of bringing it to life.

IH: Like how memorabilia is made for other forms of media such as movies, television shows, etc. would you say that the Indie G Zine is preserving the games’ legacy in a similar way? In what sense?

JQ: Well, I guess the book is a beautiful way of preserving the memory of indie games. But that is already done by the games themselves, right? I mean… unless Steam explodes at some point, if you wanted to remember The Yawhg, for instance, you could just play it again.

I think products like this book aren’t about preservation, but celebration. Good games create lots of different experiences, feelings, interpretations. As many other art forms, they are a celebration of life itself. We’re not (only) about those games, but about the torrent of beautiful things that are generated by the games themselves.

Visual art is a fine example: UNDERTALE is not just UNDERTALE, but all the conversation that started because of UNDERTALE. This is studied in semiotics: how the reader adds to the text itself. This is now more true than ever. And we’re all about that too: how a (talented) person can turn his/her love for a text into something beautiful that actually adds even more value to the text itself. We celebrate that.

That’s why the reviews and previews aren’t that professional, but a lot more personal. I wanted to convey my most personal thoughts of every game, to express that idea: that part of the beauty of every game is how they’ve created TONS of tiny unique stories attached to every player. And we’re a celebration that gathers illustrators and devs, a celebration about being grateful to each other, a celebration where devs are grateful to artist for creating such beautiful tributes about their own games while artists show their gratefulness by creating such pieces to honor the games they’ve loved!

IH: In the foreword, Jonathan Holmes describes the relationship between the artists and the gamedevs, the desire for artists to step into and depict those worlds the devs create and the devs themselves encouraging this kind of active participation from artists. Could this relationship apply to those involved in other forms of media, such as film, animation, graphic novels, television, etc.? What can those involved in these other areas take away from the relationship between the artists and the gamedevs?

JQ: No idea! I can talk about this field. I guess similar situations happen in other fields! I can say that the relationship between artists and indie devs seems to be pretty healthy and active. You can just go to Twitter and check! Constant collaboration and torrents of awesome fanart.

Our thanks to Julian for taking the time to talk with us about this project.

You can purchase the Indie G Zine on Fangamer here. Follow Julian Quijano and the Monster Prom project on Twitter at @btflglitch.

As stated above, Indie G Zine Volume 2 is currently on Kickstarter, and has raised $4,239 of its $6,348 goal (converted from Euros). There are still 27 days left in its crowdfunding campaign, so if you’re interested in learning more about what Volume 2 will hold, or how to support it, please check out the crowdfunding site.

Additionaly, you can contact indiegzine@gmail.com to leave a link to a portfolio website and your top five favorite indie games. They are always looking for more artists to participate.

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