Imaginary Friends working on Fall Out Toyworks 5 Issue mini series

By ANAND GURNANI | 13 July, 2009 - 00:00

SINGAPORE: Imaginary Friends, a next gen creative design and illustration boutique based out of Singapore with a satellite facility in Jakarta, is working on the illustration of a new series of comics for the famous band Fall  Out Boy which is to be published by Image Comics in September this year.

"Fall Out Toyworks," a five-issue miniseries revolves around a mysterious toymaker, a cyborg gal named Tiffany and a kid in a bear suit. Conceived by Pete Wentz and Los Angeles designer Darren Romanelli, "Toyworks" will be written by Brett Lewis (who wrote the acclaimed "The Winter Men" series and Image's "Bulletproof Monk" book) with art from Sam Basri and Imaginary Friends Studios.

Speaking to AnimationXpress Asia Pacific about their current bouquet of projects, Imaginary Friends Kai Lim who is one of the three founders of the studio shared, "Fallout Toyworks was a great experience namely due to Dave Elliot's (our editor and art director on FOTW) involvement in the project. He not only helped to communicate Pete's and Darren's vision to us, but helped guide and define the look and style of the material. At the same time he was very accommodating with our style and design choices, allowing us to flex our creative muscles in a fun and engaging work process."

Other current projects at the studio include the development of a few original properties along with Freemantle Media and the Media Development Authority of Singapore which will be adapted into live action and animation TV series. The studio is also working on the art for the game Front Mission being developed by Square Enix.

The studio was founded 5 years ago by three friends, Stanley "Artgerm" Lau, one of the top artists on with close to 6 million page; Kendrick "Kunkka" Lim, a game designer who worked previously at a Tokyo-based game studio; and Kai "Ukitakumuki" Lim, who at 19 had already art directed two major game mods for Half-Life 2 including Hull Breach and Nuclear Dawn.

Currently, between its Singapore and Jakarta facilities, a total of 30 artists are part of the Imaginary Friends stable. The studio which boasts of a clientele including DC Comics, Sony Online Entertainment, Square Enix, Viz Media LLC, Electronic Arts Animax Asia and Ubisoft Development amongst others is also in the midst of developing its own intellectual properties.

True to its uniqueness, one of the Intellectual properties it is working on is an Anthology of Ideas which will be a print publication by IFS. It will showcase a number of ideas and IPs that IFS has created, and these would be represented in many different art styles and different approaches to storytelling. For example, a particular property could be done in a conventional comic book style, whereas another would be explained in just concept art alone, accompanied by prose.

"We are hoping to explore range of possibilities, and at the same time cater to the artbook/comics market, eventually with the intention to use the product as a compilation production bible. But for the current economic climate, the Anthology would have already been published by now. Nevertheless, we are exploring new ways to push our ideas onto the market instead of the traditional route of just print media. " Shared Kai.

Talking about the game concept art related work that IFS does and the trends in that space, Kai added, "We continue to be commissioned to take part in large scale game productions. Unfortunately almost all of them are still under NDA. We have noticed that numerous game companies are moving into the 'casual'/mobile gaming space and we realize the potential for such projects where consumer reach, project scope/turnaround time and variety are concerned. And we are looking for new ways to express our ideas, such as casual games on social platforms."