Cognito Comics Unveils Digital Graphic Novel for the iPad

Stephen Kinzer Inspired Historical Narrative: First Use of New Tall Chair Active Reader

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2010) - COMICON - First there were comic books, then there were graphic novels, and now there is a new immersive graphic entertainment experience designed specifically for the iPad. Taking full advantage of new media and mobile entertainment technologies, emerging publisher Cognito Comics, and gaming experience experts Tall Chair, Inc., today announced the simultaneous development of an immersive nonfiction narrative and Active Reader application that expands storytelling within the nonfiction narrative genre.

Original story based on history:
Operation Ajax is inspired by the investigative journalism of best-selling author, Stephen Kinzer and his work All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Kinzer has partnered with Cognito Comics as its advisor and is actively involved in editing the historic CIA thriller.

Operation Ajax tells the true story of the CIA's involvement in the Middle East and the roots of the modern American conflict with Iran.

"There is an obvious gap emerging in the world of digital comics between the static and the interactive panel," said Cognito Comics founder and CEO, Daniel Burwen. "We looked at new ways to bridge that gap by engaging people in narrative nonfiction with intricate art and layers of information. We let the audience choose what they want to access, at their own pace, without interrupting the flow of a story. And, that is fundamental to an immersive graphic novel experience."

First Interactive Reader Application for iPad:
Developed by Tall Chair, Inc., the Tall Chair Active Reader is a powerful iPad application that takes the audience beyond a traditional panel-by-panel reading style.

"Technology makes it possible to re-imagine how much detail we can include in a graphic novel," said Dan Brazelton, CEO, Tall Chair, Inc. "The Tall Chair Active Reader for the iPad opens up new and extremely creative ways for authors, artists and publishers to tell a well rounded story. They can create books that hold layers of interesting articles, photographs or writings which expand the story they are delivering."

The Active Reader makes it possible for an infinite layer of research-rich facts, interesting journalism and photos to be embedded within a historical narrative. Factual information and original documents discovered while the audience follows the plot can be easily accessed and effortlessly viewed without having to leave the pages of the book.

"We are able to throw away the limitations of a static page and guide people to secret passageways they can go to throughout the historical thriller," added Tall Chair's Dan Brazelton.

For example, in a recent blog post from comic book maven Scott McCloud titled About "About 'About Digital Comics,'" he notes: "Long form comics are different from strips. If a cartoonist wants their readers to stick with a 60-page story about their Moroccan grandmother's struggle with Diabetes, they need that reader to lose themselves in the story. That means keeping readers' eyes on the page. Every time a reader looks away to navigate, they're leaving the world of the story, and returning to the world of scrollbars and links."

Operation Ajax:
Based on Stephen Kinzer's investigative research, the narrative nonfiction in Operation Ajax examines the facts behind today's political conflicts in the Middle East. A nameless protagonist -- an amalgamation of government agents whose names were redacted from declassified CIA records -- is the central character. He recalls the dramatic historical events he was involved in with heads of state, covert agents, and underground political activists. This is the first of what will be a series that follows the Protagonist as he looks back upon a lifetime of experiences of working in South America, Africa, Great Britain and the Middle East, and the memories that haunt him in his retirement.

Cognito Comics' Operation Ajax will be online this fall. To be notified when the book becomes available, please tweet us at:

Cognito Team:

  • Executive Producer, Concept and Creative Director - Daniel Burwen, EA, Activision, Tony Hawk, James Bond
  • Art Director, Story By - Mike De Seve, Dreamworks, Emmy-nominated director and screenwriter, Monsters vs. Aliens, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Beavis TV
  • Editorial Advisor, Original Research - Stephen Kinzer, United States author and newspaper reporter and veteran New York Times foreign correspondent

Tall Chair Team:

  • CEO - Dan Brazelton, Crystal Dynamics, Maxis/EA, Lamplighter Studios, Social Gaming Network
  • Creative Director - Scott Stevens, Lamplighter Studios, Designer Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (Warner Brothers)
  • Executive Producer - Ben Acevedo, Lamplighter Studios, EA, Yahoo!, Executive Producer Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (Warner Brothers)

About Cognito Comics:
Cognito Comics creates a new genre of interactive reading experiences on the iPad and other cutting edge technologies. The company is producing graphic novels that address a wide range of research-rich topics previously inaccessible in traditional print media. For more information, visit Follow Cognito Comics on Twitter at

About Tall Chair, Inc.:
Tall Chair, Inc. is a San Francisco-based independent developer of highly rated mobile touch applications, such as Warner Brother's Sherlock Holmes Mysteries and Cowboys vs. Zombies for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Tall Chair collaborates with partners and developers to help bring great ideas and projects to life. Armed with a solid art background, inventive designs and a tenacious and sometimes maddening desire to make compelling experiences, Tall Chair is redefining mobile touch media. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

For more information:
Heidi Groshelle
Groshelle Communications

Final Scene, First Issue, Operation Ajax