Brian Haberlin is a comic book artist, writer, editor and producer. He began his career in comics working at Top Cow Productions, where he co-created the Witchblade franchise.
He founded Haberlin Studios in 1995, producing commercial illustrations and digital coloring for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Image Comics.
He is one of the creators of Anomaly Productions a cutting-edge media company that uses CrazyTalk lip-sync animation while combining stunning artwork and rich stories to build deeply immersive worlds than can be experienced across multiple platforms and in a multitude of ways.
Q: Hello Brian, and welcome to our feature story. Tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I’ve been a professional artist since I was 18. I started my career in comics in Top Cow productions in 1993, prior to that I’d been working at television for several years at Warner Bros television. But I always loved comics, and always worked on comics in my side time, and while I was working at the studio I was developing a lot of the production methods for doing comics on the computer. From coloring, to using tablets, to doing all kinds of stuff. Most of the processes that people use today are from what I developed back in 1993.
Q: What type of software do you use in your line of work?
Well it’s mostly Photoshop these days, but that’s changing a bit because there’s now lots of little software out there that can do. You know I’ve been doing work on the computer since the Amiga days, and I’ve seen a lot of this stuff come and go, and it feels very much like you have many things in your toolset. And for a long time Photoshop kind of filled the niche for everything, it kind of won, but before that it was Aldus PhotoStyler, Micrografx Picture Publisher, it was a multiple of programs and each one of them did something that you wanted to have them around for.
The amazing one of them all that died and got taken away was Dulux Paint way, way back in the day. And that still back then had features that Photoshop and other programs still don’t have. So I’m a 2D guy, 3D guy, hybrid guy. I very much believe in hybridization and I very much believe in analog and digital. For me it’s really a Faustian thing so I always keep my eyes out for techniques.
Q: Could you elaborate a bit on Anomaly Productions, and what you guys do?
So Anomaly came out in 2012. I am co-owner of Anomaly with Skip Brittenham, and we do interactive graphic novels and comic books and augmented reality apps like Anomaly, Shifter, Faster Than Light, Fury Formula, and Between Worlds. We did Anomaly which is the longest original full-color novel ever done, over 360 pages.
Anomaly 2 came out in 2016, and Anomaly 3 in 2017. And all our books have the augmented reality component so when you get the book, you can download the app for free (iOS, Android). You can point the apps at the pages and the pages become interactive with 3D model characters and they will talk to you, yell at you, play games with you and all that kind of stuff.
As a creator that was exciting because when Anomaly launched initially it had 25 interactive pages and now it has 60 interactive pages, making it the only graphic novel in history that can grow after publication.
Q: How did you discover CrazyTalk and what made you start using our software?
I think I started looking around for lip-sync solutions, and now I am getting more and more interested in non-photo real rendering. And I think I was intrigued when five years ago someone did an illustration of Bruce Lee saying one of his things.
He was animated in CrazyTalk and it looked so good and so natural, and it was so easy to use. When I showed the audience in Comic-Con there were gasps when I took a head, did basic face-fitting and threw an idle motion. Quite frankly that is one of the most miraculous thing I’ve seen in my life. Because all of a sudden it literally comes to life. It’s alive!
So I went with CrazyTalk because it was just the most elegant solution for what I needed. And I’ve been a fan of CrazyTalk and Reallusion for some time.
We will be using CrazyTalk especially in our Faster than Light comic book, and every month we will have an Augmented Reality scene with CrazyTalk captain’s log.
Q: Are there any upcoming projects from Anomaly Productions? What are the prices of the issues, and where can readers get a hold of them?
Everything will be continuing with Anomaly, Shifter, Fury Formula, Faster than Light, and whatever else we throw into the pipeline.
Anomaly itself is a big 11×17 landscape, hardcover book, that comes in a box that you can get that for a retail price of $75, but usually goes for $50 on Amazon.
Shifter is $20, and the comic books are $2.99 each. You can get the hardcover books at Amazon and for the issues you can get them at your local comic book store since 2015.
Download Anomaly’s Ultimate Augmented Reality APP
Once you download and open the APP:
1. Click on Start/Get Started.
2. Hit the Book icon in the upper left corner.
3. Jump to the final Current Set/Chapter 5.
4. Tap “Collector’s Edition Prints” (lower right), then Close.
5. Point at any of the target images below with your Augmented Reality app, and experience their CrazyTalk animations.
To see more of their work, visit >>