So, what IS GraphicAudio?

A graphic audio book of The Way of Shadows (part 1 of 2)  is coming out in April, with installments following it monthly.

But Brent, I thought you already have an audiobook.

Yeah, I do. But GraphicAudio does something different. GraphicAudio performs books with actors and sound effects and a sound track. The books ARE abridged: say if I wrote “It was raining,” instead of hearing someone narrate those words, you’d hear the sound of rain. In my mind, abridging or adapting is a creative work in itself. For example, remember that Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Romeo + Juliet“? A bit different than Shakespeare probably imagined the action–and yet totally cool in its own way.   That’s how I feel about adaptations. GraphicAudio will bring its own vision to this book. And I, for one, am eager to see what they’ve come up with.

One geeky bonus: If you want to know how _I_ pronounce everything, this should be the authoritative source. As an author, I try to make my made up words look different on the page–among other considerations, of course–but I don’t care too much how you pronounce them. Take Vi. Pronounce it Vie, or pronounce it Vee. Your call. You might even think one is cool, and the other sucks. Naturally, I’d like you to choose the one you think is cool. To me, this is part of the co-creation of a world that happens between a reader and an author. I’m just an architect, folks. You get to pick out the drapes yourself.

A graphic audiobook has different demands, so I was delighted when the director called me up and went through a list of names and places and recorded how to say every single one of them. We had a great chat. He even asked my opinion on some of his creative ideas for music, accents, and the whole nine yards. This doesn’t always happen–once he buys the rights from my corporate overlords, he can do WHATEVER he wants with those rights. That’s how it works. So I appreciate the level of craftsmanship and passion he showed. It makes me eager to see the result. If you want to get a taste of what it’s like, they’ve posted THIS SAMPLE which is the first nine minutes/the first chapter of the book. Go ahead, you can go listen.

39 thoughts on “So, what IS GraphicAudio?

  1. Jhony says:

    heard it…it was great, any idea how much they’re gonna go by?

    1. leif says:

      So the actors and sound effects is awesome but the damn background music is so annoying imo.

      still interesting though but i prefer a good normal audiobook/book.

  2. Andrew says:

    When I saw the latest catalog from GraphicAudio showing Night Angel coming soon, I was very excited.

    I’ve “read” a few of their titles… they charge a bit more, but it really is pretty cool.

    Can’t wait!

  3. brent says:

    No idea how much they charge. I’m new to this too!

  4. Andrew says:

    They tend to charge $19.99 for an Audio CD of one “part” or $12.99 for MP3 download.

    At least, that’s what I’ve paid for everything else of theirs that I bought (except on the “outlet” site)

    Once they have had all of the parts out for some time, they usually release a “long haul” box set with all of the parts plus a CD of “bonus materials” for about the same price as all of the parts.

  5. Bobbie says:

    Well I’ve never heard of these before but I’m really liking it..will take time to get used to Durzo’s voice but damn I can’t wait to see what they do with Momma K.

  6. Tango says:

    awesome! XD

  7. Shane says:

    I was excited at first until I listened to the sample. There’s no way I can deal with that as Durzo’s voice. He’s be alive hundreds of years, I’d like to think his voice is a bit more refined that a muddy pirate.

    And Azoth sounds (grunts) like he’s at least 17. Not this weak, frail boy that he is at that time of the story.

    There’s no way I could sit through that. The Night Angel series is too important to me to let it be corroded like that.

    Why did you sell off so many rights so fast? Movie, audio, etc.

  8. Rob Thomas says:

    Does Graphic Audio ship to the Caribbean.

  9. Erin says:

    That was frickin’ amazing. I know what happens in the story and I still felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat. Well done.

  10. brent says:

    Sorry you don’t like it. The way rights work is you have a book and you want to sell it. When you finally find a company that will buy it, they ask for World English rights. I signed the paper, and then THEY owned the rights: audiobook, graphic audio, omnibus, large print–whatever they want to do they can. I get a cut if they can sell these subrights, but I don’t get a veto.
    The movie rights, graphic novel rights, and some others are not covered under World English rights, but many are.

    I’m not sure… if it doesn’t say on their website, I’ll check.

    Thanks for the info!

  11. Jesse Gerbrandt says:

    Buying that! I didn’t mind Blints voice and he might not sound like that all the time, he’s just a little drunk and pissed off at the moment.I also enjoyed this much more then the audio book.

  12. Matt says:

    I have to agree with Shane on Durzo’s lousy voice, muddy pirate describes it perfectly. But I am excited to hear what they did with Azoth’s voice, as all we heard was him grunting. As long as Azoth’s is ok I can deal with the rest. I loved the sound effects. This will be a great way to reread the the series but get a different experience. Can’t wait!

  13. Hoshi says:

    So I am only half way through reading the first book as it is (a little slow on the uptake, I know) . . . and now that I have heard Durzo’s voice in that sample it will never be able to leave the gray matter that is my brain. I know it wasn’t your choice, Brent, but for the love of everything holy the casting director should be beaten with a rubber hose. A little gruff, yes, but that’s a just a weeeee-bit too over the top for me. Maybe Jesse’s right, maybe it’ll sound different when he isn’t inebriated and pissed. One can only hope.

  14. Shane says:

    I like the premise of what Graphic Audio is doing, I just can’t deal with the casting. I also realized how poorly typed my first reply was. That is what sleeping 2 hours a night gets you.

    I love every thing NA, so part of me really wants to sit through it. I’m just scared that if I do, no matter how hard I try…those awful voices will be stuck in my head when I re-read it. Or hopefully when the saga continues in another trilogy.

    Thanks for the reply Brent! To bad you don’t get more of a say but then again, I can see the draw of wondering how someone else imagines the story.

  15. Alan says:

    Love it! This just might be the fix we have been waiting for until the new series comes out. I was so excited I immediately posted the link on my Facebook to spread around the frenzy.

    You sir have done a wonderful job creating this alternate world. I can’t wait to see how this graphic audio series will influence those creating the movie. As the slogan says, ‘A Movie in Your Mind’.

  16. nic says:

    I just finished reading the third, and immediately went to see if there were more coming yet! I listened to the blurb, and agree that I don’t really like his voice, but what got me more was how melodramatic the narrator was – I read it in a more sarcastic and sardonic tone I think – oh well, so won’t be buying the audio (never have before, but was tempted with the pronunciations) but have your next book marked on a wishlist so I can buy it when it comes out… thanks for wrtiting

  17. Chris Balkcom says:

    Azoth’s voice sounded like it was supposed to when I listened to it just now, at least in my mind. Durzo’s voice is a little annoying, but I think I can get used to it and grow to like it. I really like the premise of the graphic audio series, and it looks like it will do the Night Angel trilogy justice. Good call, Brent! Also, can’t wait for the Black Prism!

  18. Jeremy says:

    Excellent idea, horrible execution.
    Voice actors aren’t all that great. Horrible voice acting. I’ll stick to ink on paper and author-reader relationship.

  19. Caius says:

    I’ve never listened to audiobooks before, but this is actually really cool. Having worked with music and sound design myself, I know how much effort this sort of thing takes; I’m actually amazed that it can be produced and sold at such a reasonable price. I don’t mind Durzo’s voice in it. I think his voice, like most elements of a book, work better in each reader’s imagination than any actor can create it.

  20. Matt says:

    The first GraphicAudio release from The Night Angel Trilogy is now available!

  21. Alex says:

    It sounded awesome, and I don’t like many graphic audio samples I’ve heard in the past.

    Silly crazed fans. You should stop knit-picking over Durzo’s voice. I thought it was fine, and I’m sure it’ll grow on you.

  22. Mrblah3 says:

    I actually kinda like it. Durzos was a bit… odd, but i got over it. I loved the assasins(Or wetboys) voice, i hope they do roths voice good enough

  23. Sil says:

    Well, this was my first experience with GraphicAudio in this form and all I can say is: at least it’s better than the normal audio book and this will most likely replace audio books in the long run.

    Fun fact: This is taking audio books to the way stories were told on radio in the pre television era which, in my humble opinion, is a step in the right direction.

    All in all I have to say it’s nice for people who can’t read the story for themselves for any reason, but it still doesn’t beat reading the story yourself. 🙂

    Now about the recording itself:
    Personally I’d like to have the story telling voice to be more natural. The way it’s done now still reminds me too much of audio books.
    The background sound could be toned down a bit, from time to time I found it too present, pushing voices to the background making the story harder to follow.

  24. Jhony says:

    i just heard the second part, and it was just epic…Kaldrosa’s voice is pretty much as i heard it on my mind, maybe Durzo’s voice is not want we imagined but it’s not like it will ruin the story…im still getting it regardless

  25. Aeryck says:

    I’ve actually listend to a few of the Graphic Audio titles and some of them, particularly the DC Comics titles are a lot of fun! But I really dig Brent’s writing, so I’ll probably get it. Regardless of the actor playing Durzo.

  26. Lia says:

    I really enjoyed it and think they did a great job. I’ve listened to quite a few audio books and very few of them matched up to what I heard in my mind. This one did.

  27. Mags says:

    I’m kinda new to the whole world of Night Angel, but I have heard a bunch of adapted audiobooks before. I think that these Graphic Audio people do an amazing job compared to other stuff I’ve heard. I really lost myself while listening to it — I thought all the sound effects were pretty cool and the characterizations were, in turns, fun and moving.

  28. Tabby says:

    I enjoy listening to audio books but this takes it to a new level. I loved all the sounds and music (even the faint background sounds) really brings narration it to life. I think the actors did a great job and I loved their voices. I am new to Brent Week’s books but have enjoyed his creativity very much (and it’s nice to know that the director valued Brent’s opinion and vision for this too).

    Now in a graphic audio my next road trip won’t be the same. I’m excited and can’t wait!

  29. Joshua Anderson says:

    I was wondering if you’ve been approched about a movie yet? With all of the books being made into movies these day I’m certain that these great books have gotten some attention.

  30. Robert says:

    Joshua, yes, he has been approached about a movie. I can’t recall when, but I did hear about it a while back on this site, his site.

  31. MJ says:

    Having heard some other Graphic Audio CDs (the DC Comics stuff), I was curious about the other releases. I listened to and dug their take on the NA trilogy. Now, nothing compares to actually reading the book, but GAs approach to a radio show-type of storytelling is pretty freakin’ awesome.

    To SIL: I don’t think you can get away from the experience of hearing a narrator voice. You either go along with the format or you don’t. Good point though. Something about only having the sound effects forces the narration to be there, without it, the medium would be film or TV and, BRENT, that needs to happen.

  32. Lauren says:

    It’s an awesome concept, although I like creating images/voices of characters way too much to listen to it and have it tainted. Way to go Brent…gotta feed the family right? 🙂

  33. TheWMan says:

    The moment I discovered these, I purchased Way of Shadows. It’s fantasic. Like re-experiencing the book, a truly unique experience. I highly recommend this.
    (Also, I enjoyed Durzo’s voice. I pictured him gruff like that. Just my 2c)

  34. Sean says:

    I thought it was amazing, you can really tell GraphicAudio puts a lot of time into everything they put out. I actually liked the the voice actors for Durzo and Kyler, Eric Messner did an amazing job! Everything I have heard from them has been executed great.

  35. Luke says:

    I’ve tried several different novels done by graphic audio, and I can’t stand them. I find all the sound effects distracting, often making the narration more difficult to hear and understand. Worse yet is when they choose to add a modulation to a character’s voice such as they did in Warbreaker (Sanderson). I can appreciate what they are attempting, but feel they end up with a “quantity over quality” approach to the narration. As much as I love this book series, I will not subject myself to another tortuous audiobook produced by them. On a positive note, I cannot wait for Broken Eye!

  36. Vasyl says:

    I completely disagree with Luke, yes some people don’t like it like Luke above, but saying outrageous thing like “quantity over quality”, go to hell, you don’t like it? Ok, fine, it’s your opinion and I accept it, but saying that they end up with “quantity over quality” is offencive and paints you as simple hater.
    Don’t listen to Luke there, try semple from graphic audio, if you don’t like it fine, but don’t miss it because some one says “quantity over quality” without any good reason, but solely on his dislike of the material.
    Graphic audio brought me nothing, but sheer joy and I can’t wait to listen to Lightbringer book 3 Broken Eye.

  37. Did that not post? If it’s being moderated, please have something that says so, so the poster knows why the post just disappeared. Assuming it didn’t for some reason…

    “These have been around for years, called “audio dramas”. On the BBC since Boomer was a pup, and Big Finish have done literally thousands of full cast “graphic audios” from series like Doctor Who, Dark Shadows, Sherlock Holmes, etc., as well as original series like Dorian Grey, Bernice Summerfield, Jago and Lightfoot and Iris Wildthyme.

    Some marketer had a bright idea, made up a new word, and people are acting like that’s a new thing. In fact these might be less compared to the “full cast audio dramas” because being full cast is not part of the definition. You could have one actor voicing three parts.

    It’s a great format. As Colin Baker, the 6th Dr. Who (still going strong at Big Finish) once quipped, “Audio dramas always have the very best sets!” But it’s nothing new.”

  38. Daniel says:

    Personally I am looking forward to it. The way you (brent) tell your story is so immersed that it would be hard for a single person let alone a company to meet everyones expectations but from having listened to other Graphic audios products I feel that it will be a very interesting telling of the books. If the ones in charge asked and listened to your ideal of the story, then it can only be observed as and expansion of the night angel experience.

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