featurebanner_titaniumrain_newsAshley Neuhaus 09-APR-2013 You’ve heard of the Oscars and the Harvey’s, but have you heard of the Audies? Audiobooks will not be left out in getting recognized. This year, the audiobook of TITANIUM RAIN by Josh Finney is nominated for not one, but TWO Audies.

“The graphic novel series that made waves back in 2010 when it was banned by the Chinese government for portraying a fictionalized civil war in China is now turning heads in the audiobook industry. In 2012 TITANIUM RAIN was adapted by the Audio Comics Company, turning the book into a full-cast radio drama with cutting-edge effects and an original score by BBC composer Jonathan Sharp. The production was scripted by the book’s author, Josh Finney, and directed by William Dufris. Their effort has resulted in two nominations for the 2013 Audie Awards—considered the Oscars of the audio book industry. TITANIUM RAIN has been nominated in the categories of BEST AUDIO DRAMA and BEST ORIGINAL PRODUCTION. Other competitors for these awards include Neil Gaiman’s SWORDPOINT and Yuri Rasovsky’s DIE, SNOW WHITE! DIE DAMN YOU!

The Audie Awards (or Audies) are bestowed annually in the USA for outstanding audiobooks. The Audies have been granted by the Audio Publishers Association, a not-for-profit trade organization, since 1996. The nominees are announced each year in January, and the winners are announced at a gala banquet in spring, usually in conjunction with BookExpo America. Awards are given in close to thirty categories. For a complete list of the finalists visit: http://www.theaudies.com/

Titanium Rain is a sci-fi war epic for the post-millennial age. In the year 2031 mankind’s survival instinct is put to the test when a civil war in China spirals into global conflict. Nations are destroyed. Millions are killed. And for many, like US Air Force pilot Alec Killian, survival will mean shedding some of his humanity in exchange for biotech and machine. Is this the ultimate corruption of nature, or the birth pains of a new chapter in mankind’s evolution? Extended cuts from the audio drama and soundtrack can be heard at: http://titaniumrainaudio.com/

The TITANIUM RAIN audio drama and its original soundtrack are now available for download iTunes, Amazon.com, and AudioComics Digital Direct! For more information visit: http://www.titaniumrainaudio.com

I talk to Josh once in a while on Twitter so I contacted him to get a quote or two about the news of the nominations and his responses to my questions turned into a mini interview of sorts.

AN: When you first heard the news of TITANIUM RAIN being nominated for an Audie, what was your reaction?

JF: Naturally, I was thrilled by the news. I had been deeply involved in the audio production of TITANIUM RAIN every step of the way. Along with scripting the production I was present for the recording, was able to speak with many of the voice actors, and I was even allowed something of a hands-on approach when it came time to editing the whole thing. The director, Bill Dufris, would send me the “dailies” of what he’d been working on and I’d give him input. He was even open to me creating new sound effects and ambient backdrop to go along with what he’d already put in place. The TITANIUM RAIN audio drama was a major group effort and I was thrilled to see it pay off.

What Bill Dufris and the Audio Comics Company have done is truly ground breaking in terms of the audio drama format. There is literally NOTHING out there that sounds remotely like what was achieved with TITANIUM RAIN. As a fan of the medium, I don’t say that mildly. So again, it was kind of a vindication of sorts to see the Audies take notice of this.

Kat Rocha and Josh Finney
Kat Rocha and Josh Finney

AN: Seeing as how it’s a visual medium, did you ever think a graphic novel COULD be translated into an audiobook?

JF: Did I think it would ever happen? No. But did I want it to happen since day one of creating the book? Absolutely. Like I said, I’m ahuge fan of audio drama and audiobooks, so it was something I always wanted for my own work. It’s one of the reasons I had commissioned a TITANIUM RAIN soundtrack from BBC composer Jonathan Sharp long before I’d even met the Audio Comics crew.

AN: Why make audio productions? They don’t generate much money so how do sideline projects help sell the comics?

JF:  Actually this is far from the truth. The biggest problem in comics today is the system is set up in such a way that everyone gets paid EXCEPT the talent. Publishers, distributors, store owners…all down the line people see a profit from the material creators like me toil to make. In terms of TITANIUM RAIN I can honestly say the money I’ve received for the graphic novel doesn’t even come close to what the audio drama has paid out. 

Money issues aside, there are a lot of reasons to create an audio drama. First, it’s a great medium to work in. It allows for certain
aspect of a story to be told that aren’t possible in the graphic medium –the inclusion of music and a more free-form breed of dialog,
for instance. Often in comics a dramatic pause, small moments of reactive dialog, or even a  random chuckle will be cut due to space
consideration, where as in the audio format there are no such limits. Also, I don’t think the public at large have realized how much the
audio format had exploded in the last few years. Now more than ever, fewer and fewer people actually have the time to sit down and actually “read” a book. We spend so much of our lives now commuting and sitting in cubicles, the audio medium has opened doors for us to enjoy the written word again. If you need any indicator at just how huge this market has grown just take a look at Audible—Amazon.com’s audiobook service.

Another aspect of the audio drama is that it’s allowed TITANIUM RAIN to be introduced to a whole new audience, which is frankly a whole lot more diverse (and open to new ideas) than the local comic store crowd.