Wednesday 5 June 2013

Walking your Octopus (E-Book for iPhone, iPad) by Brian Kesinger and Eric Daniels (Aerfish / Baby Tattoo)

For happy healthy cephalopods, you really need this in your life!
I'll gladly admit to being more than slightly obsessed with steampunk (blame Alan Moore and Bryan Talbot for their exemplary work on "Nemesis the Warlock" for kicking off my obsession). So when we spied this rather tasty looking e-book on another website, we thought we'd investigate. Luckily for us, the rather smashing Eric Daniels got in touch with us and with a secret masonic handshake or two, we've been taking a closer look at this utterly beautiful electronic tome.

Forgive my flowery language. Half an hour with this app and you'll feel the necessity to slip into a faux BBC Radio Announcer / Victorian Music-Hall drawl. The superb narration in the app really does rub off on you!

"Walking your Octopus" tells you, in a beautifully illustrated steampunk style, how to keep your pet in tip top condition. After all, looking after an octopus shouldn't be taken lightly - they're not just for Christmas, you know!

With deliciously slick swipe controls and Aerfish's rather lovely presentation (including the patented "AereoScope" panel transition that makes the app really come alive), you're guided through all the great advice you need.

Brian Kesinger, an award winning Disney concept artist (Along with Eric who was the guy responsible for making sure Rapunzel's amazing hair was kept in good order on the film "Tangled") has drawn some truly beautiful illustrations (and he's made me fall completely and hopelessly in love with Victoria Prismall, the book's rather gorgeous Steampunk Octo-Mistress!)

Helen Sadler provides pitch perfect narration and there's a fitting musical piano accompaniment in the app to keep things tinkling along.

Here's a thing though - I don't really think there's anything in here that's too saucy for children (admittedly, Victoria has a rather risque line in clothing and can be seen languishing in the bath in one of the illustrations) but Apple have (perhaps, echoing victorian values) slapped a 12 rating on this for "mild nudity and suggestive themes". So before you zoom off showing this to your children you might want to cast eyes over it first (as I said, I don't think it's got anything they probably wouldn't have seen in your average Bratz cartoon).

This is the sort of e-book that gives us a huge amount of ammo to fire at the argument that e-books and print books can't live alongside each other and reach a happy detente (in fact there is a print version of this book, we're happy to report, and we will most definitely be picking it up as soon as it's released in the UK - lucky Stateside folk may already have it). Slick, intuitive, a real joy to look at and read again and again, "Walking your Octopus" is beautiful, smart and steampunky stuff and we really hope this isn't the last we see of Victoria. She's wonderful!

Walking your Octopus on iPhone

Walking your Octopus on iPad