April 12, 2013
Posted by Danny
Next month will see the publication of my latest book , ANGRY BIRDS: HATCHING A UNIVERSE, the first about the phenomenally successful mobile gaming – and now firmly multi-media – franchise, created by Finland’s Rovio Entertainment.
Written late last year for Insight Editions and in close collaboration with Rovio, Hatching A Universe was an interesting project to take on, as it was, obviously, outside my core specialties of Film and Comics. However, what attracted me to the project was the chance to explore and chronicle the rocket-like rise of a genuine pop culture phenomenon. Since the release of the first game in 2009, Angry Birds has literally conquered the globe.
I travelled to Helsinki at the end of September 2012 to spend some time with Rovio, interviewing key creatives and getting a close-up glimpse of Rovio’s then furiously-expanding headquarters in Espoo, which was a fascinating – if utterly exhausting! – experience. While I was there, the primary focus was on the forthcoming release of their top-secret new game – codenamed “Black” – which, I learned to my enormous surprise, was Angry Birds Star Wars, well and truly proving to me just how malleable Angry Birds could be and, indeed, has become. The moment I truly appreciated just how vast Angry Birds was when I was given a tour of their merchandising department and was overwhelmed by the scope of it: thousands upon thousands of products – approximately 30,000 licensed products in 18 months! – ranging from soft toys to kids bikes to to umbrellas to deluxe watches to fishing tackle (!)…
It was a real pleasure working with Rovio’s Books team, Juha Kallio (far right), Jann Schulte-Tiggs and Laura Nevanlinna, who were incredibly welcoming and efficiently saw to my every need. I think we – along with the books editor, Chris Prince – have crafted an gorgeous-looking book that will take fans through Angry Birds fast and suitably furious rise. Indeed, as I was finishing the book, I learned of Rovio’s plans for the Angry Birds animated movie, due in 2016, and that’s where we end Hatching A Universe. Consequently, I like to think of this book covering Rovio’s “Phase I” of Angry Birds, a la Marvel’s films.
Here’s a look at the book’s vivid cover, created by Rovio’s Jan Schulte-Tiggs:
ANGRY BIRDS: HATCHING A UNIVERSE is published in May via INSIGHT EDITIONS in the US and TITAN BOOKS in the UK.