SciFi.com to Air Second Season of Chi-Chian
A Web series, which is about to enter its second season, reportedly began as common mythology would have us believe many a creative endeavor begins — as a sketch doodled out on a coffee shop tablecloth. Chi-Chian, a dark sci-fi online animated series running on www.scifi.com is the brain child of Voltaire, an animator and comic book writer whose stop-animation commercial work runs the gambit from IKEA commercials to making beer bottles play football in the famous "Budbowl" commercials for Budweiser.
The character of Chi-Chian and the world she inhabits was created by Voltaire in his spare time, until finally he poured it out in comic book form. Around that time Voltaire was working with the Sci-Fi channel on animation for station IDs. He presented the Sci-Fi channel with a sketch of Chi-Chian which resulted in a station ID, in which a stop-motion version of Chi-Chian electrocutes a giant robot. Voltaire earned the respect of comic book publisher, Sirius Entertainment who commissioned him to create a six issue miniseries of Chi-Chian. Although the comic book never broke through mainstream following, it appealed to niche readers of dark science fiction.
In November of 2000, Chi-Chian was reborn into an animated flash series on scifi.com and will continue with new episodes in April 2001.
Typically, Web animation is created using vector based graphics or flat animation. However, this is no ordinary flash animation. For the Chi-Chian series, Voltaire builds actual three-dimensional stop-motion models, photographs them, scans them into the computer and then has them animated in Adobe Live Motion. The series is completely photographic, looking more like a stop-motion film than traditional flash graphics.
In a statement Voltaire describes the series: "Tim Burton and H. R Geiger get together with Ray Harryhausen to create a Japanese Anime!"
It is a futuristic story set in a Japanese owned, war-ravaged Manhattan run by giant caterpillars. Chi-Chian, the lovely gothic heroine together with her friends the giant roaches, fight the evil powers that be.
Voltaire is also the creator of another comic book series "Oh My Goth," a satire of the gothic music scene revolving around a pompous extraterrestrial named Heironymous Poshe.