Super Dan origin: a swipeable graphic novel for the Instagram age.

To launch the Instagram account for Chinese badminton legend Lin Dan, creative agency monopo London in collaboration with illustration studio AmCo Studio crafted a graphic novel for the digital age. Scrollable, swipeable, shareable. A nine-episode Origin Story retelling Lin Dan’s rise from birth to superhero status.

A finely illustrated graphic novel in 9 episodes

monopo and AmCo Studio crafted 9 episodes of the graphic novel. The 9 chapters show Lin Dan growing up as a child, going through his teenage years and displaying early signs of genius throughout - but equally the tribulations that shaped him. A new chapter was released every day, building up to the final chapter in which Lin Dan is given his title of Super Dan.

A bespoke cover illustration was crafted for every episode, creating a real sense of collectability across the volumes.

Every episode is a 10-frame carousel that reads as a traditional graphic novel.

The graphic novel format was reshaped into a continuous and swipeable Instagram carousel. To add dynamism, the visuals don’t follow a traditional grid and instead bleed across different frames. Small text call-outs, close-ups and action shots help vary the rhythm.

Art direction: epic, gritty and noir. 

The graphic novel feels epic and gritty, taking inspiration from both traditional manga and gritty “noir” graphic novels. A notable inspiration was the Japanese cyberpunk manga series AKIRA, written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo.

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