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.
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 (on @thereallindan), 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.
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.