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No/One – An Excellent Use of the Internet for Enhancing a Story

A few weeks ago, I previewed No/One on Middle-Aged Fat Kids. No/One is a comic book by Kyle Higgins that is receiving some unusual tie-ins such as in-world social media, websites, and a true crime podcast hosted by fictional crime reporters portrayed Rachel Leigh Cook and Patton Oswalt. This past Wednesday, No/One was released and I’ve had a time to read the book and listen to the accompanying podcast and I thought I’d share some thoughts.

 

Set to release over the next ten months, No/One is a ten issue comic book set in Pittsburgh, PA. The book follows the story of No/One, a hacktivist who has released a few data dumps on some unethical people, who were subsequently murdered or attacked. Each month’s issue unravels the story, which is then expanded upon by the monthly true crime podcast called Who is No/One, created by The Drop a fictional imprint of the Pittsburgh Ledger.

What made No/One appeal to me was the utilization of the internet to further tell the story. The first issue of the comic was not great. It spent some time setting up the world, and even explaining the reluctance of the reporters to do a podcast, but when I finished the first issue I was intrigued, but not overly engaged. Then I listened to the podcast. Hearing the reporters from the comic book come to life was incredible. The reporters were given time to fill in the gaps and further explain some plot points that were glossed over and it really enhanced the book. It really helped clarify everything I read and assisted me in figuring out exactly who everyone was. I have a feeling No/One is a story that is going to be better the more you lean into the universe.

In addition to the podcast, a Twitter account was created that even featured a live action “viral” video a few weeks ago. The Twitter also links to The Drop’s website, which hosts the podcast as well as news reports regarding the recent murders.

The show notes for the podcast were fantastic. They linked the related news reports as well as sharing No/One’s terminal site. The terminal site was leaked a few weeks ago via Kyle Higgin’s newsletter and I’ve been anxious to see what can be done with it. And I will mark this as a spoiler, but if you listen to the podcast, they mention the first article written about No/One was by Danielle Gaines. Her article can be found in the show notes. She was the reporter who first took No/One serious and was even able to access the terminal site. If you read the article, you can find the command to connect, which gives you access to the videos No/One released, as well as the data dumps which include images, audio, and even text message screenshots.

I LOVE THIS. I mean, it’s not super hidden, but it takes paying attention and exploring. It makes you feel part of the story.

I’m sharing all of this because so far, No/One is an excellent example of a way to use the internet for entertainment. I love the intertwining of the fictional world presented in the story and the internet that I use daily. It’s a unique concept and I’d love to see more people find ways to use the internet for entertainment and less for complaining about life, politics, and entertainment. In a weird way, No/One reminds me of the earlier days of the internet, when it was more about having fun and less about being right or beating your own drum.

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