First AI-Generated Graphic Novel?

Mittelwerk cover

Like a lot of people who keep reading about AI, color me skeptical. It seems like AI is always ten years away and I’ve been reading that since the 1980s. But in 2022, it feels like we’re on the verge of a breakthrough in text and image generation. ChatGPT is scary good. And the images generated by DALL-E and other systems are impressive. With that in mind, I decided to try out a few of the image generation programs to see whether they could produce content suitable for a graphic novel adaptation of my novel The Man from Mittelwerk.

I tried several different programs, but the only one that seemed to fit with the graphic novel illustration style was Midjourney. And even then, sometimes the images come out quite strange. But with some trial and error I was able to produce the first ten pages of a graphic novel adaptation. As far as I can tell, this could be the first AI-generated graphic novel. I just have to finish the next 118 pages.

Here are a few samples. What do you think?

Mittelwerk comic 03

Mittelwerk comic 04

Audiobook Now Available


Audible MM
The audiobook version of The Man From Mittelwerk is now complete. The audiobook, paperback and ebook versions are all available as of September 6, to coincide with the annual BoucherCon mystery and crime writer’s conference, held in Minneapolis this year.We hired voice actor Jonathan Strait after auditioning half a dozen voice professional narrators. He got the vibe we were trying to achieve and really delivered on the different accents (German, English) and characters.

It’s strange to review your own audiobook, because Jonathan brought it to life in a way that really brought the emotion front and center. He also managed to catch half a dozen typos most of which (ahem) we were able to fix in the first print run.

It was fun to be able to listen to the book after so many months (years!) of working on it. I found myself surprised in a few chapters, having forgotten exactly how a few scenes played out.

Thanks to my co-author and brother Michael for managing this whole process. The audiobook will be available from as of September 9.



50 Years of Text Games

Book 4

Aaron Reed, who has been in the Interactive Fiction (IF) community for many years, created an awesome substack called 50 Years of Text Games. It's a history of the medium calling out some of the most influential games including Adventure, Zork, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Curses, Photopia and a recent favorite, Universal Paperclips.

Now he's turned that substack into an even more compelling book. It's available now on Kickstarter. You can get the electronic version, softcover or deluxe hardcover version. I'm looking forward to this. It really looks fabulous. There's also a bonus 60 page addendum that covers additional games not in the original substack. 

Aaron is also the author of several excellent books and IF games including Blue Lacuna, one of the largest games ever, and Creating Interactive Fiction in Inform7.

Book 2

Eaten By A Grue

Eaten by a grue

If you have any interest in the classic Infocom Interactive Fiction games of the 80s, you should check out the wonderful podcast "Eaten by a Grue" where computer historians Kay Savetz and Carrington Vanston make their way through every Infocom game ever made. It's a fun show, with plenty of insightful analysis, witty banter and hints well covered by spoiler fences.  There's also a great interview with master game designer Steve Meretzky and also reviews of post-Infocom games that came out of the IF community. 

I hope they'll give Chris Huang's An Act of Murder a try! 

I'm almost tempted to fire up Inform7 and get back to work on my long-stalled game The Z-Machine Matter. Or maybe I should get back to work on the sequel to my novel "The Man from Mittelwerk." 



A few days ago, Gatsby, the company I work for, took the unusual precedent to condemn the military invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Why is a small tech company making such a statement? As has been often said, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.

Ukraine is a country with a rich history of technology and entrepreneurship. There are tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, developers, designers, scientists and engineers employed in the technology industry. Ukraine has become part of the global technology industry. They have shown great leadership and innovation with companies such as Affirm, Gitlab, Grammarly, JustAnswers, PandaDoc, Preply, Sisense and many others.

Gatsby, though a small company, is also global, with employees and customers in many countries around the world. We are part of an open source movement that enables anyone to use our technology to build web sites.

Global technology and open source software enable the world to be a better place for everyone, providing opportunities for developers in every country. We believe in the forward progress of technology to enable people to develop better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a threat not only to Ukraine but to worldwide democracy. The attack upon Ukraine is destroying the lives of millions of innocent people.

In the world of tech, we have witnessed the immense constructive power of open sharing of ideas, and voluntary collaboration. We have built models where people can disagree yet productively work together across the globe.

We believe in a world with a level playing field where anyone can aspire to become the best version of themselves. A civilization where ideas and opinions can clash but people respect each other.

The war initiated on 24 February 2022 by Russia against Ukraine is not only an attempt at subduing one nation, it is an assault on democracy. It is an ugly strike against the rule of law. As Martin Luther King reminded us: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

That is why we are now speaking up. What we are witnessing is an assault on everything we believe in. At risk is the very foundation that societal progress has been built on over the past 80 years. We cannot stand by and ignore these actions.

We are taking action today to condemn this invasion. We are making a donation to Unicef to support the people of Ukraine and I encourage others in our community to do the same by donating to one of the many organizations that are helping.

The future of democracy is playing out right now in the streets of Kyiv. It matters to each and every one of us. Do not look away. Remember the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.

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