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About Digital Art / Professional Premium Member Hal HefnerMale/United States Groups :iconinsap-storyworld: INSAP-storyworld
Everyone has a story to tell
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Deviant for 7 Years
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The REAL Bill Cosby - Inspired by THEY LIVE by HalHefnerART
The REAL Bill Cosby - Inspired by THEY LIVE
The REAL Bill Cosby,

the REAL Bill Cosby.

#2 in the CONSUME poster series inspired by John Carpenter’s, THEY LIVE.

#1 was Kim Kardashian THEY LIVE - Kim Kardashian Alien Poster by HalHefnerART

Eva Gates Riding Solar Powered Motorbike by HalHefnerART
Eva Gates Riding Solar Powered Motorbike
This is a piece of concept art from a cyberpunk series in production for release in 2015 called the Serpent Seed. This is Eva Gates, the main character, riding her solar power bike at night in the countryside of upstate NY. she is driving by the windmills that help power the energy of her father's organic technology facility.

Here is the first episode of the Serpent Seed on Madefire and dA now!

The Serpent Seed: Episode 1 @theLionhawk by HalHefnerART
The Grinch by HalHefnerART
The Grinch
Here's a little Venom inspired Grinch for some Holiday Cheer! Happy Holidays!
Camera Head on Jesus Crucifix Still from Animation by HalHefnerART
Camera Head on Jesus Crucifix Still from Animation
This is a still from a new motion book I am working on for the Madefire series I am producing for 2015. Yes it is a crucifix. Yes, Jesus' head has been ripped off and replaced by a camera. You can watch the first episode of the Serpent Seed, right now. Cyberpunk.

The Serpent Seed: Episode 1 @theLionhawk by HalHefnerART


HalHefnerART's Profile Picture
Hal Hefner
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
I like to tell stories around the digital campfire and I use any media necessary to do so. As the founder and CCO of CATMONKEY, a digital storytelling studio, I have had some amazing opportunities to create my own stories. As CCO I wear multiple hats such as artist, writer, creative director and producer.

Currently at Catmonkey studios, we are producing a full spectrum narrative, called the Serpent Seed. The Serpent Seed is an evolving story that is told across multiple media platforms and is designed to exponentially grow with little to no repetition. Through Heavy Metal Magazine's first online comic book series, GATES, we launched the Serpent Seed in 2011 in graphic novel style format available for free online, here at dA and at this website

The Serpent Seed series has evolved into motion book format on Madefire, continuing the story of Gates and his ancestors. The Serpent Seed is the first Transmedia series created for the Madefire motion book platform and is stylistically unique in that it is designed to be more of a cinematic experience than a traditional comic book.

In addition to the Madefire series, the Serpent Seed will be living and breathing all over the internet on websites as well as extending to different social media platforms like deviantART, twitter, youtube and more.

In addition to the Serpent Seed, I have worked on franchises such as the The Simpsons, X-Men Days of Future Past, SyFy's Defiance, Darksiders 2, Ninja Turtles, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, the NFL and many more.

My personal website

I am also the Managing Director of Transmedia Los Angeles, one of the United States' largest multiplatform storytelling organizations. We hold monthly meetups and more in Los Angeles. In 2013 I will be launching an Experimental Storytelling Lab called Prototype, within Transmedia LA. Please check us out and us know if you'd like to participate.

Over the last couple of years a lot of great innovations for digital publishing have arisen. Giants of the comic book industry like Marvel and DC now have many of their top selling comics as digital-first titles. However a promising young company called Madefire is slowly changing how things can be done digitally with motion books.  Somewhere in between comic books and animation, is a motion book. Madefire has created the technology to not only let users build a motion book but also distribute it. Welcome to the future of digital storytelling.

Madefire is an amazingly simple, yet robust tool for creating stories. I personally have a hard time figuring out the correct nomenclature for the product. I did not want to call them Motion Books or Motion Comics, I  simply want to focus on storytelling. Storytelling is the root of what Madefire was designed and developed to do. When I was first introduced to Madefire through Ron Martino at deviantART, I was blown away by the people behind the company, as well as the tool itself.

In 2013, Ron approached me with the opportunity to try Madefire out and see what I could do inside of the tool they designed. Ron was speaking highly of it and I trust his opinion greatly so I decided to try it out. I was somewhere in between a beta tester and a Q/A guy trying to break the tech. Having a digital design and art background I was not afraid to learn new tech but I was honestly not that enthused about it at first. I had played around with other motion book tools and I had always felt like they were a crappy waste of time. Most of them had limitations that were inhibiting to your story as well as the worst User Interface you could possibly imagine.

I was expecting another dud, but Madefire won me over in the first go’ round. It felt like I was just given the keys to a brand new kingdom of digital magic and the only thing that could hold me back was my imagination.

The first thing that I noticed when I took a test drive in Madefire was that it had a really great User Interface. It’s very easy to use. I didn’t have an instruction book or any manual, I just went in blindly and I began playing around. Luckily the Production team at Madefire was extremely helpful and gave me some tips and answered my questions whenever I had any. Everything was very intuitive and I began to play around and see the possibilities of what could be done. I tested it out on and off for about a week and then I dove into my sketchbook to explore my ideas.

What I really like best about the Madefire platform is that you can animate with it. To me this is paramount in innovation. I was not interested in creating just panels or word bubbles that pop in with a click. Yes, you can do that with Madefire, but I was not looking to make traditional comics and add motion to them.  I wanted to push it. With Madefire I could animate the subtle things that make a difference, like moving an arm, a hand or a mouth. You can do so much with the Madefire tool if you understand Photoshop, and how animation works; you can really do some easy and fun things with it.

It does have some limitations though, but I have constantly been asked my opinion and feedback so that they can add more tools and improve it.  That’s what is fantastic about working with Madefire, they are going to push the limits too and are dedicated to crafting an amazing tool for you to create with.  I just took a survey a couple of weeks ago that was focused on “what tool do you want that we don’t have, currently?” To me that sums up the hunger they have to be the best in their business. That’s who I want to work with.


I have always had an issue with digital comic interfaces. I cannot tell you why, other than I feel like printed comics just don’t translate well digitally. I will sit here and tell you this, even though I have made digital comics. In making my first digital comic, I allowed myself to be handcuffed by traditional comic formats as I created Gates with the intention of printing it. Though the comic itself was very successful, I feel that the format for me is the problem. If I had to do it over again, I would have created it to fit the screen better in a more cinematic style. When I began thinking about what I was going to do with Madefire, this was in the back of my mind.

When I first began sketching out ideas, I made a pact with myself that I was not going to make a traditionally influenced comic book and that I was not going to use word bubbles. So I began exploring ways to create something fresh and fun. I started playing around with some character designs on top of photos.

pool hall wizard

This was a fun example but still didn't feel right. However, I felt like I was onto something artistically.

I started wondering what I could do if I flipped the template in landscape format and how I could incorporate other creative media in addition to art such as photography and music. After some testing of these things I realized that I could actually pull off this wacky idea that I had.  Up until this time I had been digitally painting my comics, but the Madefire tool encouraged me to get creative and try new things.

What I came up with was a creative breath of fresh air for me and it was one of the most fun projects I have ever created.  With Madefire I was able to pull from the monstrous storyworld I had created with Gates, and I was able to communicate this story in such a way that I was even able to incorporate a full spectrum narrative to support it. Rather than call them books, I would like to think that I created an episode.

After two months of art, editing photos and sound design, I was able to animate my very first episode in Madefire. I was inspired by film noir, animators like Ralph Bakshi, directors like Alexander Jodorowsky, and the art of Moebius. I broke out of my typical digital painting style and began to play with a more loose, animated art style. I wanted to give people an experience that didn’t spell out the story for them, but made them think and left them with more questions than answers, but a lot of clues that tied it back to Gates, the comic I did with Heavy Metal Magazine, back in 2011-12.

Once I finished this episode I knew I had to make more and having just finished a grueling run on producing Heavy Metal Magazine’s first digital comic series, Gates, I was ready for a change, but wasn’t expecting it to be a Motion Book - rather an episode, I should say. From here I began, writing and plotting more stories, and now I am in the process of producing an original series for Madefire that is exclusive to their platform.  My goal is to make cinematic experiences, and I have finally found a tool to do so.



Below are some art samples of the style and format I have used to create The Serpent Seed.

As you may notice, the lack of word bubbles, the lack of panels and the lack of comic book rules. If I want to read a comic book, I’ll read a comic. My goal was to push it further and use the tool for something other than comics.






Notice the format of the pages, in landscape, give it a more cinematic touch.

Finding other ways to incorporate text was something I really wanted to do and found ways to do it that complimented the story and did not seem forced.

2 text messages INSAP

Purposely avoiding panels gave the book a whole new vibe and I think was the difference in making it feel much more cinematic.

What I am really excited about is that you can add urls and live links in the book. This was really beneficial in crafting a “Full Spectrum Narrative” for the story. While right now it only works for the iPhone app, it will be amazing when it works on web based Madefire books, too.

With a cinematic approach the story easily opened itself up for me to craft stories that expand onto other platforms such as Twitter, websites, and more. Since the flagship narrative in this series started as a comic, and continues on Madefire, it was really fun and easy to build from this platform.

Episode 2 is currently in production and I plan to continue the full spectrum narrative buildout by exploring new ways to expand from the Madefire platform.



So I’ve done a lot of talking about it, but please check it out for yourself, so you can see what I’m yapping about.  This episode is a “slow burn” that will leave you with questions, intentionally.  So please seek out the additional links. There are tons of “rabbit holes” to go down. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did making it.


Journal History


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damphyr Featured By Owner 6 days ago
Happy birthday! :love:
The-Last-Gallifreyan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday :)
PapaCarebear Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015  New member Hobbyist Photographer
Ty for joining :iconbeyond-the-art: and welcome. You may submit your work at any time if you wish to do so...


Note: If you wish to be featured please follow this link:…
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner May 1, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
the LIONHAWK inside his meditation- Serpent Seed by HalHefnerART
ALL WHO VISIT THIS PAGE...YOU are hereby invited to an exciting evening of drink, song, and thought in the “high tech, low life,” realm of the CYBERPUNK—a world beyond the flesh, celebrating the future and the UNTHINKABLE COMPLEXITY of human potential.

Produced by Transmedia LA, in cooperation with Catmonkey studios, Unthinkable Complexity is a real-world, immersive, cyberpunk event taking place in Los Angeles on May 24. The event will be held at Wyrd Con 5 and sponsored in part by Digital LA. 

As the age of the cyberpunk dawns upon society, Unthinkable Complexity celebrates the future of humanity through an experiential event that will engage participants with music, virtual reality technology, art, performance and more. This event is the first of its kind to celebrate the philosophy of the Los Angeles cyberpunk community.

Attendees are asked to dress in cyberpunk-inspired attire. Cosplay is welcomed, but not required.

The name, “unthinkable complexity” is inspired by a passage from William Gibson’s acclaimed cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer, and describes the mind boggling possibilities the future holds for the human race.

Unthinkable Complexity will purposefully blend real-world, fictional and non-fictional elements in the form of art, events, information and commentary, across multiple media in order to convey its story about the future.

Virtual reality experiences will be provided by Outerbody Labs, in addition to what has been hailed as one of the Oculus Rift’s best launch titles, Darknet.

Music will be provided by DJ Amanda Jones, known for spinning Alternative music in many of Hollywood’s premiere nightclubs, including residencies at Bar Sinister, Das Bunker, Malediction Society, and The Church Dallas. Model, actress and cosplayer Victoria Paege will also make a special appearance.

Unthinkable Complexity is an exploration in experiential storytelling and attendees will have the unique opportunity to become part of a story to be produced by Catmonkey after the conclusion of the event. Video content and other artistic elements used and recorded at Unthinkable Complexity will belong to a larger narrative about the future, that will use more than one media platform to tell the story.

Discount tickets to the event, including a one week sale of “buy one get one free” beginning May 1 until May 8, can be found at

A limited number of free tickets are being given away on the Unthinkable Complexity Facebook page:…




Madam--Kitty Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! wanna join my group called Anti-illuminati-01? anti-illuminati-01.deviantart.…
blazi76 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for deviant\W/ATCH+++    :squee:
Dmagedon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014
Happy Birthday mighty artist
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thank you!
The-Last-Gallifreyan Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday :D
HalHefnerART Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thank you!!!!
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