Photo credit to Trevor Barber
“So an ancient pineapple demon and a lizard wizard walk into a bar…” To some, that might sound like the beginning of your crazy uncle’s favorite joke. But for those in the circle, it is known as the ridiculous plot for the underground phenomenon of Digital Lizards of Doom. Before diving into the recently announced video game deal between Digital Lizards of Doom and Yonder Media Mobile, it’s important to realize just how deep the Digital Lizards of Doom rabbit hole goes. Gabriel Valentin, creator, writer, and producer of Digital Lizards of Doom, abbreviated as DLoD, explains the brand as an ever-evolving love letter to pop culture and a showcase of the beauty of a fandom-led community.
DLoD started as a series of short stories written by Valentin, but as he was unable to properly secure the funding for the vision he had in mind, he created a musical group with the same name and wrote songs that gave clues to what would eventually come to light in graphic novel series. In the meantime, Valentin created a YouTube series with his longtime friend and radio personality Dan Brozo, who also plays the voice of the series’ main protagonist Dizzy Doom in the upcoming audio version of the first book. The YouTube series was picked up by Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California. Then in 2021, the long-awaited first entry of the book series, Level One: Dizzy Doom, was released in comic books stores everywhere. It was a 128-page, fully-illustrated graphic novel with a jaw-dropping color pallet by Ernie Najera and Margo Prodan. This incredibly ambitious graphic novel quickly became a beloved treasure for those familiar with the brand.
Photo credit to Ryan Joseph
So why should you care about Digital Lizards of Doom? Well, to put it simply, this might very well be the most groundbreaking graphic novel series in the last thirty years! Told with a never before seen visual style that breaks the mold of traditional comic books, Gabriel Valentin created an entirely new storytelling system that invites the reader to be less of a fly-on-the-wall observer and more of an active participant, with characters that regularly speak to the audience in a text message-based format and comically break the fourth until you are spitting up your morning cereal from laughing so hard. Reinventing the wheel, as they say, is no easy task. Still, Valentin makes it look like a walk in the park. The book is filled with Easter eggs and inside jokes that are wonderfully gifted to the world of fandom, encompassing everything from comics and video games to film and TV. These books reach a new level of geek nirvana that leaves you returning for more.
Anyone who is already aware of the Digital Lizards of Doom saga knows that it was only a matter of time before this fantasy epic would be getting its own video game adaption. It just makes sense, right? Enter Yonder Media Mobile, or Yo-Mobile for short, a telecommunications company based out of New York, New York, focusing on mobile gaming and NFT integration in web3 technology. Try saying that three times fast. In April of 2022, Yo-Mobile purchased the rights for three separate DLoD mobile video games that will focus on “fun and innovative gaming,” with the opportunity to purchase in-game NFTs on the Yo-Mobile hub app. The galaxy is the limit for DLoD; as Yonder Media Mobile CEO Adam Kidron states, “I just happen to like the art a lot, and I think that Digital Lizards of Doom is what we are missing at Yo. Which is this idea that youth never stops and that energy you have, that youth is something you can have whenever you want. There are a lot of things with Digital Lizards of Doom that are very exciting.”
In an official press release announcing the deal, DLoD says that this acquisition is key to its vision for the future of “the metaverse.” With this union, Yo-Mobile and Gabriel Valentin will help “reimagine what the gaming experience looks like, even down to how games are created and distributed.” I recently spoke with Valentin, who said, “Digital Lizards of Doom, for me, has always been about storytelling and world-building. A video game series is just another step in the expansion of this universe, and there are so many stories I want to tell. I have about 28,000 years of lore that lead up to the first book, and with that comes countless adventures that will push the creative mind to its limits.”
Justin Urena, Technical Product Manager at Yonder Media Mobile, says, “Personally, I’m a huge fan of adventure RPGs and Sci-Fi, on the whole, being a regular Dungeons & Dragons player and avid gamer. Digital Lizards of Doom immediately gave me 90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle plus Borderlands vibes. This IP lends itself perfectly to where Yo-Mobile is headed with the future of mobile gaming.”
So whether you are a new or old fan of Digital Lizards of Doom, now might be a good time to brush up on your button-mashing skills as the first DLoD game is currently in production with Yonder Media Mobile. Valentin says that a rhythm-based fighting game titled “Guitar Karate” is likely to be the first game to get published but gave no official release date. In addition to the three video games, Gabriel Valentin says books one through three have been finished, and four, five and six are currently in production. A stand-alone spin-off book written by Alex Batts and illustrated by Evan Maguire is also due for release sometime this year. For more updates on Digital Lizards of Doom, check out their website at www.dlodworld.com or Instagram page @digitallizardsofdoom, and start your Digital Lizards of Doom adventure today!