Cognito Comics will launch Operation Ajax, a 200-page interactive comic story for the iPad, in November.  The launch will include a free 15-page prologue and several 15-22-page chapters, with monthly chapter releases following until the story is completed.  A sale of print rights is also planned. 


Operation Ajax was inspired by Stephen Kinzer’s book, All the Shah’s Men:  An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, which takes place in Iran in the late 40s and early 50s, a time when the CIA overthrew the country’s elected government.  Kinzer, a bestselling author and New York Times correspondent, is an advisor and story editor for the project.  The hero is a composite of CIA agents whose identities were redacted from declassified CIA records. 


Story and art direction are by Mike de Seve, an Emmy-nominated director and screenwriter (Beavis and Butthead, Sesame Street).  Art is being contributed by a variety of artists, including Steve Ellis and Tyler Jenkins.   


Cognito CEO Daniel Burwen, also credited as the visionary behind the project, has a videogame background, working on James Bond and Tony Hawk at Electronic Arts and Activision. 


The Operation Ajax app, developed by Tall Chair, Inc., is an attempt to expand the comic-reading experience, specifically for non-fiction, using some of the technological capabilities of the new iPad medium.  Tapping on identified areas of the art brings up extra content, such as photos from the period, character info, bios, etc. 


Dossiers for the key characters are also included, accessed by tipping the iPad on its side.  Info is limited when the user begins reading the story, with information added as pages of the story are viewed. 


Transitions between panels/pages (initiated via right tap) can be short or long-flow depending on the situation.


Cognito's Operation Ajax is one of a number of enhanced comic apps coming to market, but is the first that uses the technological capabilities of the iPad to expand the functionalities of a non-fiction story.  Cognito is funded by angel investors and Venture Development Group.