narrative designer of human stories for comics, TV, extended reality & games
Coming to prominence as the co-creator of the dystopian graphic novel SHOOTING WAR, his first major work was nominated for an Eisner award for Best Digital Comic. Shortly after, he created 08: A GRAPHIC DIARY OF THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, a nonfiction work of real-time graphic journalism marrying the visual languages of magazine design and sequential comics subsequently dubbed “Highbrow Brilliant” by New York Magazine. His paranormal horror comic RED LIGHT PROPERTIES is currently in development as a live-action cable TV series.
Dan has also produced Emmy-winning experiences for AMC Television, written two video games based on The Walking Dead, written animated TV shows for Man of Action Studios, and created work for Wired, BBC Radio 4, Time Magazine, Foreign Policy, Entertainment Weekly and New York Magazine.
A frequent speaker at conferences and universities on the confluence of digital activism and narrative, Dan currently serves as Narrative Lead at Kinjin Story Lab, where he incubates story-based projects at the intersection of technological innovation and social good. He lives in Los Angeles.
Graduating from University of Miami's Cinema Arts department, Dan moved to New York City intent on making films. After a year working on long hours on film sets and writing his own material through the night, his mind always returned to the comic-book form, where he could produce an entire work as writer, director, cinematographer, actor, etc all completely on his own.
He created his first full-length comic Hairkut in 1999, and took it out to the San Diego Comic-Con, where he met many lifelong friends and interviewed for a job in the Marketing Dept at DC Comics, which he started upon returning to NYC. After 18 months at DC, he struck out on his own, ready to begin producing his own work.
Finding Hyperreal Comics
While working as a graphic designer, Dan began experimenting with vector-based design programs and the Wacom Intuos drawing stylus. There he had an epiphany, seeing a new kind of storytelling workflow to create comic narratives digitally. His first night at home with his very own Wacom stylus, he drew until dawn -- realizing he now had the ability to render nearly anything he could write. What began here is a still-continuing investigation into the limits of vector illustration and mixed-media storytelling that resulted in a new style of 100%-digital "Hyperreal Comics" that combined the medium's narrative language with an immersive feel drawing equally on the the aesthetics magazine illustrations, cinema production, album artwork and video games.
With his brother Steven, Dan founded the boutique imprint FWDbooks in 2003, creating several titles as "the Brothers Goldman", including three issues of Styx Taxi and his first graphic novel, Everyman: Be the People. Under the the credo Manga con Corazón (comics with heart), FWDbooks' releases featured consistently diverse characters of all genders and creeds, and their adult-focused stories addressed issues like mortality, the afterlife and electronic voting machines' subversion of democracy. Met with much critical praise for a self-published book without distribution, Everyman sold over 1500 copies. FWDbooks ceased publishing the following year, leading Dan to publish his next works online.
In early 2006, Goldman was recruited by Dean Haspiel to help found the "online laboratory for experimental comics anthology ACT-I-VATE. Originally a cabal of eight cartoonists serializing free online graphic novels, it was here Goldman began serializing his graphic novel "KELLY". A psychedelic NYC psychodrama about a jilted lover who taking emotional refuge with a stranger he meets on Craiglist, "KELLY" quickly becomes a meditation on identity, interior landscapes and love. Kelly was also a quantum leap with Dan's Hyperreal Comics style as he began incorporating more photographic elements and textured painted effects into his narrative art. Meanwhile, ACT-I-VATE grew from its initial eight member group blog on LiveJournal to become a New York Times-featured online anthology hosting long-form comics works by 50+ cartoonists from around the world. It was his work here that got the attention of journalist/producer Anthony Lappé.
In early 2006, serialization began on a collaboration with Lappé entitled Shooting War: a fiery dystopian satire of Big Media's perpetuation of the War on Terror. His work went on to garner an Eisner Award nomination for "Best Digital Comic" in 200, which was hailed as “the Apocalypse Now of the War on Terror” by Forbes. Published by Grand Central Publishing (US) with editions in Italian, French and Spanish, Shooting War was featured in publications like Wired Magazine and Brazil’s Folha de São Paulo to India’s Business Standard and Tokyo’s Daily Yomiuri.
Real World Politics
In the rollup to the 2008 presidential election, Dan collaborated with journalist Michael Crowley on 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail, a nonfiction graphic novel. After traveling with Crowley during the early 2008 primaries, Dan returned home to Brooklyn to begin what would become an 18 month sprint through 160 pages of black & white comics, written and drawn as they happened. The evening of the 2008 election, while people danced on top of cars downstairs from Dan's studio in Brooklyn, he was in fact upstairs drawing the people dancing on top of cars. "08" was a singular achievement in comics journalism, published and on bookstore shelves the week Obama was sworn into office. NPR Books praised it as “strik[ing] out on its own to create a method of visual storytelling that owes as much to ’60s magazine layouts as it does to modern Web design. It’s largely thanks to Goldman’s singular graphical style that this book… feels so defiantly and refreshingly unconventional.” The week of its release, “08” was touted as “highbrow brilliant” by New York Magazine.
During this period and over the following years, Dan also contributed political portraits several times a month to New York Magazine's "Intelligencer" column.
Brazil x Hollywood
Moving from NYC to São Paulo to work on more personal and spiritual material, Dan's next comic project Red Light Properties actually dates back to his pre-webcomics self-publishing days. The story of a husband-and-wife-owned real estate agency in Miami specializing in exorcising and selling “previously-haunted homes”, Red Light Properties launched in 2010 on Tor.com as the venerable SF publisher's first long-form comics commission with a innovative bespoke interactivity designed by Goldman himself. A critical darling during in its online serialization, the series was published independently in English, Spanish and Portuguese before being picked up by Monkeybrain Comics and ultimately published as a graphic novel by IDW Publishing.
During its three years of serialization, the series attracted many offers from Hollywood to adapt it into a film or television series. Upon his return to NYC, Dan began developing the comic as a cable series with a television producer, selling a development deal with a TV studio to write the pilot script, gaining him membership into the Writer's Guild of America (WGA).
Video Games & Transmedia
While in Brazil, Dan was contracted by the AMC cable network to write a Facebook-based RPG (role-playing game) based on The Walking Dead. Not shying away from the simple sprite-based graphics, he instead wrote dark and complex narraties for the user to navigate their characters through, falling in love in the process with writing games himself.
Upon his return to New York, Dan would work as an editor and creative on AMC's Story Sync applications- real-time second-screen content to be served during the live broadcasts of their flagship series Breaking Bad, Turn: Washington's Spies, The Killing and The Walking Dead.
More recently, he was contracted by Helsinki-based studio Next Games to write the iOS/Android game The Walking Dead: No Man's Land, which remained in the App Stores' top downloaded games for months after launch.
In 2014, Dan met Ram Devineni in New York City, and the two created the hugely-popular augmented reality comic book series, Priya’s Shakti. Funded by the World Bank and the Tribeca Film Institute, the series features the first Indian female superhero who is a rape survivor, and implements a layer of augmented-reality (AR) into every page of the comic. In the addition to the comics, the Priya's Shakti project has AR-enabled street murals in five cities in India and regularly updates an educational component that fosters discussion about gender-based violence in communities. Following its release, Priya was honored by UN Women as a “Gender Equality Champion.”
Priya’s Shakti immediately went viral on its launch, with over 500,000 downloads and over 400 news stories reaching over 20 million readers. The second chapter, Priya’s Mirror, finds Priya fighting for acid attack survivors. It premiered in 2016 at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of the NY Film Festival’s Convergence lineup.
The third book, Priya and the Lost Girls, is currently in production for a 2018 release.
While traveling extensively across India in support of Priya, Dan began to understand the potential impact of his work in a different light. Viewing the Priya experience as a prototype for a new model for storytelling, Dan founded Kinjin Inc., a narrative lab working across several media to pair socially-conscious fiction with activist partners eager to use the work for a maximum impact in the world where it's needed.
Honors & Awards
Impact Prize, FIVARS Festival of Virtual and Augmented-Reality Stories
Jury Prize, FilmGate Miami
Official Selection "Priya's Mirror", NY Film Festival Convergence
New York, NY
Priya designated "Gender Equality Champion"
United Nations Women's Council
"Best Digital Comic" Eisner Award Nomination
San Diego Comic-Con
"Heeb 100: Jews You Need to Know About", Heeb Magazine
Underground Comic Artist of the Year, UGO.com
"Outstanding Debut" Ignatz Award Nomination,Everyman: Be The People, SPX
Dandelion 102 "Startup" (22pgs) Kinjin Studios
Dandelion 101 "Greatmother" (22pgs) Kinjin Studios
Priya's Mirror (40pgs) Rattapallax Press
The Walking Dead: No Man's Land (iOS/Android)
Red Light Properties Book One (200pgs) IDW Publishing
Harbinger #25 "Cold Brains" (5pgs) Valiant Comics
Priya's Shakti (36pgs) Rattapallax Press
The Walking Dead: Chronicles Social Game (Facebook)
Red Light Properties "Goodnight Donnie Cheng" (18pgs) Comixology
Red Light Properties "Know Thy Enema" (20pgs) Comixology
Red Light Properties "Underwater" (27pgs) Comixology
Red Light Properties "A Series of Tubes" (26pgs) Comixology
Red Light Properties (200pgs) Tor.com
"Yes We Will" (6pgs) Tor.com
"Red Plastic" (8pgs) SMITHmag.com
08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail (160pgs) Crown Books
"42nd & Lex" (4pgs) Popgun Vol. 2, Image Comics
Shooting War (184pgs) Grand Central Publishing
"Kelly" (400pgs) activatecomix.com
Shooting War (100pgs) shootingwar.com
Everyman: Be the People (96pgs) FWDbooks
"The Best I Ever Had" (24pgs) Flesh for the Beast, Shriek Show
"Good Parenting" (24pgs) Flesh for the Beast, Shriek Show
"Schmear" (6pgs) Smut Peddler Vol. 2, Saucy Goose Press
"Singalong" (6pgs) Styx Taxi: A Little Twilight Music, FWDbooks
"Hairkut" (24pgs) self-produced
Exhibitions & Talks
"Priya's Shakti" Gallery Presentation
Crossroads, Beijing, China
International Guest, China Bookwork Festival
"Comics for Social Change"
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
"Imagine 2040" Civic Imagination Symposium
USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, Los Angeles, CA
Featured Project, Myriad Festival
Brisbane Powerhouse, Australia
"Art & Activism Presentation"
Copenhagen Documentary Festival, Denmark
Jury Prize, FilmGate Miami 2017
FrankTalks & Exhibition, Changeville Festival, College of Journalism and Communications
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Master Class, National Institute of Design
Master Class, National Institute of Design R&D Campus
"Virtual Storytelling Creators Workshop" MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, India
Master Class, L.V. Prasad Film & TV Academy
International Guest, DOGS Comics Conference
Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, USC School of Creative Technologies
Los Angeles, CA
"Solidarity (thru Comics)" Books in Browsers
San Francisco, CA
"Priya's Mirror" ARTBO Art Festival
"AR Mural" St+Art Street Art Festival
"Priya's Sheroes" Sheroes Cafe
"Priya's Mirror" NY Film Festival Convergence
Lincoln Center, New York, NY
One World Festival, Czech Republic
"A Comic Book Superhero and Rape Survivor: Can She Change Attitudes Toward Sexual Violence?"
Dresher Center, Baltimore, MD
"Interactive Comic Books for Social Change"
SXSW Interactive, Austin, TX
Tribeca Interactive Playground, Tribeca Film Festival
New York, NY
"Build Your Own Comic Workshop"
PEN World Voices Festival, New York City, NY
Webdox Conference at iFlab: Interactive Factual Lab
Scuola Holden: Storytelling and Performing Arts
InterDocsBarcelona. Barcelona, Spain
"The Immersive Sixth Sense"
Museum of Moving Images, Queens, NY
"I Stand with Priya" TEDxCoventGardenWomen
DOKWeb - Institute of Documentary Film, A4
Priestor Center, Bratislava, Slovakia
"AR Mural" Sheffield DocFest, Sheffield, UK
Cooler Lumpur Festival 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
"Interactive Media for Social Good"
Made in IFP Media Center, Brooklyn, NY
Passion for Freedom Festival,
London at the Mall Galleries, London UK
NINA Beta Version Festival
National Audiovisual Institute, Warszawa, Poland
"Priya's Shakti" Augmented Reality Gallery Exhibition
City Lore Gallery, New York, NY
Featured Guest, Delhi Comic-Con
New Delhi, India
PEN World Literature Festival
New York, NY
Featured International Guest, Mumbai Comic-Con
Selected Artist, Illustration Now! 4, Taschen Books
Featured Guest, Rio Comic-Con, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ZUPI Magazine Pixel Show
São Paulo, Brazil
3M Mostra de Arte Digital
São Paulo, Brazil
"Making Comics with Computers 2009" (moderator/curator), NY Comic-Con, NYC
"An Election in Words & Pictures", Book Court, Brooklyn, NY
"Making Comics with Computers 2008" (moderator/curator), NY Comic-Con, NYC
“Iraq: The Graphic War, Today and In 2011″, ICA, London, UK
"ACT-I-VATE Webcomics Collective Showcase" (moderator), NY Comic-Con, NYC