If you attended the opening keynote of Atlassian Summit 2018 in Barcelona you likely noticed a unique piece of collateral scattered on all the seats – the debut issue of “Team Titans”. The Comalatech team spent months developing this book, and we thought it might be fun to give you an inside look at the process.

Sit Down, Stand Out

Once we decided to take advantage of the seat drop opportunity at Atlassian Summit, we knew we wanted a piece that would stand-out and be remembered. It didn’t take us long to come up with the idea of a completely custom comic book. We had our heart set on creating a homage to the comic books of our youth, while still telling a story that would resonate today. And, since we’re Comalatech, we knew we had to make it completely authentic.

We started by writing a real comic script. Yes, it had to do with “team work”, but it also had to feel like a classic super hero story. We turned to a common source of inspiration, Mexican culture, and we identified luchador wrestling as a fitting subject; not only do they work as a team, but classic luchadores are considered larger than life heroes. A script packed with action, adventure, in-jokes, and humour was created, and then it was time to consider the artwork.

Creating the Titans

We’ve been working Bilbao-based graphic designed Hugo Tobio for some time, and he was really excited to get involved in this project. His work on the book’s ads and creative approach were critical to the its retro look and feel. Hugo is to thank for the “handshake” logo, and the “Team Titans” logo on the cover. But, he was also instrumental in connecting us with the two artists who brought the characters and story to life.

First, Hugo introduced us to Alex Orbe, an experienced artist who has illustrated for a variety of comics and children’s books. He created the look and feel of all our characters, crafted the settings, and took the art from initial sketches to lovingly detailed finished panels.

Next, Hugo and Alex recommended another artist, Patxi Pelaez, whose work as a character designer has been featured in TV, movies, and books. Patxi took Alex’s character designs and turned them into the stunning cover that made a powerful first impression at Summit.

After the designs were finished we turned to an experienced printer in Spain to print the book in a traditional fashion, including using recycled paper for a “worn-in” feel.

Hunting for Easter Eggs

From the start we wanted to hide some eco-system Easter Eggs into the pages of our comic book. We won’t spoil all the secrets here, but you should definitely check out the bottom of page 7 to see just who is helping to keep Mr. Atlas’s gym clean:

A Summit Hit

Response from Summit attendees towards the comic book was very positive. We heard from hundreds of people who loved the story, including customers, other partners, and Atlassians too. We certainly never expected any major news media attention, but that’s exactly what happened when Business Insider Australia featured Team Titans in their Summit coverage. All in all the debut of the Team Titans went even better than we expected, and we’re pleased that another of Comalatech’s “crazy ideas” was loved by the Atlassian extended family.