release a series of "motion comics" via iTunes. Introduced at New York Comic Con, the new format would have the iPod- and iPhone-bound digital books taking on characteristics of both print and animation with audio and motion enhancing the typical panel-based format of print.Marvel Entertainment - home to characters like Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Hulk - has announced plans to
Hasn't animation of comic books been done? This isn't traditional animation. The Motion Comic format would feature traditional panel-based structures that are set in motion. Instead of thought bubbles and dialog boxes, the dialog would be spoken. Best of all? The original artist's drawings would be used to compose the digital books, as opposed to facsimile drawn by an animator.
"It became very, very evident to me that as technology moves forward, there will come a day where we'll be able to not just create animation based upon our comic books and our characters and stories that we've told, but there will come a time when eventually we'll be able to take existing comic art, the flat, static art, and be able to animate it," said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada. "So [now] we can put out a product that is not quite a comic book and not quite animation, [but] a wonderful hybrid that incorporates all of our great talents."
X-Men and Spider-Woman are among the first books to take on the new format. No pricing or release date has been set.
While printed works have always held promise on iTunes - and the iPhones and iPods that derive content from it - this new comic format could be the perfect fit for the handheld Apple devices that excel with audio and video.
When you combine the Apple hardware - or any device capable of playing iTunes content - with the geek appeal of Marvel's universe of heroes, this seems like a sure winner for both Marvel and iTunes.