Anyone who has ever read a comic on a tablet device has probably had an experience ranging from frustrating to fairly decent; however, it has yet to feel like comic storytelling really took advantage of the platform.
Marvel’s new announcement of its Infinite Comics format looks set to change this though, as the company presented its Infinite Comics at the South by Southwest (SXSW
) interactive festival currently running until the 18th
of March in Austin, Texas.
The new format will apparently give digital comic fans a significantly enhanced reading experience, in which text boxes, character dialogue and perhaps even relevant motion progressively appear on the screen or at the reader’s prompting.
According to the ComicsAlliance.com
, Marvel’s editor-in-chief Axel Alonso described the development as offering "comics storytelling like you've never seen before – not print comics, but also not animation."
Infinity and Beyond
Joe Quesada, chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment explained that Infinite Comics’ new technique in comics storytelling is built specifically for the digital world, yet in an elegant way manages to keep the purity of what makes a comic a ‘comic’.
Additionally, he reassured that it will give readers the same feel of reading a traditional comic while also “offering a whole new experience that really feels like the future of where the medium is headed”.
He continued that while Infinite Comics uses tools that the digital medium offers, it doesn’t reinvent comics so completely that they become something other than what they are. “If anything, outside of the great smell of ink on paper and the holding of a physical comic book, the Infinite Comics technique, I feel, enhances what a comic book can do without changing what makes comics great,” added Quesada.
The first offering from Infinite Comics will be Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 Infinite, a tie-in story starring Nova, written by Mark Waid with art by Stuart Immonen and Marte Gracia. It will be available for purchase on the Marvel Comics app free with the redemption code found in print copies of Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 or included with the purchase of the digital version.
The title will also be available to purchase on its own for 99 cents on both iOS and Android platforms, and will apparently be released this spring.
Augmented reality app
Additionally, the company also announced the integration of some augmented functionality with the printed version of its comics via a new app. This would offer up additional content when certain portions of the comic are scanned by a tablet, such as commentary from a comic’s creator as well as the progression from pencil art to the fully finished coloured panels.
Not content to allow the good news to stop there, the company further announced that all of its printed titles from June that cost $3.99 will include codes for free digital copies on its Marvel Comics app on both Android and iOS devices. The comics series in question include Avengers, Captain America, Invincible Iron Man, The Mighty Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine and The X-Men, amongst others.
“We’ve seen a tremendous response to the digital codes in Avenging Spider-Man, our Season One graphic novels and the Ultimate Comics line. The positive reactions from both retailers and fans make it clear that including these codes with our books drives customers into comic stores on a repeated basis,” explained David Gabriel, senior vice president of sales for Marvel Entertainment.
To the point
“At Marvel, we’re always looking for ways to bring the worlds of print and digital media together to deliver the best comics experience for our fans,” added Peter Phillips, senior vice president and general manager of Marvel Digital Media.
We cannot think of a clearer indication that the company is both embracing and encouraging its readers to more fully adopt digital comics, while moving the medium forward and into the tablet age.