Mark Waid, Matt Kindt and more talk Marvel's Infinite Comics digital line and more plus offer a free Spider-man comic through their app for a limited time.
Source: CBR NYCC
October 12, 2012
The digital age looms over old media like a tidal wave, but even as companies have fought to hold the wave back the water pushes in and rises regardless. Some start to take notice sooner than others and adjust to the changing industry. Out of the big two comic book companies, Marvel has taken the lead here, offering same day digital on their titles and also offering fans more digitally than just page scans.
Taking note of the ability to change the pace and flow of the story panel to panel and not just page to page, Mark Waid had this to say about working with Marvel's digital comics: "The only place I can surprise you as a reader is on the upper left-hand corner of the page as you turn it. The only chance I have to surprise you is on a page turn. On a digital device, I can surprise you at any time."
As a reader of both print and digital comics (and books as well), this reporter has always felt a difference reading page scans versus holding the actual comic in your hands. The digital formats that work to do more than just that, to offer you something that can only be offered digitally, make up for not getting to hold that book in your hands. They truly push comics into the digital era the right way and also offer fans a product they really cannot get from traditional comics or scans, which also helps fight piracy by offering a unique format.
The direct market has had a growing concern for digital comics, as it cuts them out of the picture. This has even greater meaning in the world of comic books as those stores have been the life-blood of the industry. Time waits for no one however and the digital age has pushed forward, dragging the industry kicking and screaming. In an effort to reward retailers, panel moderator, Arune Singh points out that "Marvel has given over $200,000 back to retailers for codes redeemed from print comics and the kickback will continue through the launch of Marvel NOW!"
Marvel has worked to tie in digital sales to physical copies, despite having a stand alone Marvel Digital Comics website store. Digital codes come with all $3.99 Marvel books, and Singh announced the limited edition Avengers Vs. X-Men hardcover will come with a digital code for all the AvX digital comics and the Marvel Infinite Comics.
One of their initiatives for 2013 is to expand their digital offering. To bring Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited to iOS devices -- and will allow readers to bring Digital Comics Unlimited to places without wi-fi, like the subway. Allowing readers a non-tethered product is the next step for digital to push products offered by piracy to the side.
The panel also talked about another digital offering from Marvel: Marvel AR (Augmented Reality). It's a free app that is meant to accompany physical comics by using the smartphone camera to give readers additional features like behind the scenes content, recaps and more when reading books marked with the AR icon. Panelist Nick Lowe told the audience they were pushing Marvel AR in Marvel NOW! with hopes of growing it.
Panelist Steve Wacker pointed to one of his favorite uses of Marvel AR during the Avengers vs. X-Men event where readers could watch a video where a doctor explains what would happen if Wolverine really jumped from a plane. Arune Singh says in the upcoming Marvel NOW! comic book: Indestructible Hulk, wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP!!!) talks about why he is such a huge fan of the Hulk.
The panel moved on to talk about Marvel.com and the Mighty Marvel Podcast. The goal is to offer fans something Marvel everyday, going beyond comics and into the various marvel movies as well. The also talks social networking (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Get Glue) and offering unique content and photos on the various networks they are on to offer followers something special.
With Facebook, they focused on the Avengers Alliance game and how it was going through an AvX like event of its own with Jean Grey taking the place of Namor in the Phoenix Five. Players can also get their hands on Deadpool in a PVP event. Lastly they talk about Avengers Initiative featuring Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor that plays similarly to Infinity Blade and will be on iOS at $6.99
The Spider-Man Infinite Comic will be free through the Marvel Comics App. The comic, which ties in to the "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series, features Spidey meeting Mayor Bloomberg. The comic will be free through Sunday and was written by Matt Kindt.