Marvel leaps... well, somewhere between a leap and a baby step... into the digital age with their self-proclaimed Marvel ReEvolution.
This reporter has been clamoring for a real effort in digital comics from the top publishers in the industry for some time. While ideas like day and date digital releases are finally a reality, there has been a lot of resistance toward a real effort to make digital comics the future of the industry... even as it's become increasingly more clear that digital comics ARE the future of the industry.
Well, Marvel took a big step today, though they still haven't come to the inevitable conclusion that they need to release all their titles digitally at a price point of $1.99 or less. Here's what they had to say on their website:
The Marvel ReEvolution Is HereWill retailers throw a hissy fit and threaten to boycott Marvel comics over this? That remains to be seen, but at least Marvel is making an effort here. All this reporter is saying is that they should be making a bigger one.
Print and digital media come together for the future of comic book publishing
The Marvel ReEvolution is here—and comics will never be the same! The future of comic book publishing was unveiled to the raucous crowd at SXSW Interactive' s ScreenBurn Arcade courtesy of industry superstars Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief, Marvel Comics), Peter Phillips (SVP/GM, Marvel Digital Media) and Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television) during the historic Marvel: House of Ideas panel
An industry first, the Marvel ReEvolution seamlessly brings the worlds of print and digital media together for a comics experience like no other. The first two elements of this exciting new initiative were revealed as Marvel Infinite Comics, a new comic book format, and Marvel AR, the first major augmented reality app from a comics company. And fans will not have to wait long to get in on the action as they will both be released with the hotly-anticipated AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 on April 4, when the two biggest super heroe teams in the world go to war!
"Marvel's always led graphic fiction industry in digital media innovation and the Marvel ReEvolution is a quantum leap into the future of publishing," said Dan Buckley. Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. "We see print and digital product as complementary, not competitive—so we've made sure that not only do we have new digital content but also digital products that enhance the printed page. The release of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1, the biggest story we've ever told, is the activation point for the re-evolution of comics as a whole."
Marvel Infinite Comics represent a new form of comic book storytelling, using tablets and smartphones as a new canvas for storytelling, taking advantage of modern technology while staying true to medium's greatest strengths. The first comic released in this format will be AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 INFINITE, from acclaimed creators Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen and available on April 4 for purchase on the Marvel Comics app, free with the redemption of the code found in print copies of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 or included with the purchase of the digital version.
"We call these Marvel Infinite Comics because the storytelling possibilities are, frankly, infinite. Writers and artists now have a whole host of new tools at their disposal to redefine the comic book medium," said Alonso. "Current tablets and smartphones, along with comiXology's Guided View technology, allow us to develop new, full length stories for a different medium that are very much truly comics—but experienced by readers in a way no other major company has ever executed."
The Marvel AR app, powered by Aurasma, will be released in April for iOS and Android devices. By opening this app and scanning select Marvel products featuring the Marvel AR logo, you'll unlock exclusive content starring the world's most popular super heroes, including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and many others! Go behind the scenes of your favorite comics, see new footage, hear from creators, catch yourself up on past events and more!
"Marvel AR is a perfect example of how digital innovation not only gives added value to print comics, but also brings a delivers an entirely new reading experience," explained Phillips. "Now fans will have access to more behind-the-scenes material from their favorite Marvel products than ever before—and it's all absolutely free."
Written or Contributed by: Jude Terror
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