Marvel Comics promised a major leap forward for the comic book industry yesterday with the announcement of the Marvel Creativity Studios Stylus and App, exclusively for the iPad and out in time for the holidays. The app allows kids to draw, color, and animate their favorite Marvel Comics super heroes and offers enhanced playability with the addition of the stylus, but, more importantly, it provides Marvel with the opportunity to get rid of the needless expense of paying professional comic book artists.
"We really appreciate all of the talented artists that have worked for Marvel over the years," explained Marvel Chief Creative Officer and cheese-filled Mexican appetizer Joe Quesada, "but, let's face it: paying artists costs money. On the other hand, kids love to draw, and 99% of the time, they do it for free."
"I mean, there's kids out there every day drawing Marvel characters, just for fun, with crayons and construction paper and whatever art supplies their parents give them," Quesada went on. "All of that art is just going to waste, basically. It might go up on the refrigerator door for a week or something, but what kind of revenue is that generating? Marvel could be using this art in our comics."
Quesada told us that the company spends literally hundreds of dollars flying executives to places like South America or the Philippines to recruit artists to draw its books cheaply, and when those artists become well-known, they all of a sudden begin demanding fair wages for their work. Calling it an unsustainable cycle, Quesada admitted that the company had been looking for an alternative for some time. He then introduced Marvel's newest hot shot artist, Max McKloskey, age 7.
"I like 'Ulverine," McKloskey told us in his first exclusive interview, as Quesada revealed exclusively to The Outhouse the upcoming McKloskey variant cover for Savage Wolverine #16.
"This is 'Ulverine's house," McKloskey told us proudly, pointing to a purple house in the drawing. "And this is the sun, and a rainbow."
"This is 'Ulverine stabbing a redhead to death," he went on, grinning. "He's the best there is at what he does."
"Eat your heart out, Skottie Young," Quesada gloated, glad to longer need to pay top dollar for the artist's signature Marvel Babies variants that infest Marvel's publishing schedule like exceptionally cute cockroaches.
Quesada expressed hopes that artists like McKloskey could work "probably for three or four years" before becoming aware of the fact that their drawings were worth money. "At that point, we'll just send Tom Brevoort to a local elementary school with a case of chocolate milk to recruit a new batch of talent," he revealed.
"Hopefully Tom won't just drink all of the chocolate milk himself," a worried Quesada added.
Not to be outdone, competitor DC Comics is reportedly working on their own child artist program, but the publisher has encountered setbacks as an entire first grade class set to begin work on a new wave of Nu52 replacement books walked out of the company last week, citing intolerable editorial interference.
Here's the official press release Marvel sent out yesterday:
Marvel Entertainment Announces Creativity Studio Stylus and App for iPad
Combined, the Stylus and App let kids learn to draw their favorite Marvel characters and will be available in time for the Holidays.
Glendale, Calif. (October 24, 2013) – Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Marvel Entertainment today announced the launch of the Marvel Creativity Studio Stylus and App, created by eKids, exclusively for iPad. The app delivers a creative space for kids to learn to draw, color and animate their favorite Marvel Super Heroes and villains from Avengers Assemble, The Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., while the stylus adds special and enhanced play value.
“The Marvel Creativity Studio is an innovative way for fans of all ages to learn how to draw some of Marvel’s most popular Super Heroes while allowing them to use their imagination to feel like they’re part of the action,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president of global franchise licensing and commercialization at Disney Consumer Products. “Leveraging the comic drawing history of the Marvel brand with the innovation that eKids brings to the table – or in this case, tablet – this product delivers a fun experience with endless play value.”
App and Stylus features include:
• Professionally illustrated coloring pages, where you can add your own flare with tons of drawing tools and an extensive color pallet
• Use of the stylus to unlock special tools including the " Reveal" tool to flawlessly color the page like a pro
• An interactive grid system that includes specialty drawing aids such as side-by-side drawing canvas, trace lines and unique “Drawing Scope” – allowing artists of all levels to successfully learn how to draw these characters
• Build and animate action scenes with character stickers, sound effects, speech bubbles and backgrounds
• Create your own custom stickers and add them to animated scenes
The Stylus – which includes unlimited access to all content and future updates – is available at mass retailers. A deluxe version with a limited edition zippered carry case is available exclusively at Apple Retail Stores and from the Apple Online Store; both retail for $34.99. The Marvel Creativity Studio app is FREE and may be found at www.appstore.com/MarvelCreativityStudio.
For more information, visit www.eKids.com.