Pass Me the Giggle Water, Old Chap. These Motion Comics Are the Cat's Meow…
With [any] new medium comes a new storytelling language. It’s more than just taking the images and moving them around the screen. There’s a new storytelling language that’s emerging every time we work on it and we’re really excited for where that takes us.”
– Ultimate Spider-Man creator Brian Michael Bendis
There’s “a new form of interactive storytelling” emerging on iTunes: motion comics. Treading water somewhere between comic strips and animated cartoons, they add spoken dialogue and Ken-Burns-effect-style animation to comic book panels (see video below), and comics icon Marvel Entertainment (MRVL) is about to get into them in a big way.
Later this spring the company will begin peddling Spider-Woman and Astonishing X-Men motion comics on iTunes. “This has been an ongoing conversation I’ve had with our publisher Dan Buckley I’d say for the last two to three years,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada said during a panel discussion at ComiCon last week. “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.”
Well, that day has apparently arrived. Says Quesada: “[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.”
Whether there’s an audience for something that collides animated shorts with actual comics without offering an compelling advantages over either (cartoons that don’t move as much as they should! Comic books with crappy voiceovers!) remains to be seen.