Marvel hit the SXSW conference this weekend to take the wraps off of two new ventures geared entirely to the tablet market.
When the original iPad launched in 2010, one of the first “must have” apps on just about every list was the Marvel Comics reader. It has continued to be a success, but it seems lately that the Disney-owned comics company wants to make sure that you don’t forget about them in the sea of applications that have launched in the interim. At this weekends South by Southwest Interactive conference, Marvel showed up with two new projects: Marvel Infinite Comics and Marvel AR.
The new Marvel Infinite Comics project will see the company developing new aspects of titles specifically with tablets in mind. While the traditional conventions of comic storytelling will be there – panel lines, word balloons and so on – creators will be able to work with new tools that will allow them to add things such as motion to the story. The first issue developed for this project will be Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 Infinite that will go on sale on April 4. It will be available through the Marvel Comics app for iOS or Android, and will also be available for free with a redemption code included with the print version of the book.
Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso told the company’s blog, “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.” He went on to add, “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 will be a new tool that will unlock additional content for the books you purchase. Once you download the app you will be able to scan a code in select comics from the company that will give you access to exclusive content such as more information on the characters, behind the scenes videos, interviews with the creators and more. Peter Phillips, SVP/GM, Marvel Digital Media, said of the project, “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.” He went on to add, “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.”
These announcements are in addition to Marvel’s news from last week that as of June it will include redemption codes in more print titles for the digital versions. It seems that “the House of Ideas” is trying to break into the digital format in a big way, and as a life-long comic fan, anything that keeps these stories coming if fine by me.