Wednesday 11 February 2009

Looking Ahead

We're not usually one for commenting too much about Marvel, DC and the land of superheroes. That's not a value judgement of course, it's just that there are a lot of sites devoted to this subject so we thought it would be good to write about books that don't get blogged about as much.

Something did strike me as odd from the New York comic convention recently that I thought would be worth highlighting. Marvel announced that each issue of the new Spider-Woman comic written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Maleev (both heavyweights as they won an Eisner for their work on Daredevil) would be seen on Apple itunes first before then being published as a regular comic.

Not a bolt from the blue you may say. Web comics have been gaining momentum for a while now. But Marvel plans for Spider-Woman to be a "digital motion comic" complete with moving images and sound. Actors are to be hired and music scored for the project.

Bendis was quoted as saying "we were wondering what the 'language' of comics would become, free from the confines of paper". This is a startling quote. A big name superhero comic book writer bemoaning the confines of paper. Is he really suggesting that comic books are really just second best format?

Bendis rightly points out that his generation got into comics by hanging out at the mall as kids and buying comics and that nowadays kids are more likely to hang out on itunes. What if his extrapolation is correct regarding the potential audience and the project becomes a huge hit with new consumers?

If people are impressed with the product they will be tempted to emulate it. How long would it take for creators of so-called alternative comics to decide their work would benefit from a touch of music, a voiceover, maybe a simple movement in the art?

And at exactly what point does a comic become a cartoon? SLS

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