When I got the skinny on Marvel’s big announcements this past weekend at SxSW I was more than a little confused. However, once I realized that they were actually making two announcements, it became a little easier to follow.
I understand the “Infinite Comics” bit about Digital-Only stories. This isn’t really anything new as I’m pretty sure that comics creators have been doing these for a while now. I remember hearing some chatter about “web-comics” or something. Also, Marvel’s done web-exclusive comics before. Many times before, in fact.
What sets Infinite Comics apart (allegedly) is the idea of using all the elements of digital creation, from screen size to panel transitions, to create a comic tailored to the digital meduim.
Again, sounds familliar… but I’m willing to give it a shot.
The second part about the “Augmented Reality” (or Marvel AR) app is kind of intriguing. If I understand it correctly, using your smartphone or tablet you can scan images in a print comic that will unlock content on your device. Kinda neat, but if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet it’s not really that interesting. Unless you really like QR codes.
So, if anything, both of these announcements are… well, weird.
But here’s the up-side to both Infinite Comics and Augmented Reality: It’s free, with the codes being printed inside your print copy of the comic, in this case Avengers Vs X-Men.
This may not seem like a big deal, but in a world where everything costs more and comics are in the $3-$4 range, I’m willing to to at least try it and see what it’s about. Value comes in all shapes and sizes and at least it’s something. Years from now, we may look back on it like we do gimmicks like Chromium covers and trading cards, but until then I’m willing to give AR a shot.
Which is the exact same argument that led to my purchase of Nightwatch #1 in 1994 (look it up, it has a very shiny cover).
Today’s page comes to us from the wonderful Thom Zahler:
Thom Zahler, ladies’ man, man’s man, man about town, is also the creator of the Harvey-nominated, beloved superhero romantic comedy “Love and Capes.” He is a graduate of the Kubert School and currently travels the backroads of the country going from convention to convention, kind of like Reno Raines in “Renegade.”
Be good, my friends! See you back here Friday!