Oct 14 2013
I bought a three day pass to New York Comic Con this year, but I was only able to attend for one day. There wasn’t that much exciting panels or booths this year (for me at least). However, one booth caught my attention while I was meandering around the show floor.
On the surface, Madefire looks like any other app for comic books reading similar to Comixology. It turned out to be far more interesting and exciting that I thought it to be. The company essentially converts your favorite comic books/graphic novels into an exciting motion comic. If you’re thinking about Mass Effect‘s Genesis comic, then you’ll be glad to know it’s nothing like that. Think of Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-men animated series but minus the voice acting.
I’m not saying that reading statics comic books is boring because I enjoy doing so very much. Yet, Madefire seeks to enhance the experience by adding in soundtracks, sound effects, and a bit of animation into the mix. My friend noted that they did not add any voice acting into the motion comic adaptations. That would have been great, but it’s not something I will sorely look for. I understand that voice acting would be costly especially if they did that with popular franchises like Star Trek.
In addition, I kind of like not having an assigned voice to all the characters in comics I read. I remember the days when I used to imagine how a character sounds like or the moments when I would read the dialogue aloud. It leaves room for your imagination to run wild. I would also like to note how the soundtrack and sound effects were very well placed and done. There was one part in the first episode of a comic called Treatment wherein there was a confrontation happening in a Tokyo rooftop garden. I loved how I could hear chimes, the wind, movement in the pond, and other subtle yet defining sounds in the background. This was evident in other panels as well. It’s the little things that make the experience more realistic.
They appeared to be a fresh company in the industry. Madefire’s staff admitted it themselves and it was quite obvious with the number of titles they have under their library. I was honestly put off by the fact that they didn’t have any Marvel or DC titles under their belt, but the potential of their product far outweighs its flaws for now. To be fair, they recently just signed a deal with IDW publishing. They own the Star Trek, Transformers, and My Little Pony properties which is a great addition to Madefire’s library.
I would really be excited if they had All New X-men and the like available in motion comic form, but my only concern would be is if the company could convert these titles in a timely manner. I didn’t get to ask what the turnover rate was or how long and how much effort to do the conversion. However, I’m assuming it’s not much of a simple task. If I’m really engrossed into a series, the longest I would wait is a week to stall on reading it. While it’s hard to go back to reading static panels from dynamic ones, it’s tempting to go back to the old medium to know what happens. Hopefully, Madefire will know how to address this once they get more licensing deals.
One of their representatives also told me that they are publishers as well. They have an in-house team of creators and they also have the motion comic tool available for download if artists want to give it a shot. As a fan of comic books and other storytelling mediums, I’m definitely supporting Madefire and I have high hopes up for them. Support them by downloading their app on your iOS device or through reading online.
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