Category Archives: motion comic

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers

Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers ~ This Marvel Knights motion comics disc production is based on the miniseries of the same name written by Robert Rodi and beautifully rendered by Esad Ribic. It’s an amazing comic, perhaps Rodi’s best, and he’s a man who not only knows comics but is a terrific talent as well. The words and images are pure brilliance on the page, however, unfortunately, it does not translate well to this format in my opinion.

What works on the static page doesn’t come across in the same way in motion. Loki’s monologues are long and tedious here, some of the art almost ugly in movement as it was beautiful still. What was a luxurious and entertaining read is a slow and boring watch. So much so that after a while all I wanted was for Thor to hit something, anything, as long as it made Loki shut up.

Two thumbs down on this motion comic, but two solidly thumbs up for the real comic. This is proof that sometimes the source material in its original form is superior. Check out the comic, forget the motion.

The motion comic is nowhere near as cool as the above trailer…

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Iron Man Extremis

Iron Man Extremis, written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Adi Granov, – the Motion Comic – comes to iTunes on April 16th. Be there!

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Marvel Comics’ follow-up to the highly acclaimed Spider-Woman Motion Comic by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev is actually a bit of a surprise. Rather than another work created specifically for the format, they have gone old school (or as old school as one can go in the new realm of this technology) and chosen a story already presented in comic book form – “Gifted” the controversial first storyline from Josh Whedon and John Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men.

One might think this is a backward step in motion comic production until one actually sees it. This is moving forward into new territory. With the help of Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios, who also directed “Gifted” along with original artist John Cassaday, Marvel is bringing a whole new dimension to the artform.

Originally motion comics of the twenty-first century were nothing more than moving some elements across a static background to imitate movement, similar (sadly) to the infamous “Marvel Super Heroes” cartoons from 1966. Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., a few months back was the first to be designed specifically for the motion comic format and utilized a style that brought the story and action to life.

Now, Neal Adams, who pioneered the realistic artstyle in comics of the late 1960s and early 1970s, takes things even farther into the future with Astonishing X-Men. These characters breathe. They speak as if animated, blink, move, etc. This is the next wave. It has to be seen to be believed. Marvel is riding the wave of the motion comic to the next frontier. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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Best of 2009

My top ten films that I’ve seen this year that came out this year would be, in no particular order – Timecrimes, District 9, (500) Days of Summer, The Princess and the Frog, Moon, Wonder Woman, Inglourious Basterds, and my top three – Ponyo, Watchmen and Star Trek.

On television, “Glee” tops my card, quickly followed by Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and a startling season of “Dexter.” Other highlights would include the “Seinfeld” reunion on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” the spoiled children of “Big Brother 10” and of course the “Doctor Who” specials.

Musically there’s no question that 2009 was the year of Lady GaGa. And I think that’s only the beginning. Even if she’s a four-hit wonder, her performances and music, as well as her interviews are stunning. She is a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.

On the interwebs, props must go to Marvel Comics for their amazing motion comics of Astonishing X-Men and especially Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.

Now bring on 2010!

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Watch Your Step

When the Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. motion comic from Marvel on iTunes first debuted I mentioned that this may be the beginning of the end for the print comic. Here is just one of the many reasons this may be so – the theme song. You don’t get a theme song with a paper comic book.

“Watch Your Step” is by Dan Phillips with Anna Abbey and the Marvel Music Group, and is pretty darned catchy. Watch out.

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Spider-Woman on Top

Yesterday Marvel Comics debuted its first original motion comic on iTunes: Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. Today, it was the number one seller on the television and animation charts. And it could very well be the death knell for print comics.

The series involves Jessica Drew alias Spider-Woman bouncing back from the traumatic events of Secret Invasion and New Avengers and finding her way in a treacherous new world. Adding to the excitement is the creative team – writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev – famous for their Eisner Awards and their NYT bestselling Daredevil run. It’s also worth noting that it was Bendis who brought Spider-Woman from a minor forgotten character to the forefront of the Marvel Universe.

While the stories featured in this iTunes exclusive will at some point next month be available in a traditional print format, the presentation is key here. While previous motion comics have been merely already existing comics retooled for the motion comic format – essentially comic images moving across the screen via flash animation – Spider-Woman is something new.

Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. is created specifically for the motion comic format, and just by that virtue, it is different, and amazing. With a complete voice cast, a soundtrack and a notable lack of confining comic panels, this episode has a widescreen cinematic style that is something rarely seen in the comic book medium.

This new visual style at $1.99 per ten-minute episode vs. $3.99 per twenty-two page issue of a comic book may just give credence to the phrase “Print is dead.” While I sincerely hope not, I am still very excited by this event, and you should be too. Definitely check it out.

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