Tagged: motion comics

Neal Adams @ Graphic NYC

Graphic NYC  has a terrific piece by Christopher Irving and Seth Kushner on comics luminary Neal Adams. Among other things Mr. Adams discusses next week’s debut of the Astonishing X-Men motion comic in Union Square (which Forbidden Planet is participating in with Marvel, the details of which can be seen here at The Beat but will be discussed here on The DP soon).

adamsDebuting October 28th in Union Square, projected on the side of a building, is the motion comic adapted from the first issue of writer Joss Whedon and artist John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men. Continuity is shepherding the comics pages along, turning them into a cross between comics and animation.

“This is the next step, because this is a new art form,” Neal adds. “It’s never existed before. What you have is comic books and animation. Animation is Bruce Timm interpreting everybody else’s work, and all very nice and semi-complimentary, and not exactly royalty-filled-with. It’s good, but it’s animation: 500 Czech artists tracing animation from some other artist. It’s fine, but it’s not the comic books. This is the comic books. This is taking the work of the artists and words of the writer, verbatim. The thing about Whedon is that [he] is used to doing copy, so he knows how many words need to be dealt with, and he does good personality stuff.

“So, you have vocalizing of the writer’s words, and the artwork being animated by the most modern technology available by computers. The technology, as little as a year ago, is half of what it is today. It’s moving very, very fast.

“I’ve been doing animatics since I was nineteen years old. Animatics are the unknown art form. We’ve been doing it for advertising agencies and making a living, and happy to do it. Now this art form is applied to comic books as a commercial product. So, what do you get? You get the writer’s words and the artist’s artwork. This is what we believe in, and this is what we’re doing: You’re seeing the artist’s line with very little change. We may extend a line or slightly finish an arm, but as often as not we’ll steal another arm and stick it on there, if possible. Like when we do the mouths moving, I’ll draw a moving mouth, but what we’ll do is, in the computer, steal the actual mouth and put it on there to make the mouth fit the actual positions of the mouth I’ve drawn. You get the mouth, line for line, everything that’s there.”

Astonishing is a step up for the ever-evolving motion comic, with the characters moving through their paces with panning camera angles, kinetic bodies, and expressive faces. Chances are, given the rate of the technology’s evolution, that the final issue will be relatively far ahead of the first issue.

“There’s more available every day,” Neal adds. “We just did the first book’s worth, and now the second book’s worth is so much better. That’s how good it is, and it’s joyous for us, because we know we’re going to see it out with the customers. We’ve been doing animatics for years. We do the work. It gets tested, and it’s put/thrown away [after]. And then we look at this. I can see that being the next step in comics.

“You’re going to walk into a comic book store and see DVDs, watch it on your T.V., and on the subway. It’s tech-conscious because it’s not on paper….The thing that’s so wonderful about this is that there’s nothing about it that denies the comic book, but in fact, feeds off the comic books. We do comics, Marvel and DC do comics, so that movies will be made. Everybody recognizes it through the comic book. Everybody gets it, so that it’s still the origin point.”

Be sure to check out the whole piece.  It’s an absorbing read whether you’re a fan or not.

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REVIEW: Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D Motion Comic.

Spider-Woman by Alex Maleev

Marvel’s first motion comic arrived earlier this week, and I just viewed it.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev this stripped down if not disconcerting 10 minute static animation was enjoyable, but weird to look at.

We follow Jessica Drew, recovering from post-Skrull Invasion and has been contracted by Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. to hunt down the remaining Skrulls on Earth and deep six ’em. This is the key sequence in the motion comic that was disconcerting and actually kind of gave me motion sickness, but I attribute that more to last night than the viewing itself.  During Jessica’s discussion with Brand on a London double decker bus, the bus moves and you can see traffic going by outside, their fancy schmancy iPhones do all the things an iPhone does, but the characters talk and their lips are not moving.  See what I’m saying? Disconcerting.  The entire thing is like that.

However, that does not make this a bad thing at all, actually I really really enjoyed it.  Alex Maleev’s restrained paintings bring life to this exceptionally dark piece of animation, and Bendis restrains himself from the wordy chatter he’s known for, but still retains the attitude that is Jessica Drew.  However, I am with Graeme McMillan over at io9.com, that I would rather read it than watch it. However, for .99 cents its cheaper than buying the comic, so really, its worth downloading.

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Tuesday Morning Cartoons.

Marvel and DC Comics have released their latest animation endeavors with the “Spider-Woman” motion comic, and the first four minutes of “Green Lantern: First Flight”.  We would embed the clips to the body of this article, but they’ve crashed my browser four times since this morning. So, apologies.

The Spider-Woman “motion comic” which still just sounds like a classed up version of saying cartoon, much in the same way that “graphic novel” pertains to comics looks pretty fantastic.  Written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by his “Daredevil” partner Alex Maleev, this is something that looks patently gorgeous.  The entire movie will be shown at the”Marvel Digital Comics” panel Friday, July 25th at 5:30pm in room 6DE of the San Diego Convention Center.

Though it wouldn’t be Con if the other half of the Big Two didn’t have something premiering as well to conflict with that.  That is “Green Lantern: First Flight” which our friend Rick Marshall over at MTV’s Splash Page has the first four-minute clip of the film.  The movie premieres Thursday night at 8pm in Ballroom 20. For those of us not attending the convention, we’re just going to have to wait for the DVD to come out July 28th.

Coming up, we’ll give you our guide to surviving the San Diego Comic Con and what we think you’d like to check out.

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