You remember Madefire? They do the “Motion Book” not-quite-animated comics (I highly recommend Milk for the Ugly) and power the in-house digital comics sites for several publishers. And they been busy little beavers in the time leading up to NYCC.
First up, TechCrunch reports Madefire has received a $6.5M Series B funding round (that’s Venture Capital lingo for a second large round of investment money). Investors include Kevin Spacey, Drake and, perhaps more interestingly, Framestore. It seems Framestore is also going to be producing some content for the Madefire platform, which ought to be interesting. Not familiar with Framestore?
Framestore is well known for eye-catching animation work that continues to push the boundaries of digital storytelling. A self-confessed ‘creature house’, Framestore is relied upon for creating groundbreaking and award-winning animations throughout film. The ‘Framestore Zoo’ includes cinematic legends such as Harry Potter’s Buckbeak the Hippogriff and faithful House Elf, Dobby; our beloved Paddington; and Guardians of the Galaxy‘s straight-talking raccoon, Rocket.
Like I said, it ought to be interesting what they get up to with that platform.
In a separate announcement, Madefire is getting into the Virtual Reality game. This should not be a complete surprise to tech industry observers, since VR is the new thing right now and there’s plenty of comics/gaming crossover.
Madefire takes the experience to a whole new level with the announcement of the free Madefire preview app for Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. The Madefire preview app on Gear VR showcases Motion Books in VR. This experience extends reading into a whole new realm with motion, sound and the ability to see the story in 3D whilst being completely immersed in a 360-degree environment. Madefire enables readers to literally step into the page.
The free Madefire app will preview world-class content specifically optimized for VR reading, including:
Revolution — The brand-new comic book universe that merges Transformers, G.I. Joe, and more from IDW Publishing and Hasbro.
Somnia: Origins — The new original title from world-renowned visual effects studio, Framestore.
Injustice: Year One — The smash-hit comic from DC.
MONO: The Old Curiosity Shop — The award-winning Madefire Original.
And to bring it back to the comics world, it may be of interest to some that Liam Sharp – recently returned to monthly comics with Wonder Woman – is one of the co-founders of Madefire.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.