SDCC ’14: Madefire goes Android in “massive push”


Madefire is on the move with their technology enabling more “motion books” comics, with news of a launch on Android a new store and more.

Madefire is making a massive push to scale its cutting-edge digital comics publishing platform today by launching on Android at San Diego Comic Con. Madefire Motion Books that uniquely combine images, sound and interactivity will immediately be available via Google Play to Android users worldwide with in-app purchase support. The Madefire ecosystem will further expand with the addition of a new “Print Books” category. This “authentic” comics reading experience will offer simple pageview, pinch and zoom navigation for a huge catalog of comics and graphic novels. A new UI for all storefronts will also debut making it easier than ever to navigate and discover the books that matter to readers in this new global comics marketplace

Top publishers like IDW, Valiant, Oni Press, Top Cow, Liquid Comics, and others have signed on to support the new Print Books category. With rights to thousands of titles, Madefire now represents both scale and digital story telling innovation in comics across all screens and devices worldwide.

Madefire was founded on the principle of empowering the indie-creator with the tools to create and publish the “new myths of the 21st century.”  Last week, Madefire did just that rolling out their powerful web-based Create Tool to all users worldwide. Working closely with the massive on-line artistic community at DeviantArt, Madefire is energizing individual artists and authors to create new stories that can be published within minutes on the web. This process can take months on other platforms.

“Since we opened our Motion Book Tool we’ve been staggered at the appetite for digital comics,” said Ben Wolstenholme, CEO of Madefire. “From Print comics to Motion Books, and from new creators to established studios like DC, it’s all on Madefire. It’s taken years, but we’ve now rolled out the most advanced comic book platform in the world and made it open to all.”

Hellboy Comes to Madefire

Madefire and Dark Horse have announced that Hellboy will be coming to the Motion Book service, starting with the current Hellboy in Hell series.

[Read more…]

Madefire teams with deviantART for more motion comics

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Madefire—the VC-funded IoS-based comics starter— and DeviantART, the 7th largest social network on the internet, have teamed up to share art and technology.

Madefire will allow its motion comics technology to be available on DV to present comics, and DV users will use this technology to create new limited animation comics.

Todd Allen previewed the union at Publishers Weekly: Comics produced in the motion comics app will be available for download—either for free for a fee set by the creators. Madefire’s comics will be available on the DV portal, some free and some for ten cents.

As you all know, DV is a huge repository for comics art of all kinds—but you may not have known how huge:

While it isn’t well known outside the DeviantART community, the site does have its own cartoonists. Sotira was quick to point out the work of an artist named Yuu Mei. Her signature piece, a Flash-based comic titled “1000 Words,” has been viewed 1.35 million times, downloaded another 38,000 times, has 114,000 “favorite” votes and even has 25,000 comments, a huge humber that underscores the power of the DeviantArt community.

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Apple features Madefire in iPad mini rollout

The biggest players in the comics space may soon be (or already are) Apple, Google and Amazon, and at least two of them are very bullish on comics, as we’ve been reporting for some time. Apple is specifically keen on Madefire, the new line of original comics available via app. This factoid was touted in a Madefire ad:

As if the release of the iPad mini were not exciting enough, attending the launch event and seeing Madefire featured in the keynote, as well as on Apple’s web site, felt like a huge turning point–both for Madefire and for reading. With its 7.9 inch screen and a hyper-portable size, this new iPad/iPhone lovechild was born for Madefire and for mobile reading. We’ll be bringing current Madefire stories as well as new releases to iPad mini soon!

And here’s the Apple ad to prove it:
Having a comics company stand in for the entire “Entertainment: category? Nice.

Madefire launched at San Diego touting new comics by Dave Gibbons, Liam Sharp, Bill Sienkiewicz and more and since then have been making headline with high profile moves like hiring digital editor Ben Abernathy away from DC. Todd Allen profiled the company here.

On the Scene: NYCC 2012 Day Two: Scott Allie Tells It Like It Is

By Hannah Means-Shannon

Well, firstly, Friday was the new Saturday this year at NYCC. What that makes Saturday is yet to be seen. Though both Friday and Saturday passes sold out ahead of time, the energy and sense of a full house closely matched Saturday’s peak in attendance last year. The numbers were clearly reflected in Friday’s panels, and even the ones that you might not expect to be packed were crowded and enthusiastic. It may even spell out an interesting trend in con attendance, since the more “hands on” panels focused on getting involved in comics production filled even the back rows.

The “Editors on Editing” panel presented a fairly bland title, but the co-opted panelists and description kept attendees from giving it a pass. Filip Sablik of Boom! Entertainment, Scott Allie of Dark Horse, and Ben Abernathy of Madefire were moderated by Buddy Scalera of There was certainly schooling going on, and this was just what the audience wanted. When Scalera asked for a show of hands at different points about what audience members were particularly interested in, be it creating comic art, writing comics, or editing comics, a sea of hands flashed into the air. The room was full of motivated would-be creators scribbling notes and later directing the Q and A toward their needs with great determination. It was enough to make you wonder if a gradual trend is now particularly noticeable. With things like Kickstarter and crowd funding available, and in particular with the growth of digital comics platforms, more and more people are coming forward as comics creators in search of advice.

The panelists were all business and spoke in a direct way about their experiences and lessons learned, and brought their respective assets to the table including marketing knowledge and the trends of success over time. Scott Allie combined the unique qualities of an experienced comics writer and editor, and one who continues to write on his own projects while steering Darkhorse in its successes. Allie was careful to point out that he’s not the first of his kind. Other writer-editor combos who have inspired him were Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, and Harvey Kurtzman to name a few. Being able to “think like an editor” when examining your writing is worth its weight in gold, he suggested. Abernathy, speaking about Madefire flipped the flow of the equation and said that he preferred to see creators linked to publishing so that they could bring the creator’s perspective, as well as their instincts as fans regarding what they would like to see produced.

A large portion of the discussion, however, was dedicated to “breaking in”. Sablik’s first piece of advice: “Go out and do it”. Write all the time, he said, if you intend to be a writer. Allie chimed in that, as a writer, you still won’t really know until a comic is drawn whether a script works, and learning by trial and error is the most direct path to success. Abernathy pointed out that, unlike past practice of submitting scripts or springboards to comics publishers, the most efficient way to get an editor’s attention is to get several pages of a sample comic drawn. Seeing, in that sense, is believing, and proves the collaborators are able to communicate effectively. Allie had something else to add, that personal relationships play a truly significant role in success. Joss Whedon once summed it up for Allie: “It’s all about relationships”.

It’s a truth that people often discuss, that having “connections” gets you noticed and published, but the panelists approached this idea in a more affirmative light. The positive relationships you establish within comics among fellow-creators will contribute to your success, perhaps much more than you even suspect. The other factor: being willing to do the less glamorous jobs in the comics business to show your work ethic and level of interest. All of the panelists had started in comics as interns or desk-minders to learn things from the ground up. In a way, it was tough advice that could be boiled down to “Care about other people in the business and realize their success contributes to your own”, “Show your commitment to learning in practical ways”, and “Work, work, work”. And during the Q and A, all the panelists agreed that using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to raise awareness about your work is a very wise decision also. If the audience was looking for a simple and effortless key to their golden contract in comics, they didn’t get it.

Scott Allie did his best to dispel myths about routes to success in comics. “My whole life is manipulating creative people”, he said, “All creators lie”, but not “maliciously”. People lie to themselves about their performance in comics, they lie to themselves about their level of proficiency, but editors lie to perpetuate some necessary illusions and bring out completed works at the top of a creator’s range. If you believe what you’re saying about yourself, he suggested, maybe you’ll surprise yourself.


Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.