Offered without comment.


  1. I’m just curious how much production cost goes into these. It must take a serious amount of time, not to mention additional art, to make the still images move around, the mouths move, people walk, etc. I could see these being used as trailers (like this was) or for special editions, but I’d be surprised it ever made sense economically to do consistently. Even as “well done” as this one was, it still wasn’t that entertaining. But interesting to see done.

  2. I hadn’t really seen what a motion comic looks like until this trailer, despite everyone talking about them.
    While I’m not opposed to the idea, it weird me out a bit that they are still called comics. I think Eisner would disagree. Looks like overly simple animation to me, just because the animation images started life as a comic book doesn’t mean the new product still is a comic book.

  3. Thanks for posting that like that. I haven’t actually watched a “motion comic” yet because I’ve never wanted to know what they look like badly enough to follow a link.

    But I don’t get it. It’s basically just bad animation of pre-existing comics, then? People like these things?

  4. To be fair to the “Watchmen” motion comic, it was much more like an audio-book format, adapted for comic books. There was one voice actor/narrator doing all the characters, and the word balloons still popped up as you read — er, watched. (I downloaded the first chapter from iTunes back when it was available gratis.)

    Whether or not anyone enjoyed it (and opinions were decidely mixed, from what I read online and heard among “Watchmen” fans), it was, decidedly, its own media beast and an interesting experiment. Using just one actor, including the word balloons — those elements made it seem exactly like what it was billed to be, a motion comic, unlike the bargain-basement cartoon that this appears to be.

  5. If only someone with experience in actually making cartoons would take over marvel!

    Motion comics are unique in that they both suck and blow – when you take a static frame from a static medium and then just move it around a bit in a medium that has a temporal aspect and the passage of time, you make the characters look like they are stoned or mildly brain-damaged.

  6. There’s less drawings, but the trade off is that the individual drawings are so much better than regular cartoon fare. In some respects this is quality over quantity.

  7. Actually – I think the 1960’s cartoons were better than this……everybody sing now: “We belong, we belong, we belong, we belong… to the Mickey Mouse Marching Society….”

  8. Sorry, I’m gonna have to go oldschool on these. They are not comics. They’re not even webcomics (which is not to imply that webcomics are not comics or that they are lesser media, so stop typing that right now). They’re panels with comic art and animation. They’re cartoons, and not really very good ones, no matter the quality of the rendering that they’re utilizing.

    Sure hope the original art crew gets a chunk of whatever these generate, though.

  9. It’s still such a new thing, who knows where it can take us?

    Animation Motherland owner Lance Sells (Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. #1) shares your sentiment:

    Sells said there’s still much to learn about how motion comics will work as their own medium. “I see this format and how there are drawbacks to the format and great things about the format that regular animation can’t do. But I see a really cool potential, and now with DC and Marvel going at this full-steam, the thing I see in comic artwork is so much more beautiful than anything you see in animation. Even a cool show the ‘The Venture Brothers’ where the characters are well designed and drawn, but you don’t get the impact of insanely detailed art of comics. There’s going to be away to exploit that and take it to a different level.” [. . .]

    Motherland will continue to work in many spaces over the coming year, including more original animated music videos. “A music video is 1/30th of the [Spider-Woman] motion comic,” Sells said. “We’re doing about an hour’s worth of animation on ‘Spider-Woman.’ It’s like small season of a show. We’re looking at exploring some live action stuff to mix in with our animation, but I really want to keep going on these motion comics because I see something there that’s different than animation. I think motion comics is a form of animation more so than comics just because of the nature of losing word balloons and panels.”

    My natural skepticism makes me think that if you want to do a cartoon, do an actual cartoon, but the idea of using the artwork in comics within cartoons must be tempting.


  10. Jesus, you people are harsh. What were you expecting, “Lord of the Rings” or “Toy Story” quality animation? Sure, these motion comics are just glorified animated GIF files, but that’s all their intent was meant to be. I look at these motion comics as a slick advertisement meant to entice you to go buy the actual comic, not replace traditional animation or story telling. You can act all high and mighty about the “poor quality”, but I wonder how many of you spent hours on end making your own animated gifs in order to impress people with a funky avatar when posting on message boards.

  11. # Scrr Says:
    09/2/09 at 11:05 am
    “Looks pretty much like how Marvel did their cartoons in the 1960s.”

    Yeah, you nailed it. That’s the reason this made me giggle so damn much.

  12. Jesus, you people are harsh. What were you expecting, “Lord of the Rings” or “Toy Story” quality animation?

    There are problems when something that’s touted as new and exciting is found to be low quality, annoying, etc. Doing that can be seen as a lack of faith in the ability of comics to entertain, that the audience for the comics characters is ignorant, or both. The basic idea of incorporating comics artwork into cartoons is a fine one, but if doing that and achieving actual animation requires supercomputers or hours of effort with other computers and associated costs, then the project might not be worthwhile.

    FWIW, I’ve always found elaborate signatures on forum posts, whether they’re ASCII, graphics, or animated GIFs, very annoying.


  13. Mr. Arsenault, I believe it’s “Unglamorous.” “Ain’t he unglamorous!” But it’s slightly mispronounced to fit the rhyme.

    That ever lovin’ Hulk. Hulk. Hulk.

    I hear that all the dang time because my son watches the heck out of those on YouTube.

  14. “I look at these motion comics as a slick advertisement meant to entice you to go buy the actual comic”

    but why would I want to do when I’ve just paid for the same content?

  15. You can act all high and mighty about the “poor quality”, but I wonder how many of you spent hours on end making your own animated gifs in order to impress people with a funky avatar when posting on message boards.

    So, in other words, we shouldn’t expect anything better, in terms of technical prowess or creative levels, from a Disney-owned multinational media conglomerate than we expect from a 4chan-style image board of unpaid adolescents running in-jokey memes into the ground purely to amuse themselves?

    Brilliant! I guess we can fire all the writers on SNL and use /b/ to generate that show’s skit scripts, then, and criticize anyone who complains about the quality.

    We act high and mighty because Marvel is literally a BILLION-DOLLAR entertainment company (Disney having paid $4 billion to acquire them), and their “bold new product” looks like the sort of viral clip dogshit that you’d expect to see with a Dragon Force track on fucking YouTube.

    Unless your product is answering the call of a marketplace demand, it needs to be something that makes people WANT it. You’re acting like the onus is upon US, as consumers, to justify NOT being interested in this, when in fact, the onus is upon MARVEL to convince us why we should want this. From where I stand, Marvel failed in its job, so neither they nor you get to bitch at us for the fact that they did such a shit job here.

  16. I think it’s a great high quality advert for the comic, but beyond that, jiggling and shaking the art only does so much for me.

    Perhaps with some money from the Mouse House they can just spend a fraction more and take it the last 20% of the way to full animation.

  17. I didn’t find it to be as awful as other commenters here seem to have. In fact, I think it’s pretty impressive for what it is. Just that what it is, isn’t comics.

    What’s funny is that I was about to say “I wonder what Neal Adams thinks of this, since his Continuity Studios was doing stuff that looked exactly like this with animatics since like 1999 or something”…and guess who I just now discovered was involved in this Astonishing X-Men thing?

  18. It’s the first one I’ve ever seen also.

    Well, that’s not true, I saw a whole bunch of these come out of the McFarlane art dpartment over the years but no one actually ever did anything with them.

    Anyway…I wasn’t that freaked out by it at all.

    It’s certainly not comics but it clearly looks like it was lifted off of real comics pages and transmogrified into this thing-that-is-not-comics.

    If I understand a bunch of demos that Brian Haberlin showed me about a year ago, there are off-the-shelf, out-of-the-box inexpensive programs that can do most of the work to make these sparkly, shiny, kinetic things-that-are-not-comics.

    They are kinda like turkey bacon.
    Is it the real thing?
    But prepared correctly, does it taste good?

    Is the big issue the labeling?

    That the Author (Marvel Comics) has the gumption to label these things comics?

  19. “They are kinda like turkey bacon.”

    Mmm, turky bacon. Did you know that it’s worse for you than pork bacon? Go figure. You know, I keep watching this over and over (and not JUST for the locker room shot) along with the Spider-Woman one, and it makes me want to try doing one, or something similar. We’ve got some talented people at the magazine that could pull it off.

  20. Attn: DC, Marvel, et al:

    In re: Motion Comics





  21. “For some reason when I watch the lips move they remind me of the Conan O’Brien skits he does.

    the Tiki”

    TIKI —

    That was the Clutch Cargo reference mentioned above…a very limited animation with moving lips from the 50s or 60s.

  22. Christopher — if the trailer for Holloween 2 was a bunch of stills from the movie with a cut-out of Michael Meyers bouncing off of walls, and badly dubbed dialogue placed dubiously onto badly moved cut out mouths you might have point. But it’s not, and you don’t, so I have every right to feel embarrassed for comics. If they want to call this abomination something else, fine, I’ll just be embarrassed for that, but as long it’s got “comics” attached to it, I feel wholly justified.

  23. Ah, 1966…

    Y’all may want to watch the above link for the 0:42 mark to see an Iron-Man in his old chubby robot golden costume, only the animators gave it the newer red and yellow colors. It’s kinda amazing because it just looks like a fat 70’s Iron-Man that has a thyroid disorder.

  24. Mmm, turky bacon. Did you know that it’s worse for you than pork bacon? Go figure.

    That’s a pretty controversial subject. Comparisons that adjust for serving size tend to find that pork bacon has less sodium, but more fat and more calories. Such things vary with the brand, though.

    As for motion comics: It would be interesting to see someone mount a principled defense for motion comics, but I don’t expect to see one, just as I’ve never seen one for decompressed comics. Trying to emulate movies is done at the expense of comics.

    Up to now, comics artists haven’t drawn comics with an eye toward subsequent animation, and they shouldn’t. An analogy would be a prose writer doing a story while considering adaptation into a movie more important. The result would likely be a screenplay with some fillips, not a full-fledged prose story.

    I doubt that motion comics would exist without the introduction of decompressed comics.

    BTW, the hardware requirements for efficient computer animation have led to the use of supercomputers. People also use computer farms.


  25. Say what you want…it’s still better than anything produced in the 90s.

    And doesn’t it take a while to know exactly how this will play in the marketplace? As in months…possibly a year? (that was rhetorical…yes it does take that long) To say they failed now based on subjective opinions of comic collectors straddling 50 is ridiculous. I doubt this is being marketed to that demographic.

    That demo gets the really cool 400 dollar sculptures of PowerGirl and Vampirella, lol.

    The “onus” has yet to land on this one. 48 posts does not a marketplace make.