Motioncomics
Marvel and AniBoom, the online social network for animation, is launching a motion comics contest with a first prize of $10,000.

Marvel is teaming up with Aniboom to give you the chance to transform some of their greatest stories into Motion Comics and propel the comic book experience into uncharted territory! Take the pages of fan-favorites Hulk vs. Wolverine and Nova and bring them to life, combining the images, audio, and scripts provided by Marvel plus your own imagination and artistic expertise. For the past 70 years, Marvel has been the hallmark for innovation and risk-taking in the comic book industry, providing some of the most famous characters in the history of comic book publishing. Now it’s time for you to join Marvel and Aniboom in changing the way we experience comics by bringing them to life!


Johanna Draper Calrson has a more cynical view:

There are also one or two wildcard finalists, picked by the judges, “who independently complete their original submission.” So even if you don’t win any money, you can still work for Marvel for free! Isn’t that great? In that way, it’s typical of these contests — the company gets a lot for not very much money (in their eyes), one or a handful of lucky fans get a token payment in exchange for losing all rights, and most of the entrants just gave away their work for nothing. But so long as you know what you’re getting into… I’m told digital sharecropping is the way things work online now. And really, what are most people going to do with a partially completed Marvel motion comic anyway?

1 COMMENT

  1. For a industry hopeful, this allows him or her to advertise his or her abilities, and perhaps add a line to a resume.

    Meanwhile, DC announced the winner of the 2009 Design Scholarship Challenge.
    http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=ind_focus.story&STORY=/www/story/08-05-2009/0005072699&EDATE=

    And hey… the Marvel Try-Out Book discovered Mark Bagley and Robin Riggs. If this does likewise, then cool. (And at least people will be able to see the motion comic, unlike the finished story featured in the Try-Out Book.)

  2. we interviewed Larry Lieberman (Chief Marketing Officer of Aniboom) about a month ago on my podcast, Comic News Insider (Ep. 218). he had some great things to say and this contest (among others on the site) sounded really cool. like Torsten says, great way to advertise their work and build the resume’.

  3. If I was to enter this contest, ( I haven’t read the rules, and won’t be entering, just saying ..”if”)
    I would like to think that I would also be allowed to show the finished motion comic to any other potential employers without being worried about violating Marvel copyright, and such. Just as a portfolio piece, I mean..
    If so, then this could be a great opportunity for people to get into this new method of showing stories, with a nice sample piece…

  4. Stop trying to make “motion comics” happen. They’re not going to happen.

    Everybody is acting like “motion comics” are a new medium. They’re not. They’re a combination of two preexisting media that manage to incorporate the worst aspects of each one, without including either of their respective strong points.

    The closest thing I can say to anything positive about “motion comics” is that they’re basically the comic book equivalent of “books on tape” – if you want the story, but you don’t want to put in the effort required to READ it, here are some voice actors who will read it for you.

    And even on that front, “motion comics” fail, because at least “books on tape” can be enjoyed on long car trips, if you’re the driver.

  5. The DW Griffiths of motion comic are the Chapman brothers for Teen Girl Squad. I don’t see how this is still a question.

  6. Torsten said:

    “And hey… the Marvel Try-Out Book discovered Mark Bagley and Robin Riggs.”

    Yep.

    Robin Riggs hasn’t had an assignment in about 9 months. Past performance doesn’t guarantee future employment.

  7. >>Stop trying to make “motion comics” happen. They’re not going to happen.

    Everybody is acting like “motion comics” are a new medium. They’re not. They’re a combination of two preexisting media that manage to incorporate the worst aspects of each one, without including either of their respective strong points.

    This.

    I won’t be surprised to see the occasional idiosyncratic motion comic project earning compliments (though I’d bet more on internet animators working it up than any of the major comic companies), but I don’t expect to see it became anything like a persistent medium.

  8. Okay, just checked the
    FAQ, (word count: 1,013)
    Assets,
    Submission agreement (word count 3,763) and
    Official rules ( word count: 3,897).

    Thanks.

    Still, a chance for people to practise video animation and submit their work.

    However, I am a bit skeptical of this cheery phrase at the end of the FAQ, which seems to ring a wrong note; that is, could serve to raise false hopes:
    “Whether you use free software or custom software, take stop motion images of the pages, or just cut out the characters and mount them on popsicle sticks, the choice is up to you!”

  9. At least the term “motic” hasn’t caught on. It sounds like something they’d give you in hospital for constipation.

  10. Hmm… Didn’t Neal Adams pioneer the use of animatics decades ago?

    Anyone see the motion comic he did for Astonishing X-Men?

    And yes, I am aware that Mr. Riggs is looking for gainful employment. Ironically, the actual book which was to be produced from the Try-Out Book was never published. (But then, even George Perez has unpublished work in the Marvel archives…)

  11. “…one or a handful of lucky fans get a token payment in exchange for losing all rights, and most of the entrants just gave away their work for nothing…”

    While there is no doubt that the animators will be investing a great deal of time and work into this effort, but it’s a motion comic where pre-existing story and artwork exist — what “rights” are we talking about exactly?

  12. “what “rights” are we talking about exactly?”

    I’m one of the participants in the contest. I’m glad I’ve stumbled upon this article, some opinions here are quite valuable.

    Now, since motion comics and comics are a different medium then we’re talking about a re interpretation which requires quite some creative input from those you say they don’t deserve any rights over this. Putting this into a motion comic means being able to keep a person interested and in front of a computer screen for several minutes. So first there’s the timing. The careful use of timing is one of the most important aspects of animation, film and editing. Without good timing one may lose the audience in a matter of seconds. Second, taking a pre-existing artwork that was conceived with the “still” image in mind and transforming it into an animation that makes sense is also done through a creative process. Nobody delivers that for those in the competition.
    Third, most of the artwork requires heavy editing includins some redrawing. Some people participating in the contest already came up with quite some cool stuff, including lip sync and some really creative ways of breaking the bi-dimensional limits of the comic while remaining faithful the the medium.
    That’s why I believe that your post is either marked by a serious ignorance of the matter, or it’s just mean without any reason. I suggest you drop an eye on some good motion comics out there (including episode 4 of the Watchmen Motion Comic) which, besides being an excellent example of great writing is also a good indication that motion comics don’t mean just cutting artwork and adding some clumsy keyframes in your animations software of choice).