Comic Con Shows Off A Digital Future For Cartoon Superheroes
The New York Comic Con this past weekend showed how technology is starting to become more mainstream in the staunchly paper world of comic books. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.
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Yes, there were lots of grown adults playing dress up at the New York Comic Con, and video games also grabbed some of the focus, but at the core of the Javits Center event was comic books. While the traditional paper stuff did still occupy a sizable chunk of the floor at this year's New York Comic Con, digital comic book tools were also becoming more noticeable.
ComiXology, the biggest name right now in distributing comic books digital through mobile device, unveiled a new system that allows self-publishers of comic books to not only take advantage of the ComiXology publishing tools but also gets them into its popular digital comic book store.
"We are allowing them to submit to us for free and we're going to be transforming their comics into guided view for free," says Chip Mosher of ComiXology.
While one might describe just being at Comic Con as augmenting one's reality, actual Augmented Reality, as in the technology, appears to be a growing trend there.
Marvel and Valiant have begun offering some AR, but Anomaly Publishing insists its new book will be the most in-depth one to date, offering a whole bunch of ways for readers to point their mobile devices at the pages to get more interactive content.
"There's over 50 AR points in our book that are interactive and have full data points in them to find out stuff that's not in the book," says Brian Haberlin of Anomaly Publishing.
Finally, a technology company that may seem out of place at a comic book trade show is Craftsman, the toolmaker. In an effort to reach this market, Craftsman commissioned DC Comics to create a comic book called The Technician, featuring a hero who uses its Bolt-On system, a new real-world tool with interchangeable heads, to help heros like Superman and Wonder Woman.
"Bolt-On is a tool that The Technician is his name, the comic book character, who helps save the Justice League, he's actually the individual who maintains the Hall of Justice," says Ryan Ostrom of Craftsman.
Clearly, just as digital technology is invading the comic book world, so too is product placement.