Sources have confirmed to Good e-Reader that IDW has ironed out an agreement with motion comic book pioneer Madefire to power a new line of apps for Android and iOS.
IDW has been an early adopter of selling digital comics and started selling them in 2009. In 2011 the company partnered with Comixology in order to have all of their apps powered by their technology. This allowed independant apps to be created that were built around popular franchises such as Transformers and GI JOE. IDW’s entire digital catalog was also available via the Comixology app for iOS and Android.
Starting May 28th 2015 IDW will be releasing a new flagship app on Android and iOS that is powered by Madefire. They will also be releasing new versions of their Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Star Trek apps. Readers will definitely appreciate that any comics they want to buy can be done directly within the app, via an in-app purchase. This is something users currently can’t do on the main Comixology app for iOS.
It is important to note that if you had the old versions of these apps installed on your smartphone or tablet, they will not automatically update. Instead, you will have to download an entirely new app, but rest assured all of your past purchases will still be available. In the near future IDW will be posting a detailed instructional guide on how to do this. If you do business with Comixology and have purchased IDW content, there are detailed instructions on what the move means to readers.
Many comic lovers have certainly heard of DC, IDW and Marvel, but likely will draw a blank when it comes to Madefire. Who are these guys? Well, they run a digital-comics app for Android, iOS and the web that’s a little different from most of the other comics apps: Its focus is on motion comics. Like comiXology in the Guided View mode, Madefire displays most pages a panel at a time, with the user controlling the timing of the panel reveals. Unlike Guided View, though, Madefire takes things a step further. Once you swipe to reveal a panel, it may slide in, drop down, even vibrate a bit. The word balloons drop in after the art is in place. Figures move slightly within the panels, giving a 3-D effect, and sometimes a bit of sparkle or smoke is animated. And there’s audio as well, at least in some of the comics. You can see a short video demo here.
Madefire and IDW first established a working business relationship in early 2013 and the first motion comics based on IDW properties came out that September. The Transformers motion comic drew critical acclaim for its moody soundtrack and excellent voice work.
Comixology has confirmed to Good e-Reader that they will continue to sell IDW comics for an indeterminate amount of time. IDW will also continue to offer their product line everywhere you can buy digital comics – their own apps, comiXology, iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Scribd and many others.”
I think the partnership between IDW and Madefire really makes sense. IDW is responsible for a ton of great digital comic properties and Madefire brings a very progressive motion comic system that is entirely unique in the marketplace. I also think this move was very timely as the official Comixology app for iOS does not allow customers to buy comics in the app and instead provides barriers for the casual comic reader. At least with their upcoming apps, IDW is basically removing all of the purchasing barriers, which readers will love.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.