We mentioned Valiant the other day, because ComiXology is having a big 99-cent sale on their comics this weekend, to help readers prep for their big Unity crossover event.
Valiant Entertainment is the second coming of a publisher that was, in its time, one of the real innovators in the comics industry, and the new kids (some of whom are actually the old kids doing a second act) have shown they have a trick or two up their sleeve. And this is a clever one: Scan the QR code on the front of the “tech variant” cover of their first crossover comic, Unity #1, and your smartphone will play an 8-bit video that sums up the history of the different characters in vintage video game style. The cover is above, and you can watch the video on their website as well. The video was produced by Cinefix’s 8-Bit Cinema.
This isn’t the first time Valiant has added a digital something extra: The first issue of their first comic, X-O Manowar, had a variant with a QR code that played a speech by the main character, Aric of Dacia. The trick is that if you held your smartphone over the character’s mouth, it looked like he was speaking. They billed it as “the world’s first talking comic book cover.”
The cover is a gimmick, of course, but the Valiant folks are pretty serious about their big crossover: They have lined up a stellar team of writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Red-Handed) and Doug Braithwaite (Journey into Mystery) for Unity, which makes it worth checking out anyway—the video cover is just the icing on the cake.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org