#NYCC – MARVEL: The Digital House of Ideas

Categories: Comic News, Digital Comics
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Published on: October 14, 2011

Marvel hosted a live conference, below is a transcript of the discussion as it happened and some commentary from myself!

Thanks to Newsarama for the transcript.

The official synopsis is:

“New York City is home to Marvel world headquarters, so you better believe the Marvel Digital House of Ideas will be at New York Comic-Con in full force! Get the inside scoop on every possible way you can read Marvel comics on your digital devices – including the now industry-defining Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited library offering over 10,000 comics and still growing! Plus, learn how to stay on top of up-to-the-minute Marvel news and updates, watch original videos and programming, play games, interact with Marvel personnel via social media and so much more! We’re bringing the future to NYCC just for you – get ready, get set, let’s go – True Believers!”

12:24
Hi guys! Joining this panel a little bit in progress.

12:26
The panel began with promotion of Marvel.com projects like the “What The?” video series.

12:27
To open the Q&A, someone who identified herself as a librarian asked about possible digital availability for Marvel product at libraries. Marvel’s John Dokes said it was “a little ways away,” but that the publisher does have some initiatives in place with libraries.

I’m all for library’s getting in on the action – I’m a big fan of them myself and any support companies like Marvel can give is a good thing!

12:28
A fan asked if the “What The” videos might play before Marvel Studios projects in theaters. The panel agreed that it would be cool to see that happen, and seemed open to the possibility, though noted it was out of their hands.


12:28
Will Marvel work with Foursquare? Marvel.com’s Ryan Penagos said they’ve had talks with the location-based social network.

12:29
Digital Comics Unlimited available on iOS devices? There are “plans to consider that.”

I’ve been wondering when this was going to be in the mix – and even asked the same question at the same thing (online) last year – Marvel have a massive library available for this and it should be pretty easy to convert!

12:30
Fan asked about the possibility of Marvel’s $3.99 print comics including a code to redeem a digital copy, which is being tested with November’s Avenging Spider-Man. Marvel marketing’s Arune Singh said it depends on how it goes with Avenging Spider-Man. “If we don’t see people redeeming the codes, we’ll think that maybe people aren’t interested in it.”

Marvel seem to be playing it cagey at the moment with this – I think they will be keeping a close eye on how the Diamond Digital initiative will work!

12:31
Singh quoted Joe Quesada in saying that the colors of comics are more true to the original product in digital format than in print.

Probably the case, especially with HD and digital colouring!

12:34
“The economy doesn’t work for us,” Marvel’s David Gabriel said about digital-only comics, adding that print is sticking around for as long as possible.

Maybe for Marvel, with their larger overheads and market share – but with smaller publishers…

12:36
Marvel digital’s Peter Phillips said that they get excited when print and digital can work together, like in the case of the Avenging Spider-Man trial run.

This is probably the case, the cross promotion of a marquee character like Spider-Man is pretty big!

12:36
Here’s more info on that: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/Avenging-spider-man-free-digital-copy-111006.html

Got it! :)

12:37
Phillips tells a fan that younger readers are an important focus on their digital initiatives. “We want to get our younger readers not only reading, but learning. Give us a little time, but we’re definitely on the same page.”

This seems a big push for all companies – call it investing in the future!

12:39
Marvel’s John Cerilli plugs the amount of digital comics given away for free each week on Marvel’s apps.

Marvel do a lot of shorter comics, or previews, but not enough digital specials in my opinion!

12:41
Before we joined the live coverage, Marvel discussed the recent debut of the Marvel app for Android, the success of the Avengers trailer (it was reported to break the all-time record for views on iTunes trailers) and the availability of Marvel shows on Netflix Instant.
12:43
Fan asked if Marvel.com will have more podcasts, and the panel was open to the idea.
12:43
Singh says that selling single issues as digital comics is still quite new, and they’re figuring out what makes the most sense for everybody.
12:50
Gabriel said that not only is the print comic not going away, but you won’t see many original graphic novels anytime soon, either, citing the “astronomical” expense of producing something like the Castle OGN — which was possible only because it had a national TV show promoting it, which helped off-set the cost.
12:51
The wifi in here is really spotty. Apologies!
12:53
Gabriel plugged the upcoming Season One hardcover graphic novel as being good for new readers.
12:53
Gabriel said the Season One books will be available digitally at the same time they’re released in print.

Excellent, I’ve seen the previews and they look really good!

12:55
Gabriel said the Season One artists were given a “soft” directive to draw panels that looked good on mobile devices, and said that, oddly enough, when viewed as an entire page, it looked like a comic from the ’50s and ’60s.
12:56
That’s it! Thanks for reading! More live panel coverage and video interviews all day long!

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