A few days ago, digital comics startup Madefire co-founder and CEO Ben Wolstenholme said the company was getting ready to move into virtual reality. When he made this announcement, we presumed that it would take at least a couple of years for the company to bring it to the market. But, we are in for a pleasant surprise. At the New York Comic Con, he announced about launching and demonstrating a preview app for Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR platform.
From the teaser, we see how realistic and in-depth the experience seems. Ben had mentioned that he was trying to create a “native digital experience” but the fun of reading a comic wouldn't be lost. It's like your imagination coming alive with all the music, sound effects and animation.
Ben further explained that it would be like a totally immersive experience wherein the reader gets a full 360-degree view of each scene as he reads it. the overall experience is much much better as you feel the closeness to each scene which you wouldn't experience while reading it on your smartphone or tablet.
He even added that the company was upgrading its full library of comics and they should be ready by Christmas 2016.
The demo app currently includes samples from titles like DC’s Injustice: Year One and Mono: The Old Curiosity Shop (created by Wolstenholme and Liam Sharp) which is Madefire's original make.
Comics artist Dave Gibbons who has been working closely with Madefire in the making of the VR comics praised the innovation saying that it gives artists more opportunities and free rein to give their viewers a more engrossing and fun reading experience.
Gibbons further added, "It wasn’t about the gimmick, it was about the story. The [authoring] tool is available to everyone, so there’s no barrier to producing your own stuff. That feels like a glorious thing to me.”
Gibbons has helped create comics like Watchmen and The Secret Service which has been adapted into the movie Kingsman : The Secret Service. He knows the potential that comics hold nowadays as they are an inspiration to many movie-makers to create movies which are eagerly awaited and loved by viewers. He further added that with these kinds of technologies and tools, writers can explore endless ideas for their readers.
"I suppose I’m at the time of life where I feel like I’ve seen it all, so it’s exciting to see something that is fresh and new and still engaging,” Gibbons said.