Amid falling print sales, Marvel Comics is hoping to entice readers back to the paper medium thanks to a AR app, which keys in superhero fans on how the story was imagined
The app, called Marvel AR, is half of the entertainment company's new push to further integrate digital and print comics, an effort it's calling Marvel ReEvolution. The other half is a digital-only line of comics called Marvel Infinite Comics, which will be available to readers from the standard Marvel Comics app for free when they buy the print comic with a digital coupon, when they buy the standard digital comic, or separately as a 99-cent digital download. The first Infinite Comics story will tie in to Avengers versus X-Men and be written by Mark Waid, with art by Stuart Immonen and colors by Marte Gracia.
The aim of the application is to take users behind the scenes and showcase the various stages of production, in much the same was that DVD extras augment movies and TV shows.
When users fire up the Marvel AR app, built by the respected Aurasma studio, it will immediately activate the device's camera lens, and if the app has been trained to recognise a certain panel from the comic, users will be prompted to download the additional content. Marvels digital chief Peter Phillips says: "The AR app will show readers what the editor was thinking, what the writer was thinking, 3D extras, and pencil art."
The bonus features will include fully coloured panes scaled back to their pencil-drawn origins, 3D animations of characters and exclusive story background from key figures at Marvel. Each compatible printed comic will feature around 8 interactive panes.