Mobile Sands

February 10, 2009

Marvel creates comic books that speak, but what about comics that let you speak?

Filed under: eBooks, games, iPhone, Mobile Apps, Smartphones — AJ @ 7:02 pm

Comic books that speak

 According to a story on RWW, Marvel plans to release a series of “motion comics” via iTunes.  As the Marvel-produced video on RWW shows, motion comics are a hybrid between animation movies and comic books.  It is an innovative use of smartphone platforms, and an improvement over the iPhone comic books and Manga, such as ones offered using iVerse Comics reader, that use traditional panels with balloons.  Marvel’s motion comics actually reminded me of an iPhone children’s book called “Buddy the Bus” created by iOrbi (using its AppInHand software), though Marvel’s version is more dynamic.

 Now, What about letting users record the dialog?

I would be surprised if anyone in the comic business would ever make it this nook of the blogsphere and read this post… but Marvel, iVerse and others –  What about letting readers read out the dialogues in comic books, create their own versions of “motion comics” and upload these version to a server?

Readers who chose to record could follow the same story line or transform it. When a new customer downloads a motion comic app from iTunes, the app could connect to the server and offer the new customer with a wide range of available voiceovers.  A user could pick the default created by the comic book producer or hear voice overs created by her friends on Facebook or Gaia.  Doing so, would be leveraging the capabilities of mobile internet devices to the fullest.

 Labor leads to love

 In these gloomy days of ecomomic winter, who doesn’t need some love? One of the ideas in Harvard Business Review’s list of  “Breakthrough ideas of 2009” was that customers love a product more if they have contributed some labor to it.  The authors, Michael Norton, Dan Ariely and Daniel Mochon call it the “IKEA effect”.  Of course, the labor required cannot be so much that most customers are unable to complete the product (so, comic book companies should not ask readers to illustrate books!).  If Marvel allows customers to recod the dialog in these motion comics, they may love Marvel some more, and love from readers often equates to dollars. Ka-ching!

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