Noah J Nelson on Friday, Jan. 31st
You see it a lot in tech stories: a hot new social media company is lauded for opening up its API, or vilified for keeping it locked down. API being the “application programming interface,” the method by which programmers can tie different programs together, or a program to a website database, etc.
So what does it mean when a comic book publisher–Marvel, no less–goes and puts out an API?
That’s what the Disney-owned superhero powerhouse went and did today, promising to give developers access to assets for non-commercial use. It’s a cornucopia for the technology savvy members of the fan-fiction set for certain. Will other franchises follow suit? There’s at least one big franchise that Disney owns which already has a rather fan-work friendly reputation.
Expect us to follow this one closely.
We’ve reproduced the Marvel press release after the jump.
MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF THE
MARVEL COMICS API PROGRAM
New York, NY (January 31st, 2014) – Marvel Entertainment is excited to announce the Marvel Comics API, Marvel’s new application programming interface (API), which gives developers access to portions of Marvel’s comic data for use in their personal, non-commercial websites and applications. Beginning Friday, January 31st, the beta version of the Marvel Comics API is available on the new Developer Portal on Marvel.com. This represents the first API program by any major comic book publisher and provides an innovative way for fans to interact with Marvel Entertainment and Marvel’s digital content.
The Marvel Comics API is a set of web services that give fans access to Marvel’s rich repository of data about over 30,000 comics and 7,000 series. The API lets fans access information from Marvel’s 75-year publishing history, including cover art, characters and comic book crossover events. Developers will now have the opportunity to create personal applications and websites that express their individual appreciation and experiences with Marvel Comics. From feeds on blogs to mini-applications, developers everywhere can use the Marvel Comics API to create compelling digital experiences using Marvel’s treasure trove of data.
Peter Olson, VP of Web & Application Development says, “Our API program is a cool new way to explore and interact with Marvel Comics. Unlike lists of books, movies, or news articles, our comics are an inter-connected web (no Spidey pun intended!) of data spanning 75 years. It’s the relationships between them that are fascinating. Everything is connected and continues to expand as more comics are released each week. With our API program, once again, Marvel is changing the comics and publishing technology landscape.”
Developers can create accounts, access the API, test drive queries in interactive forms, read documentation and ask questions at Marvel’s new Developer Portal at developer.marvel.com.
The Marvel Comics API provides a deep look into the underlying data of the Marvel Universe – it’s another way Marvel Comics is making the Marvel Universe “Your Universe”.
About Marvel Entertainment, LLC
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com.