What TV Show Will Joss Whedon Make For Marvel? [Transmedia Alert!]

on Tuesday, Aug. 7th

It didn’t take long for the whole Internet to find out that writer-director Joss Whedon will be back for the sequel to this year’s Avengers. That announcement brought with it the wild news that Whedon, who rose to geek icon status as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will also be developing a TV show for the studio.

You may have seen a nerd or ten having an episode over that one today.

Here’s the heart of the speculation at present: that this TV show will somehow tie into the Marvel “cinematic universe”. Which means that charcters from the TV show could turn up in the next Avengers, or Thor, or Batroc The Leaper.

Ha. Kidding on that last one. I sure that Sony has the rights to Batroc as part of the Spider-Man deal.

This comes on the heels of Warner Bros taking interest in Stephen King’s Dark Tower project that stalled out at Universal. The plan there was to create a movie trilogy that would have the downtime between features filled in by a TV show. This almost happened with the X-Files back in the 90’s, when the first film bridged the gap between two seasons of the show.

Let’s assume for the moment that this kind of transmedia play is in effect. That Disney/Marvel are willing to dream big enough to take this kind of risk, which honestly could cause as much confusion amongst casual audiences as it builds goodwill amongst the Nerd’i. What could we wind up getting? (more…)

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Getcha Futcha A Cahmics Right Here!

on Thursday, Apr. 5th

Opinions expressed in Game of Buzz are the sole responsibility of the author.

Hey now!

I’m not even hyped up for Marvel’s Avengers Vs. X-Men event, but I was extremely pleased with my decision to pick up Avengers Vs. X-Men Infinite #1 on the iPad last night. Marvel and scribe Mark Waid have been talking about this project like it was the second coming of comics to digital.

They haven’t been exaggerating.

For just 99 cents, Marvel kicked out a 60+ screen (not pages, mind you, but screens) story that takes advantage of the tablet computer’s strengths while completely nullifying its weaknesses. Comics look just fine on the iPad already, but the Infinite style of comics is just gee whiz.

This. This is what I want out of digital comics: dialogue pacing tricks, rack focus, and sequential art shenanigans that open up a whole new set of tools for the comic book storyteller.

If you have an iPad (or one of those other tablets) and have ever, ever loved a comic book or a superhero movie, you owe it to yourself to cough up the 99-cents and experience this new format for yourself. The only real problem: with the bar for art (Stuart Immonen outdoes himself in this format) set so high, can Marvel keep it up?

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Beyond Infinity: Marvel Announces Infinite Comics, More At SXSW

on Tuesday, Mar. 13th

Marvel Comics, known to True Believers as the House of Ideas, is ready to unleash their latest.  Their goal is to use tablet devices (read: iPads) in a whole new way.

Digital comics have been making some serious inroads of late: five million of them were downloaded totally legally in December by way of the Comixology app. Those numbers include the free comics, so aspiring comic book moguls shouldn’t go leasing a Benz quite yet. Most releases are sailing along at the same price as the physical copies, and Marvel has begun packing in the redemption codes for digital copies in many of its releases.

Now they’re looking to expand the horizons of their digital offerings through two new programs.

The first, “Infinite Comics“, will offer comic book stories designed specifically for tablets. A whole fresh arsenal of artistic choices will be available for creative teams: like stretching out a panel over multiple screens, or using cinematic “rack focus” techniques to add an extra zing to the art. The idea here being that the comic book doesn’t need to be completely reinvented, but expanded to embrace the possibilities that tablets offer.

“Infinite Comics” will debut with “Avengers vs. X-Men Infinite #1”, with a story featuring the cosmic hero Nova in a story written by veteran scribe Mark Waid with art by Stuart Immonen and Marte Gracia. Nova’s story ties into Marvel’s big summer event, which will pit the likes of Iron Man and Captain America up against the merry mutants. The 10-page story will be free to those who buy “Avengers Vs. X-Men #1” and just 99 cents for those who want to see what the fuss is all about.

Yet that’s not all that Marvel has up its sleeves for the digital age. They also announced a partnership with Augmented Reality company Aurasma, with a Marvel AR app slated for April on iOS and Android. Quick! To the press release notes!*

By opening this app and scanning select Marvel products featuring the Marvel AR logo, you’ll unlock exclusive content starring the world’s most popular Super Heroes–including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and many others! Go behind the scenes of your favorite comics, see new footage, hear from creators, catch yourself up on past events and more!

Thank goodness for all those exclamation marks. For a second I thought we weren’t talking comics.

The way to think of this is like a director’s commentary track for the physical comic. The talk about the AR features is exciting, as it holds out the promise not only of cool tricks. A reader could use their iPad to “see through” the finished page to the layer of pencils underneath, but it also creates a balance point between the possibilities of digital content and the desire of comic book fans and store owners to keep print comics alive.

There’s been a lot of angst in the comics community about where the market is going, and while DC Comics showed that demand could be generated in a strong way with last year’s reboot of their entire line, it’s going to take a willingness to keep experimenting on the part of all comic book publishers to grow the market in this new age.

*Wrong universe, I know, I know.

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To Build The VR Education of Tomorrow One Scholar Turns To The Past

There are plenty of folks in the education technology field who are excited about virtual reality as the next great educational tool.

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We’re Closer To Our Photorealistic VR Future Than You’d Think (INTERVIEW)

A look into the virtual world of tomorrow with USC researcher Paul Debevec.

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Prepare Yourselves For The Personal VR Video Revolution

Virtual Reality is rapidly approaching a watershed moment.

Ralph Echemendia

Spoiler Alert: Hollywood Isn’t Taking Cyber Security Seriously (LA Film Fest)

Tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival, squeezed in between movies and red carpet events, a symposium on Cyber Security is being held at the Grammy Museum.

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Rent Video Straight From Social Media Via Gumroad

The people who brought the “Buy Now” button to Twitter are going all-in on film distribution.

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