If you believe MTV, then the future of animation may have arrived in the shape of their new adaptation of Robert Kirkman's superhero soap opera Invincible, coming to televisions, cell phones and iPods near you soon. Thing is, we can't help but feel that we've seen it all before.
MTV's executive vice president of new media, David Gale, is ready to make the new animated venture sound like a breakthrough:
I like to think of it as cinematic comics - digital cinematic comics... I think it's important that in this age you really give the freedom to the consumer. If all you do is put it on a Web site and ask for them to find it, it's very challenging. I also think the evolution of download-to-own is becoming such an expected format for people to get content.
But just what is this cross-platform cartoon? The New York Times explains:
The process starts with digital scans of the actual comic book pages. They are turned into an audio-visual experience through a process called Bomb-xx developed by Gain. In the end, the formerly two-dimensional comic book suddenly pulses with music, while word balloons pop up and fill in as actors recite the dialogue and panels zoom in and out and pivot in all directions.
Yes, that's right; it's someone reading a Flash-animated comic to you. With music.
The worst thing is, this is pretty much exactly the same thing that Marvel Comics were doing in the late '60s with their Marvel Superheroes cartoons, except they had the common sense to get rid of the word balloons:
(They're still using the same technique now, for freebie trailers for books like World War Hulk.)
So, apparently MTV's new evolution of content is to rip off an idea that was already underwhelming forty years ago, but now you can watch on your cell phone. Go technology.
A Comic Book Superhero Is Headed to Small Screens [New York Times]