When the Pixar film Brave came out in June, there was a comics adaption. It wasn’t a print comic and, while Disney did keep the Brave comic in-house, it wasn’t handled by Marvel Comics. Instead, Disney Worldwide Publishing released the Brave Interactive Comic app at Apple’s App Store and has just released a Wreck-It-Ralph prequel comic.
The app quickly rose to #2 among book apps for the iPhone and iPad, according to the App Annie Web site. Traditionally, print editions of a movie adaption comic have been released in in periodical form or graphic novel form. The Brave Interactive Comic app is Disney’s test case for a digital exclusive comic.
“Just like book readers, our 1 billion comic readers want choice,” explains Lyle Underkoffler, v-p, digital media, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “As we debut more comic stories, we’re learning that they resonate with a non-traditional audience. We hope to expand our repertoire of digital-firsts across platforms and Disney franchises to respond to the growing demand.”
Disney plans on expanding their collection of “solo” interactive comics, in addition to the in-app purchases with their Disney Comics app.
The Brave Interactive Comic app was developed a little differently than traditional comics apps. Disney used a platform from a technology company called Tall Chair for a more interactive experience.
“They created an extraordinary tool that can easily transform the static pages of a comic story into an animated and interactive experience where users can read through the panels, enriched by music and sound,” Underkoffler says. “All interactivities are chosen to augment the story – guiding consumers through the events, introducing the characters and their adventure. It definitively brings comics to another level.”
Aside from that, the comics are all creatyed in-house, using editorial and design groups from Disney's U.S and European offices.
Although Disney owns Marvel Comics, comics based on Disney's own film and animation characters are still their own brand at Disney Publishing, says Underkoffler. Disney Publishing has a specific imprint, Marvel Press, dedicated to the Marvel characters. “Our Marvel Press imprint has published 23 books to date and 4 storybook apps,” he says. “We hope to double that number over the next year.”
The new Wreck-It-Ralph comics is a prequel starring Sgt. Calhoun explaining the origin of the Hero's Duty game.