A few months ago, we pondered if there was a place for the comic book industry in VR. This past week, it’s been made pretty clear that there is — as shown in the trailer above.
Madefire, a digital comic book app company, recently announced the launch of a new preview app that brings select issues to Oculus and Samsung’s Gear VR. The free experience will offer some heavyweight titles, including DC Comics’ Injustice: Year One, based on the recent video game, and Revolution, a new comic book universe that includes classic franchises like Transformers and G.I. Joe.
This isn’t just simply bringing a comic book page into VR, however. Using Gear VR, Madefire is expanding on its own Motion Books concept, which presents a new way to read comics by presenting one panel after another in a linear and cinematic fashion and animating the drawings inside of them. Inside the headset, this idea goes further, with depth added to the panels and an immersive 360-degree environment surrounding the reader. Other books included in the preview are Framestore’s Somnia: Origins and an original series named MONO: The Old Curiosity Shop.
“Comics are such a powerful storytelling format,” said CEO & Co-Founder of Madefire, Ben Wolstenholme, in a prepared statement. “People learn to read through comics; people are transported to other worlds through comics. Comics are words-and-pictures, perfect for storytelling in virtual reality.”
The move comes as Madefire announces the closure of a $6.5M Series B round of funding which, of all people, includes investments from House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey and popular singer Drake. The company exhibited the app at this year’s New York Comic-Con and Oculus Connect 3.
Madefire isn’t the first group to try and bring comic books to VR. Earlier this year we reported on the launch of an original VR book named Magnetique, which features 360-degree panels. We’re also still hoping to hear more about one of John Carmack’s pet projects, a VR comic book store.