Marvel Infinite: The Future of Comics?

Marvel will debut its first “Infinite” comic book tomorrow with Avengers vs. X-Men #1 Infinite, which is a complementary story to Avengers vs. X-Men #1. The Infinite digital line for tablets marks a huge change for everyone involved. Artists have to draw and ink differently. Writers have to be mindful of pacing. Readers no longer have full control of the pace of the reading experience. It’s very different and potentially game-changing. Before I get into what Infinite means for each party, check out this video from the SXSW conference to get a better idea of what this line offers.

Artists have the opportunity to show off their skills like never before with Infinite books, particularly on the iPad 2012. The Retina Display screen allows for more detail and subtle techniques. This goes for all facets of comic-book art — drawing fine lines, finer gradations with ink effects, broader color palettes, etc. My guess here is that the initial work will look great, but will look even better a year from now when artists adjust to what the medium offers.

Writers have more control over the storytelling with Infinite. Certain dialogue bubbles and descriptions come up when the writer wants them to. There are some really cool opportunities to entrance the reader with pacing. The timing of conversations can be manipulated to give the dialogue a completely different feel than it would have in paper comics. Details can be rolled out to the reader with specific timing. This will probably be the most obvious and immediate advantage with Infinite. Comic-book scripts are pretty similar to movie and television scripts; writers have a pacing in mind, but were held back by a completely static medium. Infinite takes that restriction away.

As for readers, I’m going to guess that Infinite will be a love/hate thing. I can see some fans really digging the medium and the different types of storytelling opportunities it offers. I can also some see fans thinking that Infinite is nothing more than a glorified motion comic. Both points are understandable. Some readers are excited by technology and the changes it brings to comics. Others, particularly those that have been reading print for decades, are simply set in their ways and are perfectly happy with paper.

I’m not sure if Marvel Infinite comics will be enjoyable for me, but I’m excited to find out. Any of you planning to check out Avengers vs. X-Men Infinite on your iPad tomorrow?

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