Hello Madefire Nation! This blog post is brought to you by me—Kevin—the resident Art Director here at Madefire. Having had the pleasure of being present when we released our launch titles into the world over a year ago, and having no idea where these titles would take us (the creators tend to keep tight-lipped and will release plot points on a need-to-know basis only) I’m excited to see The Engine, episode 5.
Now, I grew up on comic books. I was fortunate enough to inherit my older brothers Spider-Man collection when I was younger (which I still have, and a big Thank You to my brother!) and augment it with a strong collection of my own, which included X-Men, The New Mutants, Spawn, Usagi Yojimbo, and TMNT, to name a few (which I also still have). And from this extensive collecting experience, I also know the pains of First Issues, and how you/we painstakingly wait for the second issue, then the third, the fourth, the fifth, and so on—waiting for the point of no return, when the story has so completely grabbed you, that it refuses to let you go. This is when you realize you’re hooked, and that you, my dear reader, are now a Collector and a Fan.
I bring this up because since our launch, I’ve seen our First Issues turn into Second Issues. Then Third Issues. Then Fourth Issues, all the while building the story, the characters, and the world they live in. And I promise you dear reader—regardless if you’ve been with us since our launch, or if you’ve recently joined us, we’re about to hit the point of no return (if you haven’t already). This last year has seen the build up of our launch titles, but shortly we’ll offer you third party titles you may already know. Titles such as Star Trek, Transformers, and My Little Pony just to name a few, our worlds are combining with universes you already know and love. I hope you’re as excited as I am, because the coming year has even MORE goodies!
NOW! The issue at hand! In the last decade, there have been more reports of mines collapsing, trapping miners around the world than I care to pull stats on. Being buried alive is a common fear shared by many (Taphophobia is right up there with Arachnophobia and Acrophobia in my books). The first story arc for The Engine begins exactly in this manner, along with a smattering of Seismophobia for good measure.
Fueled by stars, and forgotten in time, our behemoth is the last and only operating “mechanical worker” left, a relic of the past. Condemned to the mines to work until it rusts, The Engine works tirelessly next to the prisoners who have been sentenced to the mine to serve out their punishments from the State. When a massive earthquake strikes the area and devastates the mine, all are trapped in a brutal and rocky grave. Will they get out? Will they survive? Will this natural disaster be their demise, or are the inmates more dangerous to each other than the earthquake?
As we become familiar with this group of outcasts, we also learn what brought them to their current position and where they fit within the group dynamic. But who is The Engine? Is he a brainless robot? Or is there more to this steel giant than we know? This opening story arc for Madefire’s title The Engine by Jimmy Broxton and Guy Adams comes to a conclusion with episode 5. My biggest questions? “Who survives?” and “Is The Engine alive? Or is he just malfunctioning?”
Read the latest issue to find out. Then sign up with us to keep informed when the next episode of The Engine is available. And wait until you read our special two-part stand-alone “Fueled by Stars” coming in a few weeks!
Cheers you lot.
Perhaps you discovered the televisual phenomenon and global franchise “Treatment” with Treatment Tokyo, met Special Operations Officer John “Commando” Cody in Treatment Detroit, and witnessed Treatment Player Manny Santana bravely fighting in a cowboy hat, instead of helmet, in Treatment Mexico City. Maybe you successfully revved up for total megamedia frenzy and obsession with Treatment San Diego. (“Megamedia” is a term coined in Treatment San Diego, when the Treatment Players attend San Diego Megamedia Con 2023.)
Well, now you can learn where all Treatment begins…
With story by Dave Gibbons and art by Jimmy Broxton, Treatment HQ catalogues the experience of three “Treatment” super fans on a behind-the-scenes tour of the New York City World Treatment Headquarters. At Headquarters, they get to meet Detroit star John “Commando” Cody as he fields questions; scrutinize stats on the technology capabilities of “Treatment” helmets and the efficiency of “Treatment” armor; and bear witness to the Control Room where the “Treatment” videos come to life and broadcast live.
Dave Gibbons first created Treatment several years ago. He used only digital tools to create his first episode. Now, we get to see his vision return to the crux of “megamedia,” so to speak, as he blurs the line between our world and the Treatment world, and between media and reality, as we read on a screen about the behind-the-scenes of a reality show in a fictional world. Crazy!
Get ready to peek behind-the-scenes of the Treatment series’ eponymous show. Ready… Set… Go! Check out World Headquarters. The time is now.
What a whirlwind.
Read on for the full update on Madefire Comic-Con 2013! Imagine a gathering of Madefire enthusiasts and leading artists keenly discussing Motion Books with and amongst a flurry of Bronies (term for My Little Pony male fans), Game of Thrones devotees (fans at our booth for a George R.R. Martin and Gary Gianni signing), live press, dynamic publishers, and clever cosplayers (“Geek-speak” for Comic-Con participants who dress spectacularly in themed costume).
Now, picture a sleek, black Madefire booth decorated by a seven iPad x three iPad video wall of twenty-one iPads (Yes, twenty-one!). Our engineering team programmed these iPads to act as one giant screen, playing an epic video reel of Madefire Motion Book highlights on loop as the Madefire team showed off demos of its Motion Book collection to Comic-Con participants on the show floor.
COSPLAYER FROM CINEMA MAKEUP SCHOOL EXTENDS WINGS AT MADEFIRE
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN SIGNS WITH GARY GIANNI AT MADEFIRE BOOTH
Okay, time for the report!
Let’s start at the beginning.
Just days before Comic-Con, we made big announcements regarding new third-party publisher partnerships. Madefire is proud to have announced partnerships with IDW, Top Cow, Boom! Studios, and ITV Studios America. The week of Comic-Con, Madefire kept the ball rolling, releasing an original, digital-first series The Trouble with Katie Rogers: Preview and first two episodes from ITV Studios America by Des Taylor. Madefire also released Treatment Detroit: Episode 1 by Dave Gibbons and Sherlock Holmes: The Greek Interpreter by Bill Sienkiewicz and Liam Sharp. We look forward to bringing the Madefire experience to such popular titles as Star Trek, My Little Pony, and Transformers from IDW, The Darkness from Top Cow, and Next Testament and 2 Guns from Boom! Studios.
On Thursday, Ben Wolstenholme, Dave Gibbons, and Liam Sharp spoke to a full room at deviantART’s “How-To: Motion Books” Panel. (By the way, deviantART had an awesome Artist’s Alley at their booth several steps away from us.) The Motion Book panel must have sparked quite some interest, because a number of aspiring and intrigued creators scouted out the Madefire booth in following days with high praise of what they had learned in the panel and a number of inquiries regarding tool sign-up and details.
MADEFIRE ARTISTS SMILE IN FRONT OF IPAD DISPLAY
Participants, creators, and readers joined the Madefire team in brandishing black and red Madefire pins on their Comic-Con lanyards. Dave Gibbons, Bill Sienkiewicz, Liam Sharp, Des Taylor, Gary Gianni, and Ben Wolstenholme participated in signings at the Madefire booth throughout the weekend, and everyone on the team had tons of fun hanging out with fans at the Madefire booth! Participants at Comic-Con were able to check out current Madefire store offerings, recent releases, and early previews of several upcoming Madefire store releases, including Star Trek and My Little Pony:
SKYE POINTS OUT NEW MADEFIRE MOTION BOOKS
ALLISON DEMOS THE MADEFIRE APP
Ladies and Bronies alike read My Little Pony, wide-eyed, smiling, and quick to point out their favorite ponies. (Fun fact from a new five-year-old friend: “The nicer the ponies, the prettier they are! Duh!” Good to know!)
Trekkies and Transformers fanatics gave their stamp of approval.
Game of Thrones groupies were excited to learn about us while they waited in line for a George R.R. Martin signature on their gorgeous Gary Gianni-illustrated calendar.
Des Taylor wooed the crowds with demonstrations of his Motion Book featuring the fashionable heroine Katie Rogers, a NYC publicist. Katie Rogers possesses gumption, class, and sex appeal to the max. (I think we know who to dress up as next year! 😉 Cosplay, anyone?!).
Happily, the highly anticipated Sherlock Holmes: The Greek Interpreter art did not disappoint: fans admired each tap point, portrait, and page on the new release, as well as on the most recent Mono.
Interestingly, Madefire released Treatment Detroit: Episode 1 a day before the “real” city of Detroit declared bankruptcy. Apropos? Freaky timing? In my opinion, all part of the Comic-Con mystery and magic!
BEN AND MADEFIRE FANS IN COSTUME STRIKE A POSE
BEN SHOWS HIS PANO PRINT TO A FAN
Now, if you follow our blog regularly, you may remember my previous post about the latest Mono episode, which released the week before Comic-Con. We promised the exhibition of a 3D Mono print—and prominently on our Comic-Con booth counter, he stood. We had two framed 3D prints with us: one painted dark and the other white… He looked awesome.
Several Comic-Con participants were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see Ben Wolstenholme’s six-foot-long panorama, or “pano,” print from Mono: Episode 4! (The print was stored behind the booth for most of the weekend, with the intention of keeping it safe from spills and damage; however, it was frequently unfurled for those interested.) Admirers of the Mono print, demo, and pano “oohed” and “ahh’d” on the show floor as members of the Madefire team explained how the Madefire Motion Book Tool capably converts such a 2D print into a 3D effect masterpiece pano.
At 5 PM PST Sunday, Comic-Con ended, and we closed up our booth… until next time.
We were sad to leave, but happy to have enjoyed such an exciting and productive week at the Con!
There is a new MONO release out this week!
Download and read MONO, Episode 4 on iOS and on the web at deviantART!
In this latest episode of MONO from artist Ben Wolstenholme and writer Liam Sharp, we meet Nazi General Heinrich Eberbach, a brutish character. General Eberbach prides himself on being warrior-born, claiming to have Thor’s blood in his veins, and boasts his forces have resisted and repelled the Allies assault on Caen. He is formidable and terrifying.
Yet, then he sits to enjoy a meal in a vast, ornate room filled with artifacts and war spoils alongside a beautiful blonde French dinner guest. General Eberbach posits a noteworthy match for half-man, half-ape Mono—and at moments, he possesses an eerie sense of calm.
The General and his guest eat veal; hold hands; drink wine. I watch with baited breath. It feels like the calm before the storm. General Eberbach instructs his lovely companion that they should not begrudge themselves “one good meal” at her concern over his soldiers’ wartime hardships. After all: “We’ll all be gone from here soon enough.”
Are Liam and Ben foreshadowing something?!?! This episode is intricate in design and foreboding in plot. The line art and coloring, by Fin Cramb, are gorgeous and gripping. The tension builds, and we are left with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger.
David Gillette from ComicBooked.com reviewed an advanced preview, rating this installment a perfect 5 out of 5, and commending the MONO creators on the episode’s “brilliant illustration, impeccable writing, and the all important motion book tool.” David notes a visual element and motion feature that makes this issue particularly special: a “panoramic panel that rotates around a scene and puts the reader in the middle of the story.” I wholeheartedly agree and believe you will feel the same! In the panorama, I cannot help but admire the opulent war spoils, guard dogs, and trophies enveloping General Eberbach and his company at the dinner table in his sumptuous, dark room. I could stay on this panel for days, if not for my dying need to tap to the next awe-inspiring sequence.
David praises this series as “a perfect balance between elegant storytelling, edge-of-your-seat action, and stunning visuals. Wolstenholme and Sharp make a perfect creative team for telling a top-notch thriller that’s refined pulp.”
So, what will hold us until we get our next thrilling taste of MONO action? Simon Jones from SR Partners has made this awesome 3D model of Mono that we hope to display at San Diego Comic-Con next week!
The Madefire team is ecstatic for Comic-Con! Bill Sienkiewicz, Des Taylor, and Dave Gibbons, as well as Madefire’s MONO creators Liam and Ben, are among the incredible artists that we expect to be signing at our booth (#4902 and #4904). Be sure to check out Ben, Liam, and Dave speaking at a panel with deviantART on “How-To: Motion Books” at 12:15-1:15 PM on Thursday and Bill and Liam speaking with Adobe on “Adobe Photoshop and Artists” at 3:00-4:00 PM on Thursday. Stay tuned for exciting announcements coming soon. The countdown to Comic-Con has begun!