Marvel has made it a habit to talk about their latest digital initiatives at conventions, and this year's Comic-Con International in San Diego is no different, with a "House of Ideas" panel early Thursday afternoon. Panelists include All-New X-Men writer Brian Michael Bendis, and topics will likely include their weekly Infinite Comics, the adaptive audio of "Project Gamma," and more.
Things are scheduled to get started at around 1 p.m. Pacific time — we'll be there live providing frequent updates, so keep refreshing this page for the latest.
Things are getting started now. On the panel: Marvel digital executive editorial director Ryan Penagos, Bendis, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, Marvel Interactive's TQ Jefferson, digital publishing's Ron Perazza and Marvel talent scout C.B. Cebulski.
Panel starts out with Marvel director of communications Arune Singh polling the audience as to who has read at least one digital comic — nearly all but a couple of people. Next up, an informative video about their digital-first Infinite Comics, which are now being released weekly as of early this month.
"We're getting better and better with each one we do," Alonso says of Infinite Comics. "It's really the new frontier."
Bendis expressed his exctiement at getting to write in the format, saying that he taught the work of Yves Bigerel to his students in his university class on comic book writing. Bendis says he wrote his Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comics "Marvel style," plot-first, rather than starting with a full script. "We're just at the beginning of it, and that's the cool thing," Bendis says of the format, adding that a lot of people are curious "When is it not a comic book anymore?" and that's something Marvel considers closely.
Following Wolverine: Japan's Most Wanted (pictured above) as the next weekly Infinite Comic is Iron Man: Fatal Frontier, written by Kieron Gillen and Al Ewing and illustrated by Lan Medina.
Next up: Marvel Unlimited, formerly Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, and now available on mobile devices as of the past few months.
Bendis compares Marvel Unlimited to Netflix, due to its ability to facilitate "binge watching" — or in this case, binge reading.
Marvel's year-plus-old AR program is discussed — bonus content triggered through a mobile app — with the first installment shown of a new comedic video series featuring Marvel editors.
Penagos talks about Mavel's original videos, available through their site — including the recently launched Earth's Mightiest Show (which Penagos says is about "not just Marvel," with Doctor Who star Matt Smith taping an appearance at the Marvel booth this weekend) and the Robot Chicken-esque "What The?!" videos. A new one is shown, depicting Thanos attending Comic-Con for nefarious reasons.
Jefferson discusses the upcoming "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" mobile game, saying it was a unique opportunity to tie-in with something current in publishing. More information, he says, is coming at the Marvel Video Games panel on Saturday. (We'll be covering that one, too.)
Talk about Marvel's social networking endeavors leads to, somewhat naturally, discussion of the unverified Jim Steranko Twitter account that has captured the industry's attention in recent weeks. "He's got the firmest handshake in comics, too," Alonso adds.
That's it! Thanks for reading! More coverage all day and all weekend from San Diego.