It's Liquid Avatar time… Apex Comics just ran a San Diego Comic-Con@Home video panel with a couple of aspects that separated them from any other panel at the show. The first was that they filmed some of it from outside the very empty San Diego Convention Centre. The second was they had multiple comic book and movie projects to announce, with Mariano Nicieza, David Lucatch, Matt Gaudio, Brett Breeding, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz, and Jim Steranko and a look at their new planned new action-adventure movie, Iron Angels. But Bleeding Cool is focusing on Super Liquid Avatar, and here's why.
It's a new superhero comic being published by Apex Comics about a scientist whose consciousness is transformed by accident into a liquid metal superheroic character. Super Liquid Avatar is aiming to tap into the current use of avatars in entertainment by having their character take on different forms, But also possibly make that ability available to readers. The publisher is creating the comic book as an Augmented Reality comic book so that readers can use the Liquid Avatar app to reveal special effects and new insights into the characters and stories. And they are drafting comic book legend Jim Steranko to publish new comic book work with the Liquid Avatar app, something Steranko sees as taking the possibilities of comic book storytelling to a new level.
Steranko described the appeal of Liquid Avatar, thus. "An opportunity has arisen that I believe people who have followed my work over the years are looking for and one that I can certainly get my teeth into because I've worked in the comics field doing the standard page-turning process. I've explored that, and I think we've got a technology that's ready for us to make the comic book format take another step in its evolution. And I plan to use that technology. I think you're doing it with your books, and I'm looking forward to doing it with mine. I think it'll be a great step forward in comic history… we have new narrative processes that we can use to tell stories effectively, maybe we can raise the hair on the heads of readers who are expecting one thing, and we give them another, they turn the page, and they get a forest fire! I think that those things… can create greater emotional and dramatic effects than we've ever seen before, and that's where I'm going with this project… I've been essentially preparing my entire life for this particular project. You may think that's just raw over-the-top hype, but it's absolutely true. I think everything that I've learned, my design sensibility into this project, my writing chops are part of it. I'll be coloring the book myself, and in terms of the technological things that you just went over, this is a learning project for me, so I'm embracing my friends, my co-workers to advise me on the best way to not only reach but to inspire my readers to go to the next page, the next panel… breaking new ground can always be a dangerous thing there's an expectation, and I remember uh numerous times for example back in my old stamping ground at Marvel, I remember the moment that I ended a nine-month story, took almost a year to tell this story and I felt that keeping readers in that same groove for an entire nine months, almost a year, that the climax was going to have to be so appropriate, that it would be a groundbreaking experience. When I started, I had no idea how that was going to happen. When I brought the climax of the book in, and I think some of our readers may remember this, it was done in a single image that took four pages, that took two separate comic books put side by side opened up just to see the end of the story. And I remember Stan [Lee]'s reaction. He freaked out; he'd never seen it before. Here's one of the greatest editors that comics have ever had, and I brought this innovative thing to him, and it was just so different; he didn't know how to handle it. It wasn't until I said, "Stan don't you realize kids are going to have to buy two comic books to see the end of the story?" "Great idea Jim!" I want this to happen with this project, and I'm putting that kind of energy into the book. I want our readers to walk away from experiencing that story knowing that they've just been involved in a new stage of evolution of narrative art." You can watch the whole panel here: