What a Lunch and Learn!
Today we welcomed Dave Gibbons and Liam Sharp into the studio to chat to us about their successes and views on the comic industry. Liam is partnering with MB CEO Ben in the Madefire venture, so the studio was also given a sneak peek into how it’s developing.
To introduce themselves, Dave flicked through some of his work and reeled off snippets about his most famous piece, Watchmen, and his new story, Treatment. Based on a freelance police force, Dave noted he felt “in tune with the zeitgeist,” as he saw parallels between his narrative, and the riots that swept the UK last week.
Liam loaded up his Facebook album and took us through some snaps taken at the recent San Diego Comic-con where he and Ben launched Madefire. We laughed when Liam pointed out that MB CEO Ben was “grinning like a kid” in every shot. We also loved the shot of the lads assuming the poses of the characters from each of their new comics.
Eugene Waldon, who has been involved with the build of Madefire, then took us through the inner workings. As it is still in development, we can’t share too many details here, but (in response to a question from our live twitter feed) the guys confirmed the launch date isn’t too far away. As Eugene put it, “you have to provide guidance for the tool to ensure it’s the best it can be, but then you’ve got to let your babies fly.”
When asked what the big boys like DC and Marvel might think about the platform, both Liam and Dave suggested that they have approached their digital offer with a very different view of the future. “They (traditional comic publishers) are locked into a way of doing things, and their loyalty is to the bricks and mortar of the corner store. We see the ipads and androids as the new corner shop – it’s where you go to browse, to download, to buy,” said Liam. This kicked off a discussion on the interplay between the physical world and the virtual experiences that digital platforms enable, and the way Madefire might look to use these opportunities to build a community around their brand.
Despite adding their own specialist skill-set to the Madefire offer, it was interesting to note that Ben, Liam, Dave and Eugene all see Madefire in the same way; as a way of creating and sharing stories. In Liam’s words, “It’s your chance to make something, and say ‘look what I’ve done’ to three million people on the planet.”
If we were excited about the Lunch and Learn today, we’re now even more excited about the Madefire launch.