Making comics move
Motion graphics See how e-publisher Madefire put a spring into Batman’s step, adding a new slant to the Arkham Origins experience
Madefire was founded with the aim of bringing about a “new storytelling era.” It’s since brought to life Superman, Hellboy, Star Trek and Transformers as motion books.
Its latest project stems from the bestselling Batman: Arkham Origins, and is a new tale in an all-new format, set just before the storyline in the video game begins.
“We kept testing,” co-founder Liam Sharp says, “and arrived at the conclusion that any motion should generally be under two seconds. Then it should settle and let you read the words and study the art. And no voiceover either, as that would dictate the pace. Everyone reads at different paces. This is really important.”
With art by Christian Duce, it’s available for iPhone and iPad, the motion book is full of memorable scenes, some of which are interactive – Batman’s bloody attempts at amateur dentistry – extracting teeth and information from his patient, being one. Editor Ben Abernathy picks his favourite: “Batman’s staking out a poker game hosted by Detective Flass,” Ben says. “A young detective named James Gordon crashes the game. It’s nicely executed, written well, has great art, perfect motion-book pacing and some amazing music. It’s tense and fun to finally see the iconic Gordon.”
Find out more and download Batman: Arkham Origins at
Movement is kept to a minimum in the Madefire motion books, so as not to overwhelm the story. Madefire’s motion book concept adds action and music to a comic scene – but voiceovers are a no-no.