There's never been a better time to be a fan of superheroes, with costumed crimefighters dominating the box office. But as much as it may be a homerun for movie studios, the publishers behind the actual heroes and villains can't bask in the success - they've got to create the stories, events, and groundbreaking twists that the films will one day adapt. Not only that, but experiment with new ways to bring people into the world of comics - and experimenting with practically new media isn't a job for everyone. But Marvel Comics is making some interesting moves that could mean big things down the road.
After years spent acting as Executive Editor to countless high profile books, from X-Men to Spider-Man and way back to the Ultimate universe, Nick Lowe has been promoted to the company's Vice President of Digital Content, Publishing. It marks a strong addition to the company's digital team, and a sign that the publisher is more than serious about its designed-for-digital Infinite Comics line - and is doubling down on the recently-launched 'Video Comics.'
For readers who keep up to date on Iron Man, Spider-Man, Black Panther or the rest of their favorite Marvel heroes by picking up physical issues, or digital versions, the 'Infinite' and 'Video' comic formats may still be uncharted territory. While the former launched back in 2012, designed with digital transitions, animations, and a horizontal viewing screen in mind, the Video Comics initiative is a more recent experiment.
A combination of traditional comic artwork, digital animation, and fully-voiced performances, the Video Comics debuted in late 2016. Following the training of a young Spider-Man at the hands of Tony Stark (a clever tie-in with a similar arc starting in the MCU) - and a standalone Black Panther story, too - the Video Comics have been hosted on Disney XD's YouTube channel and app. Straddling the line between the company's many animated series and the comics they're based upon, the early results have been compelling, to say the least.
New York, NY – January 4, 2017 – Marvel Entertainment has announced that Executive Editor Nick Lowe has been promoted to the title of Vice President of Content, Digital Publishing for Marvel effective immediately.
Nick will continue his work as Executive Editor, presenting Marvel Comics fans with exciting new characters like Spider-Gwen, Silk, Mosaic, and the Sorcerers Supreme. In the new role of Vice President of Content, Digital Publishing, Nick will explore exciting new corners of the Marvel Universe through Marvel’s Infinite Comics and further evolve the Marvel brand by crafting entirely unique original content beginning with Marvel’s Video Comics which recently premiered on Disney XD.
It's this new frontier - one blending media with the obvious possibility of transitioning cartoon viewers into reading ongoing comics - that Nick Lowe will be "spearheading," according to Marvel's press release. Fans familiar with Lowe through his front-facing editorial presence (in letters-to-the-editor sections, online videos answering fan questions, etc.) need not worry either, as the statement confirms he will continue to oversee Spider-Gwen, Sorcerers Supreme, Silk and Mosaic as Executive Editor.
How Lowe's talents will be put to use, and how soon fans can expect to see the results are questions we'll have to wait to see answered. But with promises of "evolving" the Marvel brand and "exploring new corners" of the hottest superhero universe on the planet, one of the next chapters of the Marvel Comics story is going to be digital.
At least, that seems to be what the company is banking on.