That marketplace is growing more and more aggressive, as well. After Push Pop Press unveiled Our Choice, Facebook poached PPP's engineers and bought up the rights to its e-book software for good measure. It was a disheartening development for Melcher, who was excited about the possibilities of evolving storytelling with his talented team.

But it was not enough to squelch his optimism. Melcher, who stewards the New York-based Future of Storytelling summits, maintains that this transitional phase will bear fruit, even if its challenges overwhelm the current players. "Our children already don't know a world without these devices. They will intuitively understand how to push these things to their limits."


If a real revolution in digital storytelling is still a generation away, that may be a factor that a company like Madefire cannot address. With a team of comics, tech, and marketing professionals, the company is poised to make an impact on the digital storytelling market — if that market responds with sufficient enthusiasm. In the meantime, their approach is to maintain quality control.

Liam Sharp, Ben Wolstenholme, and Eugene Walden try to shake the terrible legacy of the “motion comic” with stories told on new tech.
Michael Short
Liam Sharp, Ben Wolstenholme, and Eugene Walden try to shake the terrible legacy of the “motion comic” with stories told on new tech.
Mono, one of Madefire’s flagship comics, blends illustration, sound, and animation in its “motion books” with that other essential ingredient, compelling interactivity.
Michael Short
Mono, one of Madefire’s flagship comics, blends illustration, sound, and animation in its “motion books” with that other essential ingredient, compelling interactivity.

"Our main focus is to ensure we remain one of the best-rated apps in the app store," says Wolstenholme. "The end reading experience is paramount." Wolstenholme hopes that commitment will pay off when Madefire introduces a price for specific books. Yet as Charles Melcher found, that payoff may prove a tougher win than expected.

Madefire and Ying Horowitz & Quinn share an optimism for their stories that trumps market concerns, or at least isn't dictated by them. It's inspiring to see creators motivated by evolution of craft, especially when they're entering dangerous territory where the possibility of compensation is not only uncertain, but potentially at odds with reality.

The afternoon sun shines on Liam Sharp's face as he recalls presenting Madefire's books at a convention for the first time. "It's really stunning when you see people's faces light up and they get it." He's energized by the recollection. Regardless of what successes or failures lie ahead, this unimpeachable moment of connection, as any artist will tell you, is all that matters.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...