Courtesy of Publishers Weekly

Digital comics are moving past simply being print comics with some built-in navigation between panels, as has mostly been the case with the first wave of digital comic providers like Comixology, Graphicly and iVerse. Berkeley, California-based Madefire is one of the companies looking to push the envelope and see what kind of possibilities exist when you concentrate on the screen, rather than the page.

Madefire is unusual on a number of fronts. It’s a venture capital-backed media play in Silicon Valley. It has relatively large names in tech attached to it. It has very large names in comics attached to it. It’s also pursuing original content.

Its co-founders are Ben Wolstenholme, Liam Sharp and Eugene Walden. Wolstenholme originally came to Silicon Valley to open a San Francisco office for his Moving Brands digital agency, so he comes from the world of digital branding and marketing.

Sharp is a well-traveled artist who’s drawn everything from Superman to the X-Men to Aliens. Sharp was the artist on the Gears of War comic that was the overall bestselling comic of 2008 while barely registering a blip in the Direct Market, so he knows a little about engaging a non-traditional comics audience. This is Sharp’s second go-round with publishing, having fronted his own Mamtor label a few years ago. Walden, the technical founder, was also the founder of NetDoubler back in the 90s and worked on one of the early mobile web browsers at the former phone.com.

That’s a pretty interesting mix that only got more interesting when Sharp pulled in legitimate comics legends Dave Gibbons, Brian Bolland and Bill Sienkiewicz and the creative side. Then Wolstenholme pulled in Toni Schneider from True Ventures and Automattic, Flipboard CEO Matt McCue and former Apple senior v-p Sina Tamaddon on the business end.

You can read this article in its entirety here: Madefire Offers New Model for Digital Comics

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