Ben Abernathy, who left DC Comics last week after more than a decade with the company — most recently as digital editor — has joined Madefire, the innovative motion-comics company launched last year by Ben Wolstenholme, Liam Sharp and Eugene Walden.
“About two years ago Ben [Wolstenholme] and I realized there would be a point very early on where Madefire needed a full-time editor – if all went to plan!” Sharp tells ComicBooked.com. “We started to draft a wish-list – and it barely got past one! Ben Abernathy!”
Abernathy, who worked briefly for Dark Horse and Marvel, was senior editor of WildStorm until the imprint was closed in 2010 amid a corporate restructuring and he was moved with other staff to DC’s West Coast digital division. “… Ultimately, the industry is heading to a predominantly digital delivery and that’s not a reflection whatsoever on the direct market or the print publishers–it’s just a reality based on technology and the evolving audience,” Abernathy says in a Q&A on the Madefire website. “From the position I held at DC, I had the opportunity to see some of the reading tools being developed for the industry, and from the moment I saw Madefire’s work, I could tell they were ahead of the curve. Way ahead. And you’re right: I wouldn’t be answering these questions if I didn’t believe that 100 percent and wasn’t committed to doing everything possible to help facilitate this next step.”
Madefire, which launched its free iPad app in June with motion comics by Dave Gibbons, Robbie Morrison, Sharp and others, is pushing into weekly content that includes new “Motion Books” by the likes of Haden Blackman, Gary Erskine, Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton. The Motion Books boast an “immersive experience” that goes well beyond the motion comics to which most readers are accustomed.
“For a long time, we’ve been trying to get content into comic books that is something more than just action, something other than just what appeals to a younger audience,” Gibbons tells USA Today. “And I think with Madefire, we have got the ability to do that, given that a lot of our early adopters are going to be comic-book readers or movie aficionados. There are certain genres which are inherently more popular or more in-tune with those demographics, but I’m really looking forward to branching out both thematically, and in the actual depiction of events, into new and different areas.”