CCI: Marvel to the Nth Degree

Welcome to CBR's live coverage of Marvel Comics' Marvel to the Nth Degree panel at Comic-Con International 2008. Check back here every few minutes for more updates direct from the panel discussion with Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, Assistant Manager of Sales Communications Jim McCannSenior, Scribner publisher Moldow and Vice President of Strategic Development Ruwan Jayatileke, who promise to reveal a very special and top secret announcement, which by now you probably know is "N," a new motion comic based on an unpublished story by best-selling author Stephen King.

Quesada asked the crowd how many knew what they were there for, with harly anybody raising their hands. He then began a teaser trailer for Stephen King's "N." The story is adapted by Marc Guggenheim with artwork by Alex Maleev and colors by Jose Villarrubia. The series is 25 episodes and will be released daily beginning on Monday.

Stephen King's publisher was on hand to explain that parent corporation CBS wanted mobile content, and they were interested in Stephen King or Tori Spelling. King won. The idea was that Stephen King would write fifty 1.5 minute dialogues and be videotaped while reading them. King preferred to adapt a story he was planning to release in a story collection called "Just After Sunset."

The publisher approached Marvel's Ruwan Jayatileke who turned the project over to Quesada to begin the adaptation process. "I think the interesting thing about this project is this is really the first time we're going after consumers in a 360 approach -- where consumers really have a chance to view this on their own terms. Whether they want to read this in a prose book on mobile phones or in a comic series we'll be publishing in 2009. Either way, it stays true to Stephen King's work."

"It was an opportunity to work on a Stephen King story nobody has seen before," Quesada said displaying slides of Alex Maleev's development artwork. "This is really something that was drawn with the [motion comics] format in mind," he said, comparing the project to directing a Stephen King mini-movie.

The website is www.nishere.com.

The story is about a psychiatrist with a patient who sufers from OCD. The disorder breaches reality and very strange things happen. The panel didn't reveal more for fear of spoilers.

Are you going to be doing this with just this title or other titles? Q: "We'll see. This is our first venture with these partners. I think you guys will have a fantastic time checking out N. We'll see what happens, I think it's going to be a huge success."

A fan said this isn't the first time Marvel has created a project like this, noting the Secret Invasion and World War Hulk trailers. Q: "A lot of those trailers were developed by Motherland, who do most of the work on N."

"Those were actually retrofitted from the comic," Jayatileke added. "This is made for the mobile screen."

Quesada indicated there was hope that other authors may notice this sort of project, and that it may become a new form of adaptation like books-to-motion-pictures was years ago.

How will N be distributed? Will you need a contract with mobile carriers? Presently, the content is all free, but will only be available on sophisticated phones like the iPhone. However, CBS has deals with many developers and the project will be available on the web. What you can do when you go to www.nishere.com is download a widget that becomes the N player. The episodes can be embedded and shared. There are also arrangements with Amazon and iTunes to sell the episodes for 99 cents each. There is also going to be a DVD that will be available with copies of the print version along with special behind the scenes features.

King has been consulting on the project throughout production as he has been on Marvel's other King adaptations.

When is this going to be available? The motion comic will be available Monday. The book is available November 11.

Jayatileke indicated that King was interested in Megadeth producing N's soundtrack.

Quesada then screened the first episode of "N."

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