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What an amazing year! There have been many changes since last I’ve posted. First, Disney Publishing went through a big one: moving to the Disney offices in California. Never thought I would live anywhere except New York, but I accepted the relocation offer and have since become a Senior Producer. Along the way, I’ve had incredible opportunities to produce some fantastic digital books and interactive products (details below). It’s been a fun ride so far – looking forward to what 2013 brings!
Monsters, Inc. Storybook Deluxe – Relive the story of the highly acclaimed Monsters, Inc. film with this fun interactive storybook app! Find and collect hidden Scare cards, navigate your way through a Scare Simulator mini-game, and experience fun personalized features, based on your own screaming and roaring abilities. Includes clips and voices from the film and so much more! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Iron Man: Armored Avenger – Narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you choose from three invincible armors to help Iron Man defend from the Mandarin’s menacing attacks. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book – Voted one of the Best of 2012 by Apple! Go behind the scenes of Tim Burton’s stop-motion animated film, “Frankenweenie” with this exclusive interactive book. Delve into the details of the concept, creation and execution of the film with beautiful photos, art, interviews, music, 3D model characters, and much more! Available in the iBookstore for the iPad and iPad mini.
Avengers Origins: Assemble! – Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you save Earth from Namor and the Atlantean’s attacks. Navigate the Avenger’s Quinjet or play as an Avenger: Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, or Thor! Also has eight different language options. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Avengers Origins: Hulk – Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, and a full 3D graphic game where you help the Hulk defend from attacks from the army. Play as an Avenger: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor or Hulk himself! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story – Received a Cynopsis Kids !magination Award Honorable Mention! Also narrated by Stan Lee, this interactive storybook app includes activities, achievement badges, mini-games and six different language options. Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Spider-Man AR Book HD – This innovative interactive storybook app includes activities, Augmented Reality mini-games and has eleven different language options! Use the camera to see yourself with a 3D generated Spider-Man mask, experience the Spidey-Sense or collect and tap on 3D spiders as they crawl on you! Available for the iPad and iPad mini.
(Also available for the iPhone and iPod touch.)
Cars 2: Read & Race – Rev your engines for this thrilling Cars 2 original story, with a robust 3D race car customization activity, a device-tilting full racing game featuring four different courses, exciting tap-and-play interactivity, and nine language options! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
Lion King: Timon’s Tale – Featuring brand-new and beautifully enhanced animation and interactivity, this wonderful storybook app retells the classic Disney story of young Simba’s unforgettable journey from cub to king. Also includes iconic Lion King instrumentals, character voices, and innovative touch, shake, and swipe technology! Available for the iPad, iPad mini, iPhone and iPod touch.
I’ve had the honor of working on numerous exciting projects over the course of my career, but I have never been as proud as to be the Producer of the Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App.
Working with Marvel and the Marvel Press staff has been nothing short of a fantastic experience. I was also lucky enough to direct the amazingly talented Stan “The Man” Lee for the narration!
So, what exactly does a Producer do? Being an App Producer can most easily be described as being comparable to a Film Director. The Producer works with all of the experts from our Editorial/Story, Art/Design, Interactivity and other various departments. Just like a Film Director, I work on a little bit of all of the above and help refine the product from concept to completion. And what exactly is a Storybook App? I like to describe it as a scene-to-scene story, in which the user predominantly controls the pace and personal duration. The combination of interactivity, moving images, still images, written words, sounds and music will hopefully entertain, teach and inspire. In both the print and digital product, Disney Publishing Worldwide is focused on telling entertaining and educational stories and experiences with the characters everyone knows and loves. And who doesn’t love Spider-Man?
Here some of the Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story App highlights:
• Narrated by comic book legend and Spider-Man co-creator Stan “The Man” Lee!
• Interactive story-themed spider-games throughout: Help Peter Parker learn to use his powers—test your strength, swing through the city, use your web-shooters to stop a burglar and much more!
• Secret Spider Hunt to win your very own “No-Prize!”
• Multiple Reading Modes: Read to Me, Read by Myself, Auto-Turn Pages, and Younger Reader Mode
• Action-packed artwork throughout!
• Includes Spidey sound effects and music!
Find full info, screenshots, videos and more here: http://marvelreads.com
Keep a look out for future updates and apps that cover all types of stories, interactivity and activities ranging from all of Marvel’s wide breadth of characters.
It sure wasn’t an easy decision, but after considering some gracious offers out west by DC Comics, I’ve decided that it’s time to leave DC for new artistic endeavors.
I’d like to thank DC for all of the exciting opportunities and projects I’ve been able to be a part of over the past 6 plus years and giving me the chance to work with the best and brightest people in the comic industry. Specifically, I’d like to thank the Creative Services team including Ron Perazza, Dave McCullough, Jesus Reyes, Jon Chong, Jeff Rowe, Kwanza Johnson, Nika Vagner, Jessica Numsuwankijkul, Larry Daley, Sarah Wright, and Richard Bruning for not just being solid co-workers, but also good friends. Lastly, I’d like to thank The Dark Knight Returns for not only sparking a young boy’s aspirations to work in comics, but also showing that Batman can clearly kick Superman’s ass.
Looking forward to seeing what DC dishes out next year! And of course, keep coming back here to see whatever tomorrow may bring me…
Do you like comics? Are you free this weekend? Well then come on out to King Con II: Brooklyn Comic Con on November 6th & 7th, from 11am – 7pm, at the Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 and head on over to the Human on the Inside table for comics, exclusive prints, shirts and more!
I’ll be sharing a table with Matthew K. Manning and the show will have plenty of other talented folk including Chris Claremont, Jonathan Ames, Paul Pope, Kyle Baker, Dean Haspiel, Becky Cloonan, Cliff Chiang and many more. For more information, keep your eye on the official King Con website here.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I unfortunately did not have the time to help coordinate King Con II, so a special thanks goes out to all the hard work the coordinators have done to put together the show this year.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Come on out to the New York Comic Con this week from October 8th – 10th and head on over to the Comic Social Club Booth #2461 to meet Mike Zagari and grab copies of Human on the Inside, exclusive prints, shirts and more!
*UPDATED* New York Comic Con 2010 company branded floor plans (work in progress) :
The Brooklyn Lyceum is gearing up for another KING CON Comic & Animation Convention this year! The show is currently scheduled for November 4-7, 2010. Make sure to keep up-to-date with all of the exciting news and information on the show here: http://www.kingconbrooklyn.com/
Unfortunately, I’ll be taking on more of a consultant role this year. Even though I had a terrific time helping co-organize the show last year, it ended up being much more time consuming than I was expecting. Don’t fret! I’ll also be exhibiting and will have the latest issue of HUMAN ON THE INSIDE and some fancy new art prints. Stay tuned for more information on them, as well as any of my upcoming projects.
The first KING CON was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait for this year’s show to top it!
I’m getting the iPad immediately. Those were my words when Apple made their iPad announcement on January 27, 2010. Many of my friends and colleagues were surprised to hear me say this. Actually, they were more surprised by the name chosen and spent the next week making feminine hygiene jokes. Those were the days.
Though I try to stay immersed in digital media and keep all my electronics powerful enough to support my current projects, I’ve never been someone who makes right-out-of-the-gate device purchases. Trial and error could be a pricey road to go down in today’s quickly evolving digital world. However, at the end of the day, everything about the iPad is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.
It has three main purposes for me:
1) READING BOOKS & COMICS: I’ve been using the Apple iBooks and comiXology Comics & Marvel Apps and have been very pleased. They both work intuitively and easily to do just what they promise. My only critique for the iBook app is showing the edge of the “pages”. It’s counter-intuitive since it just takes up screen space. As for the comiXology Apps, I’m curious as to why they do not support showing multiple pages at the same time. Otherwise, they have the best comic reading app, hands down.
2) DISPLAYING REFERENCE (for creating traditional art): The crisp and easy to navigate Apple Photos App has made this to be (surprisingly) my most used feature of the device. Now any and all reference can be on my drawing table, right in front of me. Of course, it’s also now filled with embarrassing photos of me and my friends. Have to remember to consistently delete those.
3) DIGITAL SKETCHING & PAINTING: For this I took a nod from Jim Lee’s work and immediately purchased Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro App . It’s a great App that has a high versatility of brushes and colors, as well as simple to understand and navigate layer capabilities. It seems to be predominantly created for finger painting, since the shortcuts involve touching the screen with multiple fingers. It’s relatively intuitive and my only critique is I don’t believe there is a shortcut to set the canvas at 100%.
I also purchased the Pogo Sketch. I ripped open the package in the Apple store and immediately created this sketch:
I dig being to able to draw on the device with a pen. I feel much more in control of my line work, as opposed to the finger painting. However, it is difficult to be truly precise due to the stylus pen’s round, felt-tip end. I hope Steve Job takes back his iPhone comments: “Who wants a stylus?? Yuck!” and they create a better stylus for the iPad. Apple could truly revolutionize creating art digitally if they somehow create a more precise device, closer to the Wacom / Cintiq pens.
Following my visit to the Apple store, I went to the Museum of Cartoon and Comic Art festival and thought it would be interesting to have several different artists sketch on the device. Of course, I really did this just to watch some talented illustrators struggle at creating art. Just kidding. Running off my first sketch, I requested that all of the artists create a Batman sketch. Here are some of the results:
Art by: Bobby Timony
Art by: Tim Hamilton
Art by: Kevin Colden
Art by: Dean Haspiel
Art by: Shane Costello
Art by: Joe Infurnari
Art by: Miss Lasko-Gross
Art by: Jon Roscetti
Art by: Matt Loux
A surprise bonus to the iPad is having the ability to watch movies and television episodes. Ultimately though, I still prefer watching them on a real screen. It only happens when I’m too lazy to find the remote.
All in all, Apple’s iPad has fully lived up to my expectations. Whether I’m reading, drawing, or just viewing reference, it’s just what I was looking for. Now I’m looking forward to the day when I can take it out in public without hearing more feminine hygiene jokes.
After helping run King Con, I have to admit that even though we were faced with many skeptical individuals, I think we ran a fantastic first show. Yes, we hit a few speed bumps along the way, but everyone helping us put the event together (which was the first time most of them had been exposed to running a show like this) brought in the elevated energy to make it a success. We weren’t trying to one-up any other con or be the biggest con in NYC, but rather just run a great show filled with all the talented comic and animation folk that are passionate about their work. I don’t blame some for being skeptical, but it’s definitely the optimists that made the show have such a great vibe!
I also exhibited at Zine Fest, which is one of the main reasons I became an adviser for King Con. Zine Fest was a fantastic show which had a mandate of “self-published / handmade stories” on your table and it took place solely on the lower level of the Brooklyn Lyceum. There were a few self-publishing comic creators there like myself, but overall, I don’t believe too many of the customers actually read comics or were familiar with the comics industry. That’s fine, but I thought to myself “What if we brought the entire comics community to a space like this?” I mentioned to the coordinators that I would be down with helping put together an actual comic convention. King Con’s Event Coordinator, Regan Fishman, called me up a few weeks later and we started from there.
Now maybe I was predominantly optimistic because I experienced exhibiting at Zine Fest, but to make this a more comic-centric show, I knew there needed to be some major additions. We reached out to several very talented individuals including Brian Wood, Dean Haspiel, Jeff Newelt and Ron Perazza, who were all very supportive and excited about King Con. We then set up sixteen panels, which took place on the upper levels of the Lyceum. They covered all the diverse parts of the comic industry – from mainstream, to underground, to digital comics, to kids comics and more. We also had three workshops in which the attendees interacted with the panelists to learn hands-on about drawing comics, creating a character, and lettering comics. All these factors made the show a solid event and something I’m very proud to be a part of. I’m looking forward to working with the Brooklyn Lyceum again for a King Con 2010 and hope you’ll be there!
Thanks to all of those who came out to King Con – Brooklyn Comic Con!! It was a fantastic show in which I was able to meet and work with so many great people. For those who missed out on grabbing the newly reformatted HUMAN ON THE INSIDE #1, I will be placing it for order on www.comixels.com shortly. And if anyone has some photos or stories they would like to share about the event, feel free to email me at mike (at) mikezagari.com.