Madefire brings its groundbreaking digital comics to the iPhone

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Madefirea startup focused on bringing digital comics to a new level of storytelling, today released a new iPhone app, along with free comics from top-notch creators.

The company, which has many notable investors and advisors, produces a free comic book software platform. It allows comic creators to tell stories that unfold through layers of art, word bubbles, and captions that unfold in sequence. It’s a bit like reading a book that slowly fills a blank page with text as you read each word, but in comic book form.

Madefire’s platform also allows creators to add sound effects and images that move using the device’s accelerometer. The company initially released an iPad app containing a handful of original digital comics created exclusively from the Madefire platform, as VentureBeat previously reported. Now it’s coming to the small iPhone screen.


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“You’d be amazed at how good a reading experience (a Madefire comic book) is on a smaller screen,” Madefire co-founder Ben Wolstenholme said in an interview with VentureBeat.

The difference between creating a story for a 10 inch screen and a 3.5 or 4 inch screen seems like a challenge, especially with all the additional story elements available (sound, motion, sequential panels). Still, Wolstenholme told me that the Madefire platform allows creators to resize pages to multiple sizes, as well as resize word bubbles, captions, and fonts, to ensure all text remains readable. There’s also more emphasis on letting each panel and sequence fill the screen, which is understandable given the limited screen real estate.

Madefire still offers its original digital comics, including works by watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons, for free, as he works to refine the storytelling technology. Eventually, the startup plans to charge for new numbers at a price determined by the original creator.

Founded in 2012, Madefire has raised a total of $2 million in funding to date from True Ventures and others. The startup has a lineup of top advisors, including Flipboard founder and CEO Mike McCue, former Apple senior vice president of apps Sina Tamaddon, Automattic CEO Toni Schneider, and others.

The new Madefire iPhone app is available for free in Apple’s app store, and budding creators can download the (also free) storytelling software via the Madefire website. For a better look at the new iPhone app, check out the company’s demo video embedded below.

Photo via Madefire

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Lisa M. Horner