Is The World Ready For Black Mask's "Tube Comics"?

Black Mask Studios have made a name for themselves over the past few years for trying some interesting ideas with their comic books, but now they're branching out into video with new miniseries adaptations of some of their most popular series, to try and encourage more people to read comics.


The initiative, called "Tube Comics", is a sort of mish-mash between a digital comic, an animated motion comic and a guided view of a normal comic. There's swishing between panels, voice acting, sound effects... it's not a wholly unique idea, but an interesting one nonetheless. So far there are TubeComics for five of the company's comic books: Ballistic, 12 Reasons To Die, Five Ghosts, Hack/Slash, and Liberator, with more on the way soon.

One of the main aims of the initiative is to try and get people who don't necessarily read digital comics, or want to go to a physical comic book store, interested in seeing the material in a slightly more vivid manner than just skimming through pages on a tablet or phone. It also probably works out nicely for Black Mask in generating some extra revenue out of people who might not buy their comics either — especially considering they'll be on YouTube, for a wide audience to see. But as Black Mask attests, they're not designed to replace a normal comic:

Q. Why are you trying to replace paper comics with this video crap?

A. We're totally not (in fact, theses are free so they better not replace paper comics or we're out of business). We believe that people who casually watch a tubecomic and fall in love with the story & art will ultimately become readers of the paper comic. Tubecomics aren't "the new version of comics," they're just cool in their own way and we hope they'll introduce new audiences to the power of sequential art storytelling.

It's an interesting compromise to make, but hey, if more people end up trying out some comic books after seeing them, then more power to 'em.

If you want to watch, you can do so on either Black Mask's YouTube channel or their website — but be warned, several of the videos at the link contain NSFW language and imagery.

[via Comics Alliance]


James Ryan

There's swishing between panels, voice acting, sound effects... it's not a wholly unique idea...