Monday, January 18, 2016

Marvel Publishing FREE Weekly Comic Book for Kids

As a kid I loved going on errands with my mom and dad because it normally meant I'd be coming home with a comic book.  My first exposure to comic books as a kid was excitedly going through the spinner racks located within the aisles of the local pharmacy, grocery or hardware store to see what new issues I could find each trip.  If these comic book spinning racks hadn't been around to add a bit of excitement to these otherwise mundane travels around town with my parents, I most likely would never have developed an interest in these publications and their superhero characters I'm such a big fan of today.

Unfortunately my children won't be able to experience the excitement of discovering these comic book spinner racks filled with stories of crime fighting super heroes and sci-fi adventures when they go about town on errands with me.  Awhile back the publishing industry determined it wasn't profitable to mass retail comic books anymore so distribution was relegated to specialty stores.  So now you have to make a special trip to a comic book shop to pick up issues.  There is a saying "out of sight out of mind" and this really could be impacting the future of comic books.  More than 30 years after first discovering comic books on a pharmacy spinner rack, I make a weekly stop at a local comic book shop as a personal indulgence to provide myself with a treat.  There are never kids shopping in the store which is always filled with people 30 years old and older which is a bit sad that a medium that was intended to entertain children and teens is now dominated by adults.

Understanding that they need to cultivate new generations of fans to not just keep comic books alive but so there is a continued interest in their characters for use in toys, movies, and video games, Marvel is reaching out to a young audience through  They recently introduced an ongoing FREE digital comic book series featuring the Avengers that is available through this online portal.  Each Tuesday, Marvel will release a new comic book issue of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE that can be read on the website.

The premise of Marvel's AVENGERS ASSEMBLE is that Tony Stark has discovered a dangerous new threat to the Earth from another dimension of time and space.  The super heroes of the Avengers who have disbanded to engage in their own individual missions most assemble again to tackle this new threat.  From looking through the first two published digital issues with my son and daughter, I can say these stories are "kid friendly" for elementary school aged readers but still packed with some exciting action packed scenes.

While I prefer old-school paperback comic books, the future for the industry really is in the digital marketplace.  So AVENGERS ASSEMBLE is also promoting Marvel's "Infinite Comics" line which are original, made exclusively for digital reading stories about the company's superhero characters.  Infinite Comics, which you can purchase through online stores such as Comixology or the Marvel Digital Comics Shop, are designed for horizontal, on-screen reading.  Rather than telling a story over a series of static pages that are divided into panels, Infinite Comics present screens of content that take advantage of the digital format to provide transitions between scenes and special effects not possible in a print comic.  By advancing through the comic with swipes, readers can stagger visual elements displayed on their screen and control the pace of how the story is revealed to them.  These digital touches are meant to make the reading experience more appealing to today's digitally savvy youth.

While the comic book spin racks of my youth may be gone for good it is nice to see a comic book publisher reaching out to regain the attention of young audiences.  Check out AVENGERS ASSEMBLE at

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