The following is an interview with Ben Wolstenholme, co-founder and CEO of Madefire, the digital studio that is constantly breaking new ground in the field of motion books and digital comics. In this interview, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor Barbra Dillon chats with Wolstenholme about Madefire’s recent partnership with Dark Horse Comics in order to bring Mike Mignola’s popular series, Hellboy, to life in a new digital medium.
This interview was conducted on December 12, 2013.
Barbra J. Dillon, Fanboy Comics Managing Editor: 2013 has been an amazing year for Madefire, highlighted by the announcement of its partnership with major comic book publishers IDW, BOOM! Studios, and Top Cow to release their bestselling titles as motion books. What can you tell us about the recent news that Dark Horse’s Hellboy will now be joining Madefire’s digital lineup?
Ben Wolstenholme: You’re right, it’s been a pretty amazing year and bringing Hellboy out as a motion book is really a dream come true. Everyone in the studio is a massive Hellboy fan and reveres Mike Mignola’s work, and we couldn’t be more pleased in working with a groundbreaking publisher like Dark Horse Comics.
BD: Given that Hellboy has been adapted for a variety of entertainment mediums, including film, video games, and animation, how do you feel that Madefire’s motion book platform will enhance the property for readers?
BW: All of the above are various adaptations of Hellboy, while we’re taking a story that creator Mike Mignola is writing and illustrating, and we’re working to elevate the reading experience. The use of limited motion and camera effects coupled with an original score and sfx for the series creates a unique experience.
BD: When adapting popular, established titles into motion books, are the original creators involved and how would you describe the creative process?
BW: We don’t deal directly with the creators as our relationship is with the publishers. But, the creative process, across the board, has been really rewarding! We have a vision with the various properties, and our execution, thus far, has gotten very positive and encouraging feedback.
BD: Are there plans in the works to adapt more of Dark Horse’s bestselling titles into motion books?
BW: Not right now, but who knows what the future could hold.
BD: Given Madefire’s partnership with deviantART.com, the social networking website for creators and artists, are there opportunities for deviantART’s users to take advantage of the motion book platform for their own titles?
BW: Absolutely. Our plan with the Motion Book Tool since Day One was to release it to the public, so creators can be empowered to make and release their own motion books. There are several hundred creative folk in Tool as we speak working on making their dreams come true!
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects in the works for Madefire that you are able to share with our readers?
BW: It’s a little too soon to talk about anything else in the pipeline, but we do have a number of other projects in the works. Stay tuned!
BD: What is the best way for readers to find more information regarding Madefire?