These four videos make up the complete first issue of Zoom Suit. To Read the Webcomic Optimized for mobile devices or download a PDF of the actual Comic Book Click Here.
The Promo Trailer
Here’s the trailer that we used to promote the comic. It was made up of scenes from the animation and a lot of Live Type work. The concept of the trailer was to pound home the fan favorite cover artists associated with the project to bring legitimacy to this small/indie press release. This promo was also placed on a DVD along with other interviews, behind the scenes news, and the complete animated short. The DVD was sent to retailers by request for play in their shops.
PART 1 of 4
The complete story was written, story-boarded and then turned into a rough animatic. (By the way, digital copies of the story boards, as well as the original animatic can be seen at the Superverse website. The actual Storyboards were sold to a private collector for $1,000. We did everything we could to save, and recoup money every step of the way.) Besides me, the animation team at this point was one experienced flash animator (see below) and five minimum wage interns.
Part 2 of 4
This section opens on the scene that inspired the Zoom Suit Project – Iron Man #118. Tony Stark leaps from a plane with the Iron Man suit in a suitcase. He must race to put it on before hitting the ground. As a child I thought this was the end of Tony Stark, and wondered who would be the lucky person to find that suit . . .maybe a kid (like me!) Marvel Comics What IF . . . was always a favorite series of mine. I pitched the idea while I was at Marvel, just in time for What If to be canceled, so the project was shelved another 10 years while I lived a whole other life in finance. Special Note – fan favorite and great guy Bob Layton came on board to recreate his famous cover that inspired the series. Check Out his website here.
Part 3 of 4
One of the most interesting aspects in the development of the project was watching how much better the animation got as the project progressed. Take a look at sections 3 & 4 compared to 1 & 2 and you’ll see a vast difference in the quality of the animation. The animator on the project was a very talented artist by the name of Jorge Palacios. Jorge did the lionshare of the animation with very little assistance. Many people worked hard to make the project a success, but in terms of the animation he deserves a tremendous amount of thanks for his contributions to the Zoom Suit project. The fight scene in this section where Simon Bane takes on the gang over his sunglasses was a highlight of the project, and my favorite part of the animation.
Part 4 of 4
The animation was completed in February of 2006, and was playing at Mega Con Orlando where DVDs and the Team Zoom advance edition of the comic book were on sale. At this point we also started to “Tease” that there were more videos, and an interactive internet game hidden online. See more about that in the Retailers Section of the Superverse website.
At this point the animation was doing such a good job of selling the comic series that we ran it everywhere we could. It appeared in over 200 film festivals, it was running in comic shops around the world, it was on TV and was featured at some kids camps, movies in the park and even played at a Planetarium. Other publishers saw the success and suddenly everyone was rushing to create comic book “trailers”, although most were just a slide show of some panels with some text and contained no actual animation. (Never the less – still a good sales tool, and I was happy to be copied if it sold more comics.)
More Sales Videos Follow . . .
Alien Autopsy Kit Promo Video
The more the video got out there, the more sales came in on the website. It seemed like purchasers were showing their friends the animation, which was driving more sales. I considered including a free video with every sale, but we already didn’t have enough SKUs. Turning a strong seller into a free giveaway wasn’t the answer.
To drive additional video sales we added a fun, quirky item, the “Alien Autopsy Kit.” From there on the “reader” orders almost always included an Autopsy Kit. Kids loved them, and our $10 DVD strong seller became a $15 “DVD and Alien Autopsy Kit” stronger seller.