A Motion Comic is a digital comic that incorporates elements of animation to make it flow. In the web, they are also called Flash comics due to the use of Adobe Flash, and in Japan they are known as vomic (voiced comic).
While these comics do not necessarily have to include either music or voice acting, these are the most well-known examples thanks to the motion adaptations of comics like Watchmen. Likewise, there are comics that are popular with fans, and these will create their own video adaptations with music and voice acting, thus turning them into a sort of motion fan comic.
The earliest known example of a Motion Comic is the animated adaptation of Marvel Comics, ''Marvel Super Heroes'', that incorporated movements and audio with panels from their own works, meaning people could see Jack Kirby works being dubbed over. Other comics likewise have been adapted for television including Invincible, Manga Bible, and other works.
There are three classifications for Motion Comics:
- Motion Comics: these are digital comics that were created with this format in mind, hosted in the web as either online videos or webcomics, or created for a mobile app.
- Secondary Motion Comic: there is a use of motion comic but they aren't considered the main product. Popular for videogame cutscenes. In webcomics, motion is used for special content and is not the primary focus.
- Motion Comics Adaptations: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. These are adaptations of comic books that were given movement and sometimes audio to be seen on television or the web. This classification also includes any fandub on comic books, which are popular with voice acting enthusiasts, or MMVs (Manga music videos).
The usage of speech bubbles in voiced Motion Comics depends entirely on the creator's decision. Some use them, others don't. Motion Comics in general are ruled by Limited Animation, but there are exceptions.
- Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf has a magazine with comics featuring the characters. There's a series of motion comics based off of the physical comics featuring typical dialogue bubbles and comic book transitions.
- The entire game Comix Zone is about this, a creator of a comic book being trapped into it, and the stages (and the whole feel of this game) are just like motion comics.
- Brightly Burning Ether by Blue Vertigo initially started as this before moving to a fully animated series. While a majority of the action is presented in the pilot is in a very comic book-esque style, there are some portions of traditional animation as well as moving lip-flaps.
- Broken Saints.
- Ore Wa Tomodachi Da, a Venezuelan manga-esque motion comic created by SNT studios. The work is known for Etcetera Group providing its voice actors and Cesar Franco (The Latin-American singer of Biggest dreamer from Digimon Tamers) providing the opening theme.
- State of Syn is a motion comic webseries starring Jewel Staite and David Hewlett. The series aired on Hulu in 2013, with multiple episodes previewed on YouTube.
- Spider Stories is an extended moving mural
- Marvel Rising Ultimate Comics is a series of motion comic shorts in the Marvel Rising franchise.
- DeviantArt has the Motionbook feature, but there are comics hosted in the Flash/Interactive feature as well.
- The Waoow Comics website, founded in 2017, is a host for these kind of works.
- Kid Radd was an animated comic that used GIFs for nearly every strip.
- The LGBT Cyberpunk comic Buying Time.
Secondary Motion Comics:
- Sky High (2005), as an Affectionate Parody to the superhero genre, uses motion comics for both the intro and credits sequences.
- The endings to both inFAMOUS games take to this style, as the game is styled like a comic book.
- In the first two games of Max Payne, it's notable the use of motion comics to know the story instead of cinematic cutscenes, all with the Point of View of Max himself. Averted in the third game in which all the cutscenes are cinematic.
- Both Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker use interactive motion comics for their cutscenes. Both games were released for the PlayStation Portable.
- Monster Madness: Some cutscenes are in the style of comic pages with added motion effects and some simple animation.
- The UFO endings of some Silent Hill games are animated in motion comic style instead of CGI cutscenes to Art Shift the style in something more comedic.
- Sonic Chronicles, released for the Nintendo DS, use motion comics for its cutscenes.
- Trauma Team has a strong comic book theming, even putting the menus and gameplay as panels. Naturally cutscenes take some liberties as well.
- The endings in Twisted Metal 2 and Head On use this format.
- An European 1998 CD-ROM of The Smurfs included animated versions of The Black Smurfs and The Flying Smurf, mostly recreating the comic panels with some added animation.
- The Danganronpa series uses motion manga for The Summation of each murder trial, with the player filling out blank panels beforehand.
- Shuyan Saga uses motion comics to present its story, and the game's art director, Daxiong, is a Chinese comic artist. Player choice is provided in the manner of a visual novel. (When Shuyan enters combat, however, gameplay switches to a 3D Beat 'em Up.)
- Brawl in the Family sometimes used GIF animated comics in order to convey the joke easier. Certain special comics are often accompanied with a musical number, and later on were published in video format.
- Dead Winter has a few animated pages mostly to help better illustrate effects or gags. Although if the comic hits a milestone (like say: 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 pages) that special page will be fully animated.
- Homestuck is a multimedia webcomic that incorporated animated GIFs pretty early, then expanded to include full Flash animations and browser-based video games.
- Prequel includes some animated updates, as well as small video games.
- Scott Kellogg sprinkles GIF panels in his 21st Century Fox webcomic, usually in discotheque scenes or when depicting a hologram. This gimmick has subsided since the Disco Volante arc, however.
- The Bongcheon-Dong Ghost is a korean webcomic that uses motion to animate the titular ghost to Jump Scare the readers. It worked, as the comic became a popular subject for video reactions.
- Unsounded occasionally features animation. One striking example being when it's used to demonstrate a character's ability to teleport.
- Bob and George has a few animations in its webcomic.
- The Dandy, after ceasing print publication, moved to a digital format and includes these sorts of comics.
- Legend of Legendary Mighty Knight combines this with Art Shift; the soup the knight feeds to the dragon tastes so good the panel suddenly changes to a GIF of the shocked dragon superimposed over rapidly changing photographs of galaxies.
- Gumshoe: In the Tapas version, text and other effects are animated.
- SWAP Ensemble has the occasional "animated" page starting with the last page of Day 8, in which the characters' portraits revolve in a vaguely crescent-shaped motion. Later "animated" pages are mostly effects or a way to cram in more content per page, but the Day 10 elimination segment is fully animated.
- Some Fillbert comics use SVG animation.
- In-Universe example: Fry makes a crudely-drawn motion comic in the Futurama episode "Lrreconciliable Nd-Ndifferences".
Motion Comics Adaptations
- BREAK THE BORDER received a motion comic adaptation by Etsuko Harumichi on April 23, 2021.
- Karakuridouji Ultimo received a dubbed promotional vomic of the first chapter to promote the manga.
- Manga Bible, a manga adaptation of The Bible, has been dubbed over to be shown in some Christian networks.
- Reborn! (2004) got a comic adaptation of some chapters, with the anime voice actors reprising their roles. The comic had 4 episodes, lasting only 3 minutes.
- The Splatoon manga serialized in CoroCoro Comic had its first few chapters adapted into a motion comic in August 2017, though international press mistranslated the original announcement as being for an actual anime, which disappointed overseas fans once the actual nature of the production was revealed.
- The Way of the Househusband was adapted as a motion comic, but marketed as an anime, which was criticized by many fans who were disappointed with the Limited Animation.
- Marvel Comics:
- An early example and possibly Trope Maker would be The Marvel Super Heroes, a TV show from The '60s which used the panels of the comics to show the adventures of The Incredible Hulk, The Mighty Thor, Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Iron Man.
- Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., a motion adaptation of the titular book written by Brian Michael Bendis. The titular character and Madame Hydra were voiced by Nicolette Reed.
- Old Man Logan was adapted into a motion comic in 2018, with Cal Dodd reprising his role from the '90s animated series.
- Included as unlockables on Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects were adaptations of the first issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate X-Men with new narration. While the FF narrator was a generic one, the X-Men one was revealed to be Wolverine.
- DC Comics:
- Superman: Red Son, an abridged adaptation with a full voice cast was released in 2008.
- Watchmen: Motion Comics, released in 2008 to promote the movie adaptation, the series consist of an abridged version of the graphic novel combined with movements. All the characters were voiced by voice actor Tom Stechschulte.
- Batman: Black and White, an Anthology Comic series about the dark knight, some of the stories were adapted into semi-animated motion comics, available to be seen via streaming in TheWB's website.
- Dark Nights: Death Metal, the Crisis Crossover from 2020-2021, received an oficial adaptation on DC's YouTube channel with their own soundtrack and famous voices like David Hasselhoff as Superman, Andy Biersack as Batman and Chelsea Wolfe as Wonder Woman. Even the own comic book creators (Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo) made voices for the motion comic (Sgt. Rock and Robin King, respectively.)
- Image: Invincible was adapted into a motion comic by Gain Enterprises using the Bomb-xx process, and broadcast on MTV. However, the lukewarm reception killed any interest for it, and is no longer available for purchase.
- Hellboy had a couple of stories as animated features. Example here.
- The Chilean comic book Condorito was adapted to motion comics at the eve of The Movie released on 2017, apart of remaster some of The '80s cartoons and make some short gags using the 3D technology from the movie.
- Some BIONICLE comics were adapted into motion comics as extras on the DVDs of The Movies.
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand received a 4 issue miniseries published by Devil's Due. It was later adapted into a motion comic.
- Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel and Metal Gear Solid 2: Digital Graphic Novel are motion adaptation of the comic book adaptations drawn by Ashley Woods. They were first released for the PlayStation Portable as an interactive comic, but were later released as DVD movies with fully reprised voice acting from the game's voice actors (replaced voice actors non-standing) in Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection.
- The Metroid manga had an "e-manga" adaptation of the first two chapters.