Liam Sharp, CCO of Madefire, acknowledged Abernathy joining the team by saying, “About two years ago Ben (Wolstenholme) and I realized there would be a point very early on where Madefire needed a full-time editor – if all went to plan! We started to draft a wish-list – and it barely got past one! Ben Abernathy!”
Abernathy spent over a decade at DC Comics, starting with Wildstorm before eventually handling editorial duties for DC’s digital comics. His experience also includes work for Dark Horse and Marvel Comics. Sharp cited Abernathy’s “calm, measured, friendly, and passionate” qualities as the prime reasons for his hire.
“The best editors will leave well-alone if a team is working, and mediate when it isn’t,” says Sharp. “They also put great writer/artist teams together from the off – and that is the REAL trick to editing. The right teams for the right jobs. Ben has that knack.”
Well respected by writers and artists in the industry, Abernathy takes over the editorial chair for Madefire as they announced that they will also be putting out new content on a weekly basis.
“We have a lot of developmental work going on, which is increasingly taking my time away from production and editorial – all exciting stuff,” says Sharp. “Ben will be a huge part of streamlining content delivery and bringing new creators and story IP (Intellectual Property) to Madefire.”
The expansion to weekly content is the first major step for Madefire as they continue the development of their brand and content. Sharp indicated that Madefire will eventually publish new content on a daily basis while still maintaining an strong eye for quality of storytelling.
“We’re always pushing at the boundaries of what the tool can build and the app can present, so there’s constant traffic between my production department and Eugene’s (Walden) tech department as we optimize each book individually,” says Sharp. “Again, Ben will be very key to maintaining that roll-out.”
This comes at a time where Madefire faces many new technology changes in the comic book industry ranging from the release of their beta motion tool for creators and preparation for the latest changes coming from Apple with their line of iPhones, iPads, and the iPad mini in October.
“Platforms will evolve and change, it’s inevitable, and we have to always consider that if we’re going to stay current,” says Sharp. “Ultimately I think we’re heading towards some future fully-integrated device that will do everything… it doesn’t seem that far off now does it?”
Despite all of the technological considerations, Sharp remains focused on producing the unique storytelling that Madefire has to offer with his current story Captain Stone is Missing…
“We’re not thinking of it as a digital comic but rather as an entirely new medium – which is exactly what it is,” says Sharp. “That said, the rest of the story is more linear, and pretty much from Charlie Chance’s point of view. We’re investigating events alongside her.”
With Ben Abernathy’s addition, the creators running the business side of the company will have more opportunity to focus on storytelling while Abernathy shepherds projects through the continually evolving digital comic medium.
“He’s extremely passionate, excited about being more innovative, and his experience at DC in the digital area – which was, frankly, an unexpected bonus! – makes him the perfect guy for us,” says Sharp. “We’re all really looking forward to his arrival in a couple of weeks.”