With all the talk about motion comics, Infinite Comics and standard digital comics, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the idea of an animated comic was old hat. If that is your point of view, you just might change your mind once you've seen Ryan Woodward's Bottom of The Ninth, though.Woodward, an animator with experience on shows like Osmosis Jones and The Powerpuff Girls (as well as the last two Spider-Man feature films, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers) calls his independently-produced iPad/iPhone app "the first (as far as I know) animated graphic novel." He explains,

YUP! Always dreamed about this when I was a kid....an ANIMATED graphic novel!!! Took me 40 years to realize this dream, well... 40 years of dreaming – 4 insane months of animating, drawing, drinking caffeine, and acting like a 10 year old again.

The result, which launches on the Apple app store next month, is something that mimics both the comic format and animation, but in a different way from the motion comics we're used to, as the trailer for the project suggests:

Woodward explains the plot like this:

Candy Cunningham is an 18 year old girl, born with a phenomenal athletic ability, and a hot head! Her father, Gordy Cunningham is an aged major league player who's athletic abilities have diminished over the years, but his ability to put on a good clown show always draws a crowd and ticket sales. Throughout the story, Candy faces some serious identity issues. The fame and glory of being a Tao City hero conflict with the true meaning of happiness taught to her by her father.

The first app contains seven comic pages, containing over 4 minutes of full animation, and is described as "just the prologue to a much bigger and deeper story that will encompass several apps over the next several years." Is this another possible future for comics, or a beautifully-produced animated one-off? It won't cost much to judge for yourself; when the app appears next month, it'll only cost 99 cents.

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