Motion Comics are here! Get an inside look at the creation of the Cat Ninja Motion Comic version right from the author.
Fans of the hit Epic Originals series can now enjoy the adventures of the crime-fighting feline hero in a whole new way! We’ve brought the first of the popular Cat Ninja books to life in an animated version with even more to come. The adaptation sets the comic to music and sound with motion and text that takes the reading experience to a whole new level—and we connected with the author Matt Cody to get a special peek into the process and what makes this format great for kids. Take a look below!
Exclusive Q & A With Author Matt Cody
Epic: Can you describe your role in the creation of the Motion Comic adaptation of the first Cat Ninja book?
Matt: Having written the first book several years ago, it was fun to go back and help reimagine it in a new format. That said, my role was mostly to give feedback along the way as the animation wizards at BYJU’S did their thing. One of the challenges was the pacing. In a traditional comic, the reader determines how fast they move from one panel to the next. In Motion Comics, it’s a little more like a movie in that the panels move along at their own pace. Getting that pace right was a big part of my job on this.
Epic: What do you think the story’s biggest appeal is for children?
Matt: Well, Cat Ninja is such a great, lovable character—especially when compared to his sarcastic nemesis and housemate Master Hamster. It’s fun to read along while their adventures come to life on the screen.
Epic: What are some previous projects you’ve worked on before coming to Epic?
Matt: I’ve been at Epic for three years, but before that I published over ten novels for young readers, as well as graphic novels. In fact, it’s still something I do in my free time (what little there is!)
Epic: Will you be writing scripts for future Epic Originals Motion Comics?
Matt: We’re working on adapting many of our readers’ favorite comics series into Motion Comics! Besides more Cat Ninja, we’ll be releasing Motion Comics of Bright Family and Animal Rescue Friends in the coming months.
Epic: What are the biggest challenges in adapting stories from still pages to animation?
Matt: Comics are wonderful because they test your brain to fill in the gaps. It’s a series of still images that tell a story, but what happens in between each image is filled in by the reader’s brain. So adding animation to those still images is tricky because you want to add to that moment, to that beat of the story, but still leave that moment in between for the reader. It was a fun challenge, and I think we nailed it.
Epic: Is this a cartoon? What’s different?
Matt: Motion Comics are most definitely not cartoons (though I love cartoons, BTW). Traditional cartoons are images sped up so fast that you can’t even detect the gaps—like making a flipbook. We are all about the gaps! Readers will have help with the reading thanks to the read-along voice acting, but because Motion Comics are still comics at their core, readers have to use deductive reasoning and imagination to get the whole story.
It’s a much more active experience than cartoons.
Epic: Do you think the motion format will inspire more kids to read? Why or why not?
Matt: Yes! We took very special care to make sure the reading experience stayed in the forefront of these new Motion Comics. The dialogue is front and center of every scene so that the animation helps inform the story but never takes over. It’s a really fun way to read what is in many ways a visual experience.
Epic: What is the biggest takeaway you’d like to offer kids who are fans of Cat Ninja (comics in general) and/or aspire to one day work in this industry?
Matt: If you want to write comics, then write. If you want to draw, then draw. If you want to do both then do both! Nothing prepares you more for a creative career than being creative.
Thanks to Matt for giving insights into this unique reading experience. Take a look at the trailer below and share the Cat Ninja Motion Comic with your kid!
About the Author
Matthew Cody is the author of several popular books including the award-winning Supers of Noble’s Green trilogy: Powerless, Super and Villainous. He is also the author of the graphic novels Zatanna and the House of Secrets, Bright Family and Cat Ninja. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.