Zoiks! Verizon Wireless has come up with a new web 2.0 genre: user-generated comics. As of May, customers of Verizon’s Get It Now service can create their own cell-phone comic strips using a series of characters, settings and backgrounds developed by Advanced Mobile Applications and mobile game maker Longtail Studios.
Users can send comic stories of up to six frames in lieu of traditional text messages. “The idea here is that instead of sending a 160-character text message, you can send a little story that conveys the same message but through a fun and personalized comic,” says Hutch Morton, a spokesman for Advanced Mobile.
For $3.99 per month, customers can send up to 20 comics to other handsets and an unlimited number to e-mail recipients. For Verizon, the mobile comics hold the promise of boosting messaging revenue, especially if strips go viral. But the carrier won’t have the Comic Creator software to itself for long. Cingular and Sprint will soon also offer the application. Stan Lee, your job may be in jeopardy.