Spider-Man, the X-Men and Captain America all have super powers that transcend mere mortals. But now, so does Marvel Comics, creator of the famous superheros. When it came to archiving, the higher powers at Marvel knew they needed to go beyond simple storage of large quantities of artwork, style guides and biographies. The new MerlinOne technology creates and manages collateral, such as photos, graphics, PDFs, QuickTime movies, text objects and other digital content. With a library of more than 4,700 proprietary characters, Marvel Enterprises is one of the most prominent character-based entertainment companies in five divisions—entertainment, licensing, toys, comic book publishing and Internet/New Media—in which the solution organizes not only publishing projects, but also licensing opportunities for merchandising and advertising campaigns.
MerlinOne's Visual Asset Management (VAM) captures and preserves likenesses of the well-known comic characters into a searchable online database. But besides comic book publishing, the enterprise also creates entertainment projects, including feature films, television, home video and the Internet, based on Marvel character creation and intellectual properties—all of which are stored in one electronic database.
Since the majority of Marvel's comic book production is completed on computers, the publisher wanted to centralize its superhero pantheon. Now, throughout the creative process all digital versions of art is saved and cataloged. In addition, archival artwork from Marvel's past stories has been scanned into digital form for research and reuse.
"We found our solution in Merlin's hosted product, which in addition to the daily workflow benefits, allows us to much more efficiently preserve and expand the intellectual property of Marvel," says Gui Karyo, CIO of Marvel Enterprises, "By using the Visual Asset Management solution, we are able to capture the images we create in the development process in a searchable archive. This will allow us to use and reuse those images easily—no more running to the library, searching and retouching images."