These days, anyone can be a comic book publisher. Thanks to the all-encompassing reach of the world wide web, everyone has a platform on which to launch their own projects. Getting an audience is another matter, which probably explains why nobody is buying my series about…uh…Larry Donthuys, mild-mannered and dashingly handsome game jouno who fights for truth, justice and KFC Zinger Wings.
Point is, is that the digital space is the way to go when you think comic books. Ideally, comic books can function either as literary classics or disposable entertainment, diversions which can be accessed on the go. If you’re looking for the biggest distributor of that content, then you can usually find plenty of reading material and specials over on Comixology, which pioneered the digital marketplace.
Comixology is taking its platform a step further this month, as the website isn’t just content to sell comic books. It’s going to publish its own series, starting with a powerhouse quartet that sits between fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and superhero genres. If you’re on Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited or Comixology Unlimited then all of these series will be free to read.
Here’s a look at the first salvo of content that Comixology is launching:
By Ryan Kalil, Shawn Kittelsen and Chris B. Murray
From NFL player Ryan Kalil and his company Strange Turn comes an original 60-page sci-fi graphic novel that is high tech version of The Island of Dr. Moreau. What happens when a rogue titan of Silicon Valley creates his own island nation with no laws to hold him back? You get the Savage Game, where audiences watch genetically modified hybrid creatures fight to the death in a fantastic gladiator-style battle. But Conner Bowen isn’t having it. He’s on a quest to stop his mad father and the Savage Game. But is it too late?
By Elsa Charretier, Pierrick Colinet and Margaux Saltel
An all-new 5-issue superhero mystery debuting digitally in its entirety – a thrilling story perfect for binge reading – with art by rising star Margaux Saltel. All the world’s superheroes have disappeared overnight, and it’s up to their untrained, largely overlooked teenage sidekicks to find out what happened – while dealing with the biggest crisis Earth has ever known — much to the public’s displeasure. Can they save the day?
Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty
By Richard Starkings, Axel Medellin and Boo Cook
The iconic Elephantmen debuts as a comiXology Originals title with issue 1 of Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty, a 5-issue monthly mini-series. Described by J.J. Abrams as “An Awesome and Unexpected Story. You Must Check it out!” and lauded by Andy Serkis as “Bold, mythic and heartbreakingly cool, Starkings’ universe is a breed apart!”, Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty, is the next adventure of the pulp science fiction series Elephantmen, which debuted nearly 15 years and 80 issues ago from Image Comics.
This all-new story is a whodunit that draws our heroes, Hip Flask and Jack Farrell, into the curious death of an Elephantman known to his friends as “Shorty”.
Ask For Mercy
By Richard Starkings and Abigail Jill Harding
An action-packed and artistically stunning dark fantasy story from Elephantmen creator, Richard Starkings and breakout talent, Abigail Jill Harding. Ask For Mercy is a World War II fantasy horror story in the tradition of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Sandman. Mercy is snatched from her own place and time to join a team of Monster Hunters who are actually Monsters themselves, and together they have to take on a Pantheon of Hideous Creatures summoned to our world by Nazi evil!
“We’re proud to offer these creator-owned titles where creators keep their IP rights and are motivated to bring their A-game to the benefit of readers everywhere,” ComiXology’s Head of Content Chip Mosher said in a press release.
Helping bring these incredible titles to fans lets us experiment with different release strategies like a binge-style drop of a whole series, high quality print-on-demand, and day-and-date inclusion in Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.
So far, the initiative looks good! In addition to the four series revealed above, future comic book series will include heavyweight talent such as Tyler Crook, Kristian Donaldson, Alti Firmansyah, Sam Humphries, Megan Kearney, Kel McDonald, Hope Nicholson, Mike Norton, MK Reed, Mark Sable, Tim Seeley, C. Spike Trotman, Jen Vaughn, and Magdalene Visaggio.
More comic books from outside the influence of the big two? Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
Last Updated: June 4, 2018