During a Twitch broadcast that aired in tandem with 2018 BookExpo and Amazon retail location events, Amazon unveiled its’ latest venture in to the world of comic book: ComiXology Originals.
Chip Mosher, ComiXology’s Head of Content said; “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,” and goes on to say; “There’s something here for first-time readers, something for longtime readers, something for everyone. We’re experimenting with a bunch of different release strategies to make it easy for people to jump onboard.”
The first wave of titles include an original 60-page graphic novel by the NFL team Carolina Panther’s Center Ryan Kalil called ‘Savage Game‘. ‘Superfreaks’ is a mini-series from the creative team of Chris Murray and Pierrick Colinet. Richard Starkings will be writing ‘Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty‘. Starkings will also be teaming with Abigail Harding for a fantasy six-issue miniseries called ‘Ask For Mercy’. All of this content and every one of these titles are creator-owned in the same vein as Image Comics
Wave Two will include many top talent creators currently active in the industry.
Their strategy is to provide the most amount of access possible all at once. For example, the mini-series are being ‘dropped’ Netflix style; i.e. all at once for ‘binge-reading’. You also have stories contained in one graphic novel as well as ongoing titles.
Another great aspect of this initiative is ‘Print On Demand’. Readers will have the ability to print these titles out in a full-color, deluxe format and have them shipped via Amazon’s various shipping options. This is a great step for Amazon and ComiXology but also is an interstesting move in the comic book distribution space which has (for the past couple of decades) been dominated by a traditional distribution network largely controlled by Diamond Distributors, Inc. Savage Game and Richard Starkings’ Elephantmen series will be available for ‘Print on Demand’. Superfreaks will be available only in a digital version.
ComiXology’s co-founder David Steinberger agrees; “We see a lot of potential for print on demand not just for us, but for existing publishers who can bring backlist titles back into print quickly or offer material that’s hard to fit [into the current distribution model.] We can take those risks on behalf of the publishers, find out what works and help them take advantage of it.”
Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and ComiXology Unlimited members get access to these titles for free (included with membership):
Ask For Mercy #1
Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty #1