ComiXology, owned by Amazon, has spent years building itself up as easily the premiere digital comics platform. They have cultivated various deals with comic book publishers of all levels, even creating a monthly Netflix like service known as ComiXology that allows users to download up to 50 digital comics/trades at a time.
Now the platform is taking an even bigger step, pushing further into original content.
Previously the books labelled ComiXology Originals tended to be books made in collaboration with the likes of Marvel Comics or Valiant Comics, but now the company will launch their own independent creator owned line of comics, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Amazon/ComiXology will kick off the new creator owned portion of the line with four titles, with more to be announced during San Diego Comic Con. The initial titles are Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty which continues the long-running Elephantman series from Richard Starkings with artists Axel Medellin and Book Cook, Ask For Mercy from Starkings and artist Abigal Jill Harding, Savage Game created by NFL player Ryan Kalil and written by Shawn Kittlesen with art from Chris B. Murray, and Superfreaks by writer Elsa Charretier & Pierrick Colinet and artist Margaux Saltel.
“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,” said ComiXology’s head of content Chip Mosher. “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.”
Amazon used Twitch, another platform they purchased, to do a live-stream to make the announcement which was available to watch online but also was broadcast at Amazon Books locations and Amazon pop-up kiosks around the country. Those that showed up to Amazon locations in person were given Savage Game copies for free.
Savage Game will be a 60-page graphic novel that will go for $4.99 digitally but will also feature a $6.99 print-on-demand option through Amazon. The other three titles will stick to a multiple issues miniseries format with Elephantmen (five-parts) and Ask for Mercy (six-parts) will release monthly while the five-issue Superfreaks will see all its issues released at once. Members with Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited or Comixology Unlimited will be able to read all of the books for free.
Future titles will feature work from Sam Humphries, Tyler Crook, Hope Nicholson, Kel McDonald, Tim Seely, Jen Vaughn, Magdalene Visaggio and Spike Trotman.