In conjunction with three publishing partners, Comixology, Amazon’s digital comics marketplace, is launching a digital publishing program. Comixology Originals will offer comics titles exclusively through the Comixology and Kindle platforms.
The original works will be published in digital editions for a limited, currently undefined, period.
To launch the program, Comixology is partnering with two independent comics publishers, Boom! Studios and Valiant Entertainment, as well as the estate of acclaimed cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman (the founding editor of Mad magazine).
Comixology Originals is working with Boom! Studios to produce the Adventure Time Marshall Lee Spectacular, a three-story title starring Marshall Lee, the vampire teen star of the Cartoon Network’s popular Adventure Time animation series. One story will be written by Eisner-winning writer Mariko Tamaki (co-creator of the graphic novel This One Summer), with art by Audrey Mok.
The other stories will be written by Melanie Gillman with artist Trungles; and by writer S.M. Vidaurri with artist Asia Kendrick-Horton. The Marshall Lee title will include a cover by Eisner-winning artist Fabio Moon.
In partnership with Valiant Entertainment, Comixology is publishing a tongue-in-cheek four-book series called Valiant High, which places the Valiant superheroes in adventures during teen years at a superhero prep school. Writer Daniel Kibblesmith and artist Derek Charm will create the series, which will feature cover art by David Lafuente.
Both the Boom! and Valiant titles are available for pre-order at $3.99. Final release dates have not been announced.
Comixology is teaming with Kitchen, Lind & Associates, a literary agency/packager representing the Kurtzman estate, to complete an unfinished graphic novel adaptation of the Marley’s ghost section from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The adaptation was initially conceived and designed by Kurtzman in the 1950s.
KL&A, which was co-founded by underground cartoonist/publisher Denis Kitchen, has brought in cartoonist Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), illustrator Gideon Kendall, and Locust Moon Press editor Josh O’Neill to produce the graphic novel, which is based on 70 pages of thumbnail breakdowns created by Kurtzman in the 1950s. The final work will be more than a 100 pages and is set to be released in winter 2017
Chip Mosher, Comixology senior director of communications and head of content, said once the exclusive period is over "publishers will be free to offer a print option, or release the books in other ways.” Rights to the Marley’s Ghost graphic novel, which Mosher called "one of the great unfinished works in comics history," will revert back to the Kurtzman estate after the exclusive period ends.
Asked if there were more original titles and publishing publishing partners to follow from Comixology Originals, Mosher declined to offer any details, saying only that “you can presume there will be more to come.”
Comixology CEO David Steinberger said it’s "fantastic to be working with publishers across the spectrum to offer fans stories that they can’t get anywhere else."