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Amazon Launches New Comic Imprint With 'Game of Thrones' Author

The company enters the comic business with Jet City Comics, a new line of digital and print releases based around the work of fantasy and sci-fi authors, including George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey and Neal Stephenson.

George R.R. Martin Emmy arrivals - P 2012
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George R.R. Martin

Not content with launching a digital line of official fan-fiction with its Kindle Worlds program, Amazon has announced today that it's getting into the comics business with a brand new line featuring works by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey and Neal Stephenson, amongst others.

Jet City Comics is Amazon's latest publisher imprint, with plans to release material in a two-tier system. Single issues will be released digitally for the Kindle platform, with collected editions to be issued in print, available from Amazon's website and, the company says, "other comic retailers." The line has a particularly strong literary connection, with all three of its launch titles spinning out of existing prose concepts to varying degrees; two are straight adaptations of prose material, with the third offering all-new material set in an existing fantasy universe.

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That latter series may be the most interesting. The Foreworld Saga will be "six original comics" taking place in the alternate history world created by authors Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo for their The Mongoliad collaborative novel, with Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko's Symposium leading the way with a first issue released today.

The first of the adapted series is Wool, an adaptation of Hugh Howey's best-selling dystopian sci-fi novel -- "one of the most-reviewing science fiction novels on Amazon," apparently -- by the veteran writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with Jimmy Broxton illustrating. That launches in October, and that same month also sees the first digital issue of Meathouse Man, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's self-described "darkest, bleakest, sickest, most twisted thing I ever wrote" by writer and artist Raya Golden.

The Martin connection continues the next month with a re-issue for The Hedge Knight, Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller's adaptation of the author's prequel to the A Song of Ice and Fire, with the follow-up The Sworn Sword to be published at some point in 2014.

"It’s a dream to work with superstar authors like George, Hugh and Neal on the launch of a new imprint,” Jet City's senior editor Alex Carr said. “Millions of fans have read and loved their novels, and with Jet City we look forward to opening up these iconic worlds to new audiences."

Well, as long as those new audiences have a comic-ready Kindle, of course…