Amazon Unveils New Comic Line Through Digital ComiXology Platform

Comixology Originals - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of ComiXology
Four new projects head a push towards material owned by the creators as part of the ComiXology Originals initiative.

Amazon’s digital comics platform ComiXology is pushing further into creating original content.

The company has announced four new projects spanning a variety of genres, marking the first creator-owned titles under the ComiXology Originals banner.

The four titles are Savage Game, created by NFL player Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen and art by Chris B. Murray; Superfreaks, from writers Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet, with art from newcomer Margaux Saltel; Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty, a continuation of the long-running series from creator and writer Richard Starkings alongside artists Axel Medellin and Boo Cook; and Ask For Mercy, again written by Starkings, with art from Abigail Jill Harding.

These titles will be released in a number of formats; Savage Game is a 60-page graphic novel, available for $4.99 via ComiXology and Amazon, but also as a $6.99 print-on-demand title from Amazon.com, while the other three titles will be released in a traditional single issue miniseries format. Both the five-part Elephantmen and the six-part Ask for Mercy will be released monthly — with a print collection available once serialization is over via Amazon.com’s print-on-demand service — but all five issues of Superfreaks will be released simultaneously for binge reading. Each of the titles will be available for free reading for Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and ComiXology Unlimited subscribers.

The announcement of the new ComiXology Unlimited titles was made during a live-stream event on Twitch, broadcast to Amazon Books locations and Amazon pop-up kiosks across the U.S. The event, hosted by Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, also unveiled ComiXology’s new “Always Original” ad campaign to push the new launches; attendees at the Amazon locations received free print editions of the Savage Game graphic novel.

In a statement accompanying the event, ComiXology’s head of content Chip Mosher 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. 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.” 

Friday's announcement comes ahead of further titles being revealed for the line next month at San Diego Comic-Con. Creators named by ComiXology working on upcoming material for the line include Sam Humphries, Tyler Crook, Hope Nicholson, Kel McDonald, Tim Seely, Jen Vaughn, Magdalene Visaggio and Spike Trotman.

More information about the four titles announced Friday can be found here, but Heat Vision has an exclusive look at pages from Savage Game by Kalil, Kittelsen and Murray.

"We are very honored to be releasing Savage Game with ComiXology Originals,” Aroop Sanakkayala, who co-founded Strange Turn Entertainment with Ryan Kalil, told Heat Vision. “When Ryan and I started Strange Turn Entertainment, we wanted to focus not only on the best and most creative stories, but also on the most innovative ways to distribute our books to new audiences. The team at ComiXology have created a revolutionary service combining the best in e-reading and print-on-demand that is truly remarkable. We are incredibly excited for what the future has in store for both Savage Game and comiXology Originals."