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Indie comic book publisher Artists, Writers and Artisans is getting into the film and TV business. The company is launching AWA Studios to develop its properties for the screen, and has hired Zach Studin to serve as president. Studin most recently served as an executive at John Wells Productions and previously worked as an executive at Lava Bear Films and Lionsgate.
AWA, founded by former Marvel execs Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso, and chaired by Jon Miller, has published works by The Boys creator Garth Ennis as well as creators J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato. It styles itself as a creator-friendly publisher.
“AWA offers writers and artists the best deals in the business. We pay cash advances, respect creator ownership, actively encourage creative freedom, provide stellar editorial support, and run publishing and marketing on a turnkey basis. We do that because we want the best creators to do their best work here,” said Jemas in a statement.
Jemas noted the company has published 22 original series with nearly 250 characters since getting into the game 16 months ago. Alonso, who served as Marvel editor-in-chief from 2011-17, said that he has seen firsthand how comics can fuel the world’s biggest films and TV shows.
“From a creative standpoint, we will continue to focus on making sure that we deliver jaw-dropping stories that will give a Zach the fuel he needs to make AWA Studios an ideal partner for the world’s best filmmakers and for Hollywood Studios,” said Alonso in a statement.
The move comes as more lean and mean publishers seek to leverage their IP for film and TV. Studin is charged with leveraging Hollywood relationships to help AWA develop its properties.
Said the new hire in a statement: “The story of AWA Studios is just beginning, we’re going to have a lot of fun and it’s going to show, on screens around the world.”
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