Fresh from hiring former Valiant Entertainment executive editor Joe Illidge as editorial director, indie publisher A Wave Blue World is aiming to shake things up in the comics industry as a whole with a new publishing initiative. The company hopes this will evolve the publishing and distribution model.
The Premier #1 Program will launch in October with two new series, and readers will be able to follow two paths for completing each.
After the print edition of a series debuts, readers can choose to follow a serialized version of the story digitally, with subsequent issues released on a biweekly schedule, or they can wait for a completed print edition collection of the entire series, released within two months of the initial single issue.
Lisa Y. Wu, who joined the company as vp sales and marketing after a stint at AfterShock Comics, said in a statement that the new publishing program is part of AWBW’s ambition to “reinvent a modern approach to enjoying comics.” “We are redefining comics for our retailers and readers for the 21st century in that we are placing their values into the designs of how we publish the stories of today and tomorrow,” she continued.
The Premier #1 Program will begin with October’s release of Mezo No. 1 on Oct. 2, followed by Dead Legends No. 1 on Oct. 9.
Mezo, by Tyler Chin-Tanner, Josh Zingerman, Val Rodrigues, Doug Garbark and Thomas Mauer, is described by the publisher as “daring Mesoamerican-inspired Game of Thrones-type epic” that sees the young Kyma have to join the scattered tribes in her homeland against the invading Tzalekuhl Empire. Dead Legends — pitched as Kill Bill meets Enter the Dragon — sees a martial arts tournament become overtaken by personal grudges and unfinished business; that series is created by James Maddox, Gavin Smith and Ryan Ferrier.
His co-publisher and AWBW executive director Wendy Chin-Tanner described the new program as being created “to solve a sales problem by creating a win-win solution for readers and retailers alike.”
“Two of the challenges that prevent fans from reading indie comics are the difficulty in finding all the issues and waiting long periods of time for them to come out,” said AWBW president and co-publisher Tyler Chin-Tanner in a statement. “We’ve addressed both of those problems by having the full series completed in advance and ready to deliver in whatever format the reader prefers.”
The new publishing model follows last year’s debut of new publisher TKO Studios, which likewise attempts to circumvent the traditional monthly comic book system in favor of offering readers the chance to choose print or digital format and the opportunity to purchase collected editions or single issues at launch.