Reaction to the news that ComiXology cofounder and former CEO David Steinberger and former ComiXology head of content Chip Mosher have announced a new comic book publishing company, DSTLRY, continues to be positive, with some great creators on board for this exciting new project.
In a joint announcement earlier this week, Steinberg and Mosher said that they have been working on the venture since leaving the Amazon-owned ComiXology last summer, and over on Bleeding Cool, Rich Johnston follows up on previous reports of their presence at Thought Bubble last year, meeting with various creators now announced as part of the project, and also engaged in portfolio reviews.
On board for the new project, now live online, are Brian Azzarello, Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches), Tula Lotay (Barnstormers, also founder of Thought Bubble), James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Joker War), Junko Mizuno (Pure Trance, Ravina the Witch?), Ram V (Detective Comics, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr), Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy), Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Catwoman), Jock (Batman: One Dark Knight, Wytches), Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Batgirls), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Joker), Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting, November), Stephanie Phillips (Grim, Harley Quinn), Lee Garbett (Spider-Man, Skyward), Marc Bernardin (Adora and the Distance, Star Trek: Picard), Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine, Captain Carter), and founding editor Will Dennis (Y: The Last Man, Snow Angels).
Additional creators and teams are expected to be announced later this year.
“It’s hard to describe how jazzed I am to be part of this but let me try,” commented Brian Azzarello. “Very.”
“Comic creators have historically received the short end of the stick when they create great characters and storylines for traditional publishers,” said Steinberger and Mosher in a joint statement. “DSTLRY is truly a creator-owned endeavour, with creators co-owning the company their creations fuel. It just makes sense that as creators help build the brand, they receive equity.”
DSTLRY first book, The Devil’s Cut, will be an anthology book full of self-contained stories from most of the founding creators, due for release in comic shops, just in time for Comic-Con International this July.
DSTLRY has not announced any other titles yet, but Forbes (registration may be required) reports that Mosher says to expect “lots of great genre content in terms of sci-fi, horror, fantasy” and other types of material similar to what comiXology Originals produced over the past few years. For now, superheroes and shared universes are not on the menu, but the founders said it will ultimately be up to the creators.
Focusing on creator-owned comic books and collectibles, DSTLRY will offer customers limited physical and digital item drops, available online or in-store at local comic shops. According to Steinberg and Mosher, the company aims to provide creators with fairer deals, in addition to a stake in company ownership, to fairly compensate popular creations.
As part of the effort, in DSTLRY’s digital marketplace digital owners can resell items at a price of their choosing, with a percentage of resale going back to the creators, while each physical issue will be a limited-edition premium collectible. More details about these physical and digital collectibles will be announced later.
“Each founding creator holds an equity stake in the company, and DSTLRY has set aside an additional 3% of company equity to be distributed among all creators who release projects during the first three years of DSTLRY’s publishing slate,” the company announced. Allocation is based on title performance.
DSTLRY’s investors include publishers Kodansha USA and Groupe Delcourt, video game industry veteran John Schappert, tech strategist Mike Vorhaus, and film producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura; Schappert, Vorhaus and di Bonaventura also serve as advisory board members.
“Chip and David have a rare pairing of skills, the ability to recognize true artistry and the technological wherewithal to elevate it,” said di Bonaventura. “Artistic growth is spurred when its creators are nurtured and properly compensated for their achievements. This new system and its shared equity model will provide an invigorating environment which will foster great storytelling.”
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