AS THE digital platform ComiXology continues to grow as a comics service, the New York-based company is moving boldly into the world of publishing its own creator-owned books.
On Friday, the company — which digitally distributes comics from many top publishers — will announce the first wave of its own ComiXology Originals with four titles that represent such genres as fantasy, horror, sci-fi and superheroes.
The move is part of the company’s mission to “make everyone on the planet a comics, graphic novel or manga fan,” ComiXology chief executive David Steinberger tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. (Disclosure: ComiXology is owned by Amazon.com, whose founder, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)
Steinberger says that making the company’s own original releases available for purchase via the ComiXology site, as well as on Kindle, helps create a new entry point to encourage first-time comics readers while also attracting creators looking for new ways to see their self-owned comics published in print.
Chip Mosher, ComiXology’s head of content, notes that the company is also experimenting to gauge the appeal of binge-reading original comics on its platform. (The new titles — available Friday — will also be free to members of ComiXology Unlimited, Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime.)
The new ComiXology Originals releases include two works written by Richard Starkings: “Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty,” with artists Axel Medellin and Boo Cook (a new story from the popular pulp sci-fi series), and the fantasy horror comic “Ask For Mercy,” with new artist Abigail Jill Harding.
Other new Originals releases include the superhero mystery “Superfreaks,” by writers Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet and rising artist Margaux Saltel; and the sci-fi graphic novel “Savage Game,” created by NFL player Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen and illustrated by Chris B. Murray.
Kalil, a 33-year-old Pro Bowl center for the Carolina Panthers, announced in January that this next NFL season will be his last.
ComiXology is hosting a live-streaming event on Twitch on Friday to spotlight its new releases.