Comic-Con 2018: ComiXology Originals

Where are new comics readers going to come from? That’s the question that David Steinberger hoped to answer when he launched ComiXology 10 years ago, and realized that the digital comic book store version 1 was good, but not yet good enough. Two years ago, ComiXology (now owned by Amazon) unveiled Comixology Unlimited, where for a $5.99 a month subscription fee, readers could get a taste of a wide variety of books, from publishers large and small. According to Steinberger, 55% of new buyers at Comixology come in from being subscribers to ComiXology Unlimited, and over 50% of current buyers that subscribe end up adding new publishers and creators to their buy lists.

But the next phase of the question, added Steinberger, was this: “How do we think bigger?”

They answered that with ComiXology Originals, an exclusive content line that debuted last year. All free-to-read as part of all Amazon and ComiXology reading subscriptions — including Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading. Each book does have a price point, and will be print on demand for those of us who still need that hard copy, but as I noted earlier today — we’re not necessarily the target audience.

ComiXology Originals allows creators to be more experimental, and if something hits, that may inspire more mainstream publishers. As ComiXology Head of Content Chip Mosher told the audience, “we’re trying to do things that may or may not be successful in the direct market.”

It all boils down to ComiXology’s stated mission: to make everyone on the planet a comics, graphic novel, and manga fan.

To that end, they unveiled the next wave of Originals today at Comic-Con.

Goliath Girls
Written by Sam Humphries with art by Alti Firmansyah

Monsters will rise, cities will fall…but best friends are forever! Zelda, Eunice, and Juliet are three best friends: orphans of the Kaiju Generation, and adoptive mothers to their own baby Goliath! For years they’ve searched for the elusive King of All Goliaths, the one fabled to bring the Forever War to an end. But they’re not the only ones on his trail. (“It’s Pitch Perfect meets Pacific Rim,” joked Humphries.)

· 5-issue miniseries – available monthly – $2.99 per issue on Kindle and comiXology

· An industry first: simultaneously available in Japanese same day in Japan through Amazon.jp, and worldwide (“The things that unite comic book fans are stronger than the things that divide them. It’s a connected market,” said writer Humphries. “This is an honor.”)

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Print collected edition will be available via Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

Grave Danger
Written by Tim Seeley with art by Mike Norton

She is Grave Danger, agent of Headstone, a joint clandestine espionage organization that handles all unspeakable crime! [Unspeakable Crime- Illegal acts committed by paranormal entities such as vampires, witches, demons, and Frankensteins.] Agent Danger leaps into action from the suborbital Mourning Angel base, afraid of nothing! [Except getting her sneakers dirty. And heights.] [Also, her past.]. The first release from Daniel Alter and Jeff Forsyth’s new company Comix AF.

· 5-issue miniseries – available monthly – $2.99 per issue on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Print collected edition will be available via Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire
Written and illustrated by Megan Kearney, edited by Hope Nicholson

Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire showcases the viral sensations of the webcomics world and the true stories behind their creators. Follow the ups and downs of internet fame, from IP theft to book deals, and all the trials of becoming an overnight sensation after gaining 10,000 reblogs in a single night. Learn about the origins behind the hit comic strips “This is Fine”, “All Houses Matter”, “No Take, Only Throw”, and frequently-viral webcomics such as Owlturd, Cyanide and Happiness, False Knees, and Poorly Drawn Lines. Each of the twenty artists featured includes a biographical intro by award-winning comic artist Megan Kearney (Disney Princess, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls).

Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire includes comics by webcomic superstars: Anelien, Joshua Barkman, Rob Denbleyker, Adam Ellis, Reza Farazmand, Nick Franco, Craig Froehle, KC Green, Ryan Harby, Maya Kern, Fran Krause, Dami Lee, David Malki!, Dave Mcelfatrick, Alex Norris, Branson Reese, Nick Seluk, Katie Shanahan, Brandon Sheffield, Shen, Kris Straub, and Zach Weinersmith, Kris Wilson. Edited by Hope Nicholson of the multi Eisner-award nominated publisher Bedside Press.

· Collection 120pg – $6.99 on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Available for pre-order in print for $9.99 as a Print-on-Demand graphic novel exclusively on Amazon.com

Teenage Wasteland
Written by Magdalene Visaggio with art by Jen Vaughn

Smart-mouthed Ellie Tweed is the jerkhole new girl in school who falls in with the wrong crowd, who happen to have an explosive secret: they aren’t just jerkhole teenage girls with attitude, they are the Earth’s secret defenders! And Ellie’s their newest recruit. From the creative duo of Magdalene Vissaggio (Kim & Kim) and Jen Vaughn (Betty & Veronica: Vixens) comes this action-packed series where after school activities include transforming into superheroes and fighting monsters!

· 5-issue miniseries – available monthly – $2.99 per issue on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Print collected edition will be available via Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

Titles arriving in the coming months:

The Dark
Written by Mark Sable with art by Kristian Donaldson

After a worldwide cyberwar ends technology as we know it, a former super-soldier teams up with a biopunk to fight the rise of a biological internet forcing humanity to connect to it—whether they want to or not.

· Original Graphic Novel available on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Available in print as Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

Delver
Written by C. Spike Trotman and MK Reed with art by Tish Doolin

When the door to a living dungeon surfaces in the tiny hamlet of Oddgoat, village girl Temerity Aster has two choices: abandon the only home she’s ever known to carpet baggers and sellswords, or carve out a place for herself and her family in the new and dangerous world of delving.

· 5-issue miniseries available on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Print collected edition will be available via Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

The Stone King
Written by Kel McDonald with art by Tyler Crook

A young adult fantasy adventure about finding who you are through taking responsibility for your mistakes, The Stone King explores the life of a teen girl thief, working to determine her future path but instead provokes a giant. (Its inspiration came from a series of conversations between McDonald and Crook that started with McDonald saying, “I really want to work with you. What do you want to draw?” Crook presented her with a drawing of a stone giant, and they were off telling the story that explained that character.)

· 4-issue miniseries available on Kindle and comiXology

· Free to read for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited

· Print collected edition will be available via Print-on-Demand exclusively on Amazon.com

Surely somewhere in there is one or more that will strike your interest. Each and every one of those books has the potential to do what ComiXology wants to do: make new comic fans.

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About Derek McCaw
In addition to running Fanboy Planet, Derek has written for ActionAce, Daily Radar, Once Upon A Dime, and The Wave. He has contributed stories to Arcana Comics (The Greatest American Hero) and Monsterverse Comics (Bela Lugosi's Tales from the Grave). He performs with ComedySportz San Jose and ShakesBEERience, in addition to occasional screenwriting and acting jobs. If you ever played Eric's Ultimate Solitaire on the Macintosh, it was Derek's voice as The Weasel that urged you to play longer. Email him at editor@fanboyplanet.com.