Amazon Heads into Creator Owned Comics Market with ComiXology Originals

Amazon and its digital comics subsidiary Comixology are getting into the creator-owned comics game with ComiXology originals.

Comixology announced four new original, creator-owned titles that are available to read right now for members of Amazon Prime, Kindle Unlimited, and Comixology Unlimited and are also available for purchase on Kindle and Comixology.

These titles include: Savage Game created by NFL player Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen, and art by Chris B. Murray; Superfreaks from writers Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet, with newcomer artist Margaux Saltel; Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty from writer Richard Starkings, and artists Axel Medellin and Boo Cook; Ask For Mercy from writer Starkings and newcomer artist Abigail Jill Harding.

All issues of the Superfreaks series are available to read now. Savage Game is also available in print exclusively through Amazon.com via Print-on-Demand. Collections of Elephantmen and Ask for Mercy will also be available in print via Print-on-Demand, with future comiXology Originals trade collections and graphic novels also available in print.

"We're proud to offer these creator-owned titles where creators keep their IP rights and are motivated to bring their A-game to the benefit of readers everywhere," said Chip Mosher, Comixology's head of content in a press release. "Helping bring these incredible titles to fans lets us experiment with different release strategies like a binge-style drop of a whole series, high-quality print-on-demand, and day-and-date inclusion in Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited."

Comixology isn't stopping with this first salvo of creator-owned content. The company teased an upcoming second wave of titles from creators including Tyler Crook, Kristian Donaldson, Alti Firmansyah, Sam Humphries, Megan Kearney, Kel McDonald, Hope Nicholson, Mike Norton, MK Reed, Mark Sable, Tim Seeley, C. Spike Trotman, Jen Vaughn, and Magdalene Visaggio. More details will be revealed at Comic-Con International San Diego 2018.

Comixology previously released a line of Comixology Originals that were exclusive to Comixology but featured primarily licensed content, including series based on Adventure Time and the Valiant Comics universe. In an interview with ComicBook.com, it sounded like co-founder and CEO David Steinberger was already looking ahead towards today's announcement.

"Next time, maybe we do release it and have it available immediately," Steinberger said. "That's the kind of thing that we are very excited to get to experiment with and compare the results and decide which method works better."

Amazon isn't the first tech industry giant to begin tipping its toes into the comic book world. Netflix recently purchased Mark Millar's Millarworld and will begin releasing its own comics through Image Comics beginning with Millar and Olivier Coipel's The Magic Order.

Here's some more information on the Comixology Original's launch lineup:

Savage Game

Savage Game
Created by Ryan Kalil, written by Shawn Kittelsen, with art by Chris B. Murray

From NFL player Ryan Kalil and his company Strange Turn comes an original 60-page sci-fi graphic novel that is a high tech version of The Island of Dr. Moreau. What happens when a rogue titan of Silicon Valley creates his own island nation with no laws to hold him back? You get the Savage Game, where audiences watch genetically modified hybrid creatures fight to the death in a fantastic gladiator-style battle. But Conner Bowen isn't having it. He's on a quest to stop his mad father and the Savage Game. But is it too late?

· Original 60pg Graphic Novel – $4.99 on Kindle and comiXology

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

· Available in print for $6.99 as a Print-on-Demand graphic novel exclusively on Amazon.com

"Working on Savage Game has been a labor of love for everyone and I am really thrilled that it's finally coming out with comiXology Originals and via Amazon's Print-on-Demand," said Savage Game creator Ryan Kalil. "I am very excited for the reader response and for the future of Savage Game."

SuperFreaks

Superfreaks
Written by Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet with art by Margaux Saltel

An all-new 5-issue superhero mystery debuting digitally in its entirety – a thrilling story perfect for binge reading - with art by rising star Margaux Saltel. All the world's superheroes have disappeared overnight, and it's up to their untrained, largely overlooked teenage sidekicks to find out what happened – while dealing with the biggest crisis Earth has ever known -- much to the public's displeasure. Can they save the day?

· 5-issue series – all issues available to binge read now

· Issue are $2.99 each on Kindle and comiXology

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

"Not only am I ecstatic about Superfreaks being released today, but doubly so having the entire series being available all at once," said Superfreaks writer Elsa Charretier. "Readers will experience all the cliffhangers we intended as storytellers, while binge reading the entire series the same day it's released. And when the world's superheroes have disappeared overnight, you don't want to wait to see what's happened."

Elephantmen 2261

Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty
Written by Richard Starkings with art by Axel Medellin and Boo Cook

The iconic Elephantmen debuts as a comiXology Originals title with issue 1 of Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty, a 5-issue monthly mini-series. Described by J.J. Abrams as "An Awesome and Unexpected Story. You Must Check it out!" and lauded by Andy Serkis as "Bold, mythic and heartbreakingly cool, Starkings' universe is a breed apart!", Elephantmen 2261: The Death of Shorty, is the next adventure of the pulp science fiction series Elephantmen, which debuted nearly 15 years and 80 issues ago from Image Comics. This all-new story is a whodunit that draws our heroes, Hip Flask and Jack Farrell, into the curious death of an Elephantman known to his friends as "Shorty".

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

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

"Once I realized Elephantmen sold more digitally than in print, I suggested to my friends at comiXology that we create a brand new Elephantmen series exclusively for digital readers," says Elephantmen creator Richard Starkings. "And yet – for those who'd rather hold a print version – you'll still be able to order a Print-on-Demand paperback collection as soon as it's complete! I've seen what Amazon can do with Print-on-Demand and it's absolutely unbelievable!"

Ask for Mercy

Ask For Mercy
Written by Richard Starkings with art by Abigail Jill Harding

An action-packed and artistically stunning dark fantasy story from Elephantmen creator, Richard Starkings and breakout talent, Abigail Jill Harding. Ask For Mercy is a World War II fantasy horror story in the tradition of John Carpenter's The Thing and Sandman. Mercy is snatched from her own place and time to join a team of Monster Hunters who are actually Monsters themselves, and together they have to take on a Pantheon of Hideous Creatures summoned to our world by Nazi evil!

· 6-issue series – issues will be available monthly – $2.99 per issue on Kindle and comiXology

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

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