ComiXology Veterans Launch New Creator-Owned Publisher DSTLRY

Two veterans of the online platform ComiXology are launching a new creator-owned publisher. On Thursday, the first details were officially announced surrounding DSTLRY, a new comics publisher that is aiming to redefine creator-owned comic books and collectibles. DSTLRY is a creation of ComiXology's co-founder and former CEO David Steinberger, as well as former ComiXology Head of Content Chip Mosher, both of whom have been quietly developing the project since departing from ComiXology in the summer of 2022.

DSTLRY will offer its comics through oversized, premium-format single issues at comic book shops, as well as digital single-issues which will be available for purchase for up to one week after release. These digital issues will be able to be fully owned and resold on DSTLRY's marketplace, which is being described as a "Stub Hub for digital comics." The marketplace will include special discounts, exclusive drops, and meetups with the creators, depending on the item. Collected editions of single-issue comics in both print and digital formats will be widely available. The items on DSTLRY's marketplace will be able to be resold at the price of an owner's choosing, with a percentage of resale going back to the creators.

"Comic creators have historically received the short end of the stick when they create great characters and storylines for traditional publishers," Steinberger and Mosher said in a joint statement. "DSTLRY is truly a creator-owned endeavor, with creators co-owning the company their creations fuel. It just makes sense that as creators help build the brand, they receive equity."

DSTLRY's investors include international publishing giants Kodansha USA and Groupe Delcourt, and its Advisory Board includes video game luminary John Schappert, superstar tech strategist Mike Vorhaus, and legendary producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. The company also boasts a number of Founding Creators, each of whom hold an equity stake in the company. These Founding Creators include Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches), Tula Lotay (Barnstormers), 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). An additional 3% of company equity is set to be distributed among all creators who release projects during the first three years of DSTLRY's publishing slate, which will be allocated based on title performance.

"Chip and David have a rare pairing of skills, the ability to recognize true artistry and the technological wherewithal to elevate it," di Bonaventura said in a statement. "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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