Thrillbent, a digital-exclusive comics publisher run by longtime comics writer Mark Waid and fellow writer John Rogers, started the company in 2012 with a series of self-produced and self-published comics that were available for free. The start-up comics company would eventually partner with digital comics distributor comiXology to help sell their comics and reach a wider audience. The partnership with IDW will mark Thrillbent's debut into the print publishing marketplace.
"While we have always proudly been digital-first, print was always in Thrillbent's business plan--but for a start-up company like ours, it was cost-prohibitive," Waid said in a press release. "Once we proved our commitment to ongoing content--Thrillbent currently hosts literally hundreds of new comics, with more added every week--we were courted by several print publishers looking to partner."
The winner, clearly, was IDW; best known for publishing comics of multimedia properties like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Transformers," and "My Little Pony." The partnership will begin with two print series, "Empire Vol. 2" and "Insufferable." Both written by Waid, the series will continue the stories started in Thrillbent's digital landscape.
The first series, "Empire Vol.2 ," follows the story of Golgoth, the accomplished conqueror of Earth who finds that maintaining absolute power is far more difficult than acquiring it. Before IDW continues Golgoth's story, they will reprint "Empire Vol. 1" to bring readers up to speed. The second series (and Thrillbent's launching series), "Insufferable," follows an estranged dynamic duo who must work through their complete disrespect for one another for one last mission. Think Batman and Robin gone terribly sour.
"In addition to being one of the best comic-book writers in modern times, Mark Waid has also proven himself with Thrillbent to be one of the smarter forward-thinkers in comics," Chris Ryall, IDW's Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief, said in the press release.
"Empire Vol. 1 & Vol. 2" are set for a spring 2015 publication, while "Irredeemable" has not received a specific time frame as of yet.