UPDATE: A little friend pointed us to this tweet by Mark Waid referring to a story on CBR about Yount’s departure:
— Mark Waid (@MarkWaid) June 28, 2016
So…sounds like a LOT of changes are happening that are not what was promised when launched. And it all started out so well, sigh.
UPDATED UPDATE: And Stela has responded with a statement:
Stela Unlimited is the first step in the expansion of the digital comics revolution that began with Stela. While the company can’t share more details about it at this time, expect to hear more about it in the near future.
Earlier this year we told you about Stēla, an app for phones that featured all new, mobile-native comics by some of the top creators in the business and up and comers alike, including Ron Wimberley, Evan. Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, Jen Bartel, Irone Koh, Louise SImonson, Stuart Moore, Brian Wood and many more. . Late last year we interviewed creative director Ryan Yount and editor Jim Gibbons and everything sounded very exciting.
However, in a tweet last week, Yount announced he was leaving Stēla and this week the app has rebranded as Stēla Unlimited and raised their monthly sub price fom $5 to $9.99.
The app features a ton of great content on a subscription model: $9.99 a month for all the content. It’s a good deal for good comics, but still a pretty untested. That’s also up from the $5 a month the service launched with so, sounds like the math wasn’t working out.
2016 has sort of been the year of the mobile-platform comics, with both LINE WebToon and Stēla launching; it’s a format that’s hugely popular in Asia (mainly Korea) but still untested here. These changes suggest that Stela might be having a hard time finding that audience. The Beat reached out to Stela for comment and will update when we hear back.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.