By Todd Allen
I was wondering if we had a full-on exclusivity war brewing when I started hearing about publishers, particularly digital imprints going exclusive with comiXology. Now we see Contraband Comics starting up and going exclusive with iVerse, so I guess two sides makes it a war.
Contraband’s highest profile creator would be Marat Mychaels, who’s done some Deadpool work and was recently on Army of Darkness for Dynamite. Contraband’s founder, Jon Goff, has also done a little work on Spawn. They do have that ever-important link to a Free Sampler, so you can judge their work for yourself.
I scratch my head a little when I hear about digital exclusives. The point of digital is to have it available everywhere and there are enough proprietary formats, it makes you ask the consumer to choose when you pick an exclusive. That said, there could easily be financial incentives for a publisher to choose an exclusive and I’m curious if Contraband will be using iVerse’s DRM-Free PDF option.
Contraband will be rolling out comics starting next week. We’ve got not one, but two press releases on this one:
IVERSE SEIZES “CONTRABAND” COMICSNew Creator-Owned Publisher to Launch Exclusively on ComicsPlusPlatform(August 15, 2012—Waco, TX) – iVerse Media, creators of some of the world’s mostpopular and widely used technologies for reading and distributing digital comics,announced today that the company’s Comics Plus platform has been selected as theexclusive digital distribution platform for Contraband Comics, a new independent,creator-owned comics publishing initiative.“We’re extremely happy and excited that Contraband Comics has decided to launch withus exclusively,” said Michael Murphey, iVerse CEO. “Their creative team is outstandingand, from the work we’ve seen so far, we know that our readers are really going to enjoy“iVerse’s dedication to creator-owned projects is what we were looking for in adistribution partner,” said writer/artist and Contraband founder, Jon Goff. “Their ability todeliver content on a level that meets the high standards everyone at Contraband strivesfor made this a very easy choice for us. We plan to utilize the Comics Plus app’s manyfeatures to their fullest, as Contraband continues to roll out titles that push the envelopeof storytelling and innovation.”The first wave of Contraband titles that will be available exclusively on Comics Plusinclude:
BLINDSIDE by Marat Mychaels (creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (writer) – The worlds of superheroics and espionage merge head-on in an all-out, bullet-riddled, adrenaline rush blockbuster! Debuts August 22nd exclusively on Comics Plus.
BIG HITTERS by Travis Sengaus (co-creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (co-creator/writer) – This science-fiction action/adventure follows the exploits of a pair of sanctioned hitmen – called “Hitters” – as they navigate the seedy underbelly of an advanced post-war universe. Debuts September 5th exclusively on Comics Plus.
JACK RABBIT by Jim Hanna (co-creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (co-creator/writer) – A supernatural crime-noir thriller that follows an ex-boxer-turned-privatedetective as he investigates the darker corners of 1930’s Los Angeles, where truth and myth merge in a surreal mixture of violence and hope. Debuts September 19th exclusively on Comics Plus.
“A big goal for us at iVerse is to help talented creators like Jon get their creations out to millions and millions of people,” said Steve May, iVerse Director of Business Development. “There are many amazing creator-owned books out there just needing the right distribution partner to take them to the next level. With talent like Jon, Marat, Travis and Jim on board, I have no doubt that Contraband Comics will quickly reach that level and grow beyond it.”
And direct from Contraband:
CONTRABAND COMICS LAUNCHES!Creator-Owned Publisher Set For Digital Debut!
August 15, 2012, Tempe, AZ—Creativity feeds off creativity, ever seeking new inspiration—ever providing that next spark. Each generation inspires the next to improve—to go beyond. Each advancement in the creation and/or delivery of imagination pushes the boundaries of what can and cannot be. This document is not a selling point. It is a call to arms disguised as a sales pitch. It is an introduction to a revolution that is already underway. A revolution sparked by those who, through the years, have been fearless enough to conquer new ground, and given rise by new technologies that empower the mass dissemination of creativity outside the limits of well-established tradition.
Contraband Comics (and other independently crafted, funded and imagined outlets for the delivery of storytelling) is what happens when the tools used to create and provide content evolve to a state that allows for the rapid exchange of ideas/stories/nightmares/daydreams between creator(s) and audience.
Formed by writer, Jon Goff (Spawn, Halo Evolutions), as an outlet for creator-owned comic book projects that span the vast range of genres, topics and acceptable behavior, Contraband has but one goal…to entertain (not everyone…but anyone).
Showcasing top artistic talent, both established and up-and-coming, Contraband Comics’ initial wave of books features stories co-created and illustrated by Marat Mychaels (Grifter, Deadpool Corps), Travis Sengaus (The Adventures of Spawn) and Jim Hanna (Philly, Spotlight).
“Creating comics isn’t easy…but it’s never been easier,” said Goff. “What we’re trying to do with Contraband, aside from telling the best stories we can, is to show that this can be done. And not just by us…by anyone. The tools are there, and the talent exists—you can see it all across the Web—all that remains is the drive and—just as important—the inspiration.”
To that end, Contraband has teamed with iVerse Media, who will be handling the digital distribution of Contraband’s titles, exclusively through their Comics Plus app.
“I love comics—good, old-fashioned print comics—as much as anyone, and we will be working to make each of our books available to retailers moving forward,” Goff continued, “but as we launch, our focus will be on digital distribution and the team at iVerse has shown amazing support for not only what we’re doing, but also creator-owned content as a whole. I don’t think we could’ve found a better home.”
Michael Murphey, CEO of iVerse Media, offered, “I’ve been fans of the guys at Contraband for years now. They’re producing exciting, action packed comics that I can’t wait to read. We’re proud to have them exclusively in Comics Plus.”
The first wave of Contraband titles consists of…
• BLINDSIDE by Marat Mychaels (creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (writer) – The worlds of superheroics and espionage merge head-on in an all-out, bullet-riddled, adrenaline rush blockbuster!Debuts August 22nd exclusively on Comics Plus.
• BIG HITTERS by Travis Sengaus (co-creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (co-creator/writer) – This science-fiction action/adventure follows the exploits of a pair of sanctioned hitmen – called “Hitters” – as they navigate the seedy underbelly of an advanced post-war universe.
Debuts September 5th exclusively on Comics Plus.
• JACK RABBIT by Jim Hanna (co-creator/illustrator) and Jon Goff (co-creator/writer) – A supernatural crime-noir thriller that follows an ex-boxer-turned-private detective as he investigates the darker corners of 1930’s Los Angeles, where truth and myth merge in a surreal mixture of violence and hope.Debuts September 19th exclusively on Comics Plus.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.