A new player in the game, another movie-based comics line … but this time with a distribution plan?
Kickstart Comics – News is a new comics company started by producer Jason Netter, whose previous comics cred includes producing WANTED (projects in development include THE BOYS, PREACHER and HENCH.) The creative is being overseen by Jimmy Palmiotti and Larry Young. The line has an ambitious plan to launch 24 books a year, which will be sold in various retail outlets including Walmart. The story from Variety (reproduced at the company’s website) goes on to say:
With marketing support from the likes of Walmart, Netter is trying to eliminate much of the nerdy stigma that still hovers over the comicbook biz. He believes the bigger stores will help get more of the titles into the hands of the masses “through a new, more expansive distribution than comicbooks have had in the past,” Netter said, and not just those who visit smaller comicbook stores.
“This is a way to introduce comicbooks to a broader audience,” he added.
The comicbook deal represents Walmart’s latest retail expansion after spending considerable coin to remodel the electronics sections of its stores to hype its entertainment offerings and reach out to a type of consumer that may not have normally shopped at the retail giant.
Netter is honest enough to admit that there’s no money to be made publishing comics, but he’s come up with something different at least: standalone graphic novels produced by industry vets. Althought the pr doesn’t mention format, an interview with Palmiotti and YOung at CBR explains that they wil be 88-page standalone graphic novels. Young expands on the concept:
…I’m pretty sure the reason I’m on the team is because of my commercial instincts. [My wife] Mimi and I started our publishing company in 1999 with “Astronauts In Trouble” which Warren Ellis famously called “a summer action tent pole movie with a brain,” and I’m pretty sure that’s Kickstart’s sensibility as well. Get great creators telling awesome stories outside of corporate comics’ strictures with an eye towards entertaining regular folks. If you put out good stories in comic book form, well, they’re good stories, right? And movies and video games and websites all need good stories, so it’s more of an expansion of the comic book story, and not some sort of crass money grab. I’ve never heard “Let’s make this because it’ll make a good movie” from Jason or anyone else at Kickstart. I always hear, “Let’s make this because it’s a good story.” I have a feeling if someone came up with a good idea that needed to be published sequentially on the side of a pane of postage stamps, Jason would go for it if the story resonated with him.
The initial line up, which hits in October, includes:
RIFT RAIDERS by Mark Sable & Julain Totino Tedesco (above)
“Three orphaned Teens find out they are not orphans after all. Their parents have been hidden from them throughout time. A strange man will help them save their parents if they in turn go going back in time to steal antiquities for him.”
BAD GUYS by Phiil Eisner & Agustin Padilla
HERO COMPLEX by Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin & Javi Fernandez
WITCH by Terry Matalas, Travis Fickett & Tony Shasteen (A page reproduced below.)
“A teenage girl discovers that she is a witch and that the voice in her head, the one that she’s always tried to ignore, is in fact her familiar which in her case is a large black cat…sort of. Our heroine knows nothing of her heritage or that she comes from a long line of witches who were hunted almost to extinction. With the aid of her familiar and a mysterious young man, she must find the other remaining witches before the witch hunters find her.”
And in November:
HEAVY WATER – Jonathan W.C. Mills & Alberto Muriel
BOMBHEAD – B. Clay Moore & Kevin Mellon
MIRROR, MIRROR – Joshua Williamson & Lee Moder
WARD 6 – Kevin Fox & Salvador Navarro
HEADACHE – Lisa Joy & Jim Fern
MAXIMUM HIGH . – Mark Haven Britt and Chad & Dara Creasey
ENDANGERED – Josh Williamson & Juan Santacruz
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.