After teases over the last few weeks, details on the new Monkeybrain Comics imprint from Chris Roberson and Allison Baker have been announced. The line launches on July 4th with five titles:
Aesop’s Ark by J. Torres and Jennifer L. Meyer
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave, DJ Kirkbride and Nick Brokenshire
Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
Edison Rex by Chris Roberson and Dennis Culver
October Girl by Matthew Dow Smith
The line will be distributed digitally, exclusively with comiXology. As Roberson explained in a press conference this afternoon, it’s essentially an Image Comics-like deal: Monkeybrain will take a small cut for packing and marketing, but all copyrights will remain with the creators. According to Roberson, the line is very focused on completely creator-owned projects. “Neither writer or artist can be working in a work for hire capacity. We do ask the projects that come to us if it’s a collaborative team, that everyone share share some level of ownership in the property.”
More projects will be announced at a panel at Comic-Con on Friday, July 13th at 7PM. The creative lineup:
Grace Allison, Nick Brokenshire, J. Bone, Chad Bowers, Wook-Jin Clark, Colleen Coover, Kevin Church, Dennis Culver, Matt Digges, Ming Doyle, Curt O. Franklin, Ken Garing, Chris Haley, David Hahn, Phil Hester, Joe Keatinge, D.J. Kirkbride, Adam Knave, Axel Medellin, Jennifer L. Meyer, Michael Montenat, Ananth Panagariya, Thomas Perkins, Adam Rosenlund, Chris Schweitzer, Brandon Seifert, Chris Sims, Matthew Dow Smith, Paul Tobin, J. Torres, Josh Williamson and Bill Willingham, among others.
Titles will have a variety of formats and lengths, and be priced at either 99¢ or $1.99 depending on the length. At least one future project will be in a more explicitly digital format., meaning an eventual print collection might need to be adapted
As for eventual printing, print rights will remain entirely with the creators, said Roberson. Although he wouldn’t rule out a potential Monkeybrain line at Image, creators are free to go where they want in print.
One of a number of creator-spearheaded digital lines announced in recent days (MadeFire, The Whole Story), As Roberson explained it, taking advantage of the low overhead of digital make s lot of sense in a world where retail and distribution options for independent print publishing have shrunk.
Previews of all five titles were released which you can see below. This is one sharp looking line— we’re especially taken with the adorable “Bandette” from Tobin and Coover.
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.