I’d been hearing about this in whispers for a little while now, and just in case its recent activities hadn’t tipped you off that Amazon had an interest in graphic novels, this makes it official.
Amazon is publishing comics.
They’re launching with the kind of fantasy/SF book friendly line-up reminiscent of surviving GN efforts at surviving major publishing houses: George RR Martin, Hugh Howey, and the Foreworld shared-universe SF series. It’s a mix of new and original with some pick ups, like the Mike S. Miller adaptation of The Hedge Knight first put together by the Dabel Brothers.
The line launches today with “Symposium #1,” the first Foreworld-set comic, a shared universe primarily written by Neil Stephenson.
The PR mentions a mix of print and digital, with bundled collections also available. Alex Carr is the Senior Editor of the imprint, which joins a line-up of parallel imprints in other genres at Amazon.
Amazon has become the 8000-lb gorilla in the publishing world, calling the shots on pricing and distribution to an increasingly rebellious book world. Will they similarly dominate the comics landscape?
Doubtless more on this later.
Amazon Publishing today announced the launch of Jet City Comics, a new imprint focused on comics and graphic novels. Jet City launches with new comics from George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and Neal Stephenson, starting with today’s publication of “Symposium #1,” the first original Foreworld comic from the series created by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo. Original adaptations of George R.R. Martin’s short story, “Meathouse Man,” and Hugh Howey’s best-selling science fiction novel, Wool, will follow in October. Jet City issues will publish on Kindle as standalone comics, as serialized comics released over multiple episodes, and as bundled graphic novels, with print editions available at amazon.com and other comics retailers.
“It’s a dream to work with superstar authors like George, Hugh and Neal on the launch of a new imprint,” said Alex Carr, Senior Editor of Jet City Comics. “Millions of fans have read and loved their novels, and with Jet City we look forward to opening up these iconic worlds to new audiences. We’re working with an incredible, hand-picked team of comics professionals, writers, artists, and translators, who have done an amazing job developing and expanding these inventive stories. I’m looking forward to the response from comics readers and fans.”
“My fans have been clamoring for the return of Dunk & Egg ever since the graphic novels of “The Hedge Knight” and “The Sworn Sword” went out of print several years ago,” said author George R.R. Martin, “so I am delighted to announce that Jet City Comics is bringing them back—newly formatted for digital readers, and in paper for those who still prefer the traditional formats. And Jet City will be bringing you something new as well: the graphic novel “Meathouse Man,” adapted from one of my strangest, darkest, and most twisted short stories by the amazingly talented Raya Golden. I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Jet City’s takeoff. May they fly high.”
“Comics and graphic novels, especially in digital format, represent a unique area for innovation,” said Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon Publishing. “Our focus will be on adapting great books for this medium as a means of expanding the audience for our authors, pushing boundaries with new ideas that combine visual and narrative storytelling, and creating compelling new experiences for readers.”
Jet City will publish the following comics in 2013:
· An original comic adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s story “Meathouse Man,” illustrated by Raya Golden, and a re-release of “The Hedge Knight” by Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller, a prequel set in the universe of Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series (the inspiration for the hit HBO program Game of Thrones). “Meathouse Man” will be released as a single issue comic in digital format in October 2013; “The Hedge Knight” will be released as a collected graphic novel in print and digital formats in November 2013; and its sequel, “The Sworn Sword,” will follow in early 2014.
· An adaptation of Hugh Howey’s bestselling dystopian novel Wool by comics veterans Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and illustrator Jimmy Broxton, where the remnants of humanity live in a massive silo hundreds of stories below the surface of the ruined and toxic landscape of Earth. Wool was a #1 bestseller in the Kindle store and is one of the most-reviewed science fiction novels on Amazon, with almost 6,000 customer reviews. It will be released as a Kindle Serial, as six individual comics issues starting in October 2013, followed by a collected graphic novel in 2014.
· Six original comics from The Foreworld Saga, the bestselling alternate history series that began with The Mongoliad (a serialized novel collaboratively written Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, Nicole Galland, Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey and Cooper Moo). The first Foreworld comic, “Symposium #1” by author Christian Cameron and Illustrator Dmitry Bondarenko, details the origins of the Shield-Brethren in Ancient Greece in the days following Athens crushing defeat to Sparta in 394 BC. It goes on-sale today, with new installments releasing monthly before being collected in a series of graphic novels in 2014.
Jet City Comics joins sister imprints 47North, AmazonCrossing, AmazonEncore, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, and the recently announced Little A, Day One, Two Lions and Skyscape in the Amazon Publishing family. For more information about all imprints of Amazon Publishing, visit http://www.apub.com/. Jet City Comics is a brand used by Amazon Content Services, LLC.