AWA Studios (Artists, Writers & Artisans) has announced that beginning today, March 25, readers will have free access to their new series The Resistance #1. The incredibly timely series by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Mike Deodato Jr. centers on a global pandemic that annihilates half of the world’s population but leaves the survivors with superpowers.

Read a statement from the publisher below:

First of all, we hope everyone reading this is staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. We understand that COVID-19 is taking a toll on the comic industry and want to work with our fellow publishers, retailer community, and fans to find a way to ensure that readers will still have access to new and exciting comics over the coming months.

As part of this goal, we want to provide retailers and readers the opportunity to easily access and read our stories by fast-tracking an upcoming initiative we had planned for next month. We are releasing The Resistance #1 digitally in an innovative vertical scrolling format (similar to WEBTOON or Tapas), for free on our website and across the web.”

Because so many retailers have had to shutter their stores as the world practices social distancing to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus, customers have limited access to pick up physical copies of new issues. AWA is encouraging comic shop owners to embed their links on the shops’ websites to keep the comic community reading and interested in the upcoming books. The goal is to keep readership up so that the impact of the pandemic is lessened when stores are allowed to reopen and resume regular business.

Starting today, the first part of The Resistance is available on AWA’s website as well as on Webtoons and Tapas. The publisher plans on rolling out more of its titles in this format. Stay tuned for updates and release dates.

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