One of the huge but under the ‘mainstream’ radar stories of 2020 — and sure to be a huge story in 2021 as well — is the print success of webcomics, including publishers such as Webtoon, Tapas, and Hiveworks. We’ve been reporting a lot on the first two, but Hiveworks has not been idle
Founder Joseph Stillwell was recently named to Forbes 30 under 30 (!!!) quite a mainstream feat for a webcomics figure. But announcements like the one you’re about to read are why.
Just announced, Hiveworks is teaming up with Seven Seas Entertainment to release trade paperback editions. The books will be licensed from Hiveworks and distributed via Seven Seas’ existing deal with Penguin Random House.
It’s a great deal to get more Hiveworks comics out in print, but also for Seven Seas to increase their output with proven hits. They’re mostly known for their manga offerings (like the award-winning My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness), but as this shows, are expanding into non-manga projects.
The first three releases include the LGBT+ fantasy Life of Melody by Mari Costa, the dark YA magical girl drama Sleepless Domain Vol. 1 by Mary Cagle, and the Greek mythology-inspired steamy romance Persephone: Whom Hades Seized by Allison Shaw.
“Hiveworks is a cutting-edge industry leader in webcomics,” says Seven Seas publisher Jason DeAngelis. “With the incredible growth of webcomics in the last decade, we’re thrilled to partner with Hiveworks to release their popular webcomics in the bookstore market.”
“A partnership like this one allows us to distribute comics to print and online audiences at once, helping them discover the vision of independent authors,” says Isabelle Melançon, Lead Editor & COO of Hiveworks Comics. “We’re buzzing to bring such wonderful comics to bookstores,” adds JoJo Stillwell, Owner & CEO.
The webcomics to print model has been a successful one for more than 20 years, but has gained even more momentum in recent years with the growth of well-known portals such as Hiveworks. Of course, it would be impossible to name all the success stories in the webcomics world but a few will do: Nimona, Check Please, Heartstopper and dozens more.
Seven Seas will publish the graphic novel Life of Melody worldwide in a single large-trim edition with an exclusive new cover. The book will be released in July 2021 for $14.99 USA / $18.99 CAN. The ebook will also be available on digital platforms.
Seven Seas will publish the graphic novel Sleepless Domain: Volume 1 worldwide in a single large-trim edition with an exclusive new cover. The book will be released in August 2021 for $14.99 USA / $18.99 CAN. The ebook will also be available on digital platforms.
Seven Seas will publish the graphic novel Persephone: Whom Hades Seized worldwide in a single large-trim edition with an exclusive new cover. The book will be released in September 2021 for $16.99 USA / $20.99 CAN. The ebook will also be available on digital platforms.
And more to come.
A bit more on the initial offerings:
Life of Melody:
A human child abandoned in the woods is discovered by an unlikely pair: Razzmatazz, a fairy godfather, and Bon, a beast man. After quarreling over the best way to handle the child, they finally agree to co-parent in the human world–for now, at least. What the two men don’t expect is this little arrangement will push them to discover more about themselves…and more about each other, which might result in love. In this charming LGBT+ romcom, one “temporary” magical family might just become real!
A magically isolated city is safe during the day, but overrun with vicious monsters at night, leaving the citizens to turn to their only defenders: Magical Girls, young women empowered with supernatural abilities that allow them to fight these creatures. The combination of the adoring idol culture surrounding these girls, along with the genuine life-or-death struggles they face every night, forces them to grow up under severe pressure. Undine is the water-wielding member of the popular Team Alchemical, normally playing a supporting role to the other four Magical Girls on her team…until a sudden tragedy forces her to learn to fight her own battles. A search for answers will lead her on a path to uncovering deep mysteries of the city–and the world itself.
Persephone: Whom Hades Seized:
According to the ancient legend, the Lord of the Dead kidnapped the innocent daughter of Demeter–or did he? The truth is, Persephone is no damsel in distress, but a spirited young lady with an overbearing mother. A failed scheme by Apollo leads her to a chance encounter with the mysterious and handsome yet dispassionate Hades, who instantly appeals to her–right as he’s struck by love’s arrow. Now he must wrestle with his aching heart before he loses total control of his feelings, but desire is already roaring inside Persephone herself. (Rated Older Teen for sexual content.)