It’s no secret comic books are big business, particularly with the box office success of multiple recent movie adaptations.
And now Amazon’s getting in on it with their new imprint, titled Jet City Comics, which will publish graphic novels and comics.
The imprint is scheduled to release works written by or based on writings from authors including “Game of Thrones” writer George R.R. Martin, “Snow Crash” author Neal Stephenson, and Hugh Howey of the sci-fi series “Wool.” (Howey's books are being published through the Kindle Directing Publishing System run by Amazon.) Works will be released in both digital and print form and, according to Amazon, print versions will be available through other comics booksellers as well as through the bookselling giant.
“It's a dream to work with superstar authors like George, Hugh, and Neal on the launch of a new imprint," senior editor of Jet City Comics Alex Carr said in a statement. "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.”
The imprint launched July 9 with the publication of “Symposium #1” by Christian Cameron and Dmitry Bondarenko, a comic which is set in the universe of the Foreworld series created by Stephenson, Mark Teppo, Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Nicole Galland, Cooper Moo, and Joseph Brassey. Six comics set in the Foreworld universe will be released altogether and will come out on a monthly basis.
Meanwhile, Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man” will be illustrated by Raya Golden for Jet City Comics and Howey’s first novel in his “Wool” series will be put into graphic novel form as well, adapted by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray and illustrated by Jimmy Broxton. "Meathouse" will be published as one issue in October and "Wool" will be released as six issues beginning also in October.
Through Jet City Comics, adaptations of Martin’s short works “The Hedge Knight” and “The Sworn Sword,” currently out of print, will be re-released in both paper and digital format. “Hedge” is scheduled to be released in November, while “Sword” will come early next year.
Comic book fans may remember that Amazon was at the center of a comic books spat when it got the exclusive rights to some of DC Comics’ most famous titles, including Alan Moore’s opus “Watchmen,” for digital publication. (They could also be viewed through the Kindle app, which could be downloaded onto non-Amazon devices like the iPad.) Bookstore chains Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, however, were unhappy with this and took the print versions of the graphic novels now owned by Amazon off their bookstore shelves.