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SDCC 2018: comiXology Originals reveal – Monsters will rise, and stone kings emerge

comiXology unveiled a slew of exclusive comics at SDCC, featuring work by Mike Norton, Tim Seeley and more.

comiXology kicked off the week of big reveals at San Diego Comic-Con just hours before preview night opens its doors on the biggest comic book convention of the year. Opening up the panel was comiXology’s CEO, David Steinberger, who detailed how the company has been changing the game with over 10 years in the industry backing it up. In its push to publish new original series, Steinberger pointed out all of these series were free to read on Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited and Comixology Unlimited.

Four of the titles are available on comiXology right now: Goliath Girls by writer Sam Humphries and artist Alti Firmansyah, Grave Danger by writer Tim Seeley and Mike Norton, Hit Reblog: Comics That Caught Fire by writer and artist Megan Kearney, along with over a dozen webcomics superstars and editor, Hope Nicholson, and Teenage Wasteland by writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Jen Vaughn.

Sam Humphries described Goliath Girls as “Pitch Perfect meets Pacific Rim.” The series is drawn by Alti Firmansyah and, to the great surprise of the audience, will be released simultaneously in Japanese in Japan and Worldwide.

Artist Mike Norton spoke to his new series Grave Danger which will be written by frequent collaborator Tim Seeley. Norton said the series’ main character relates to the world through old crappy ’80s movies but she thinks she’s like James Bond. The character will be fighting werewolves and vampires and, as Norton put it, “She does it with style and a little bit of awkwardness.” Norton attempted to call Seeley to chime in who abruptly lost connection, but he was audible for just long enough to tell us this series will allow him and Norton to do whatever they want in a giant universe. When Head of Content Chip Mosher asked Norton what was good about working for comiXology Norton deadpanned, “It’s nice to know their reputation will be made by what I do and say.”

Next up was Hit Reblog edited by Hope Nickolson. The book showcases 20 true stories behind the most famous and viral comics told in illustrated form by Kearney. The stories are meant to show “ways sudden fame affected these people,” Kearney said, and it allowed her to flesh out and reveal more about these creators.

Teenage Wasteland was the fourth book now available on comiXology with writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Jen Vaughn in attendance to talk about the book. They described the series as relatable to anyone who is trying to build a life for themselves and for people who want to live a fuller life.

The summary reads:

Smart-mouthed Ellie Tweed is the jerkhole new girl in school who falls in with the wrong crowd, who happen to have an explosive secret: they aren’t just jerkhole teenage girls with attitude, they are the Earth’s secret defenders! And Ellie’s their newest recruit. From the creative duo of Magdalene Vissaggio (Kim & Kim) and Jen Vaughn (Betty & Veronica: Vixens) comes this action-packed series where after school activities include transforming into superheroes and fighting monsters!

Next up were titles to be released sometime in the future. Creators for three of the books came to the stage.

Writer Mark Sable and artist Kristian Donaldson spoke to their 120-page graphic novel The Dark. Sable revealed the idea for The Dark came from his time working for a think tank The Art of the Future, which conducts research to prevent future wars. The title takes place after a worldwide cyberwar ends technology as we know it and a former super-soldier teams up with a biopunk to fight the rise of a biological internet forcing humanity to connect to it. Donaldson spoke to his rendering of the environments in this post-apocalyptic world and how he actually rendered them all in 3D to better explore them.

Writers C. Spike Trotman and MK Reed with artist Tish Doolin discussed their future series Delver. As Spike put it most stories are told from the “tiny sliver” of the hero’s perspective. “It’s about the people that have to live with the new horror that has spawned in their cornfield.”

The official summary:

When the door to a living dungeon surfaces in the tiny hamlet of Oddgoat, village girl Temerity Aster has two choices: abandon the only home she’s ever known to carpet baggers and sellswords or carve out a place for herself and her family in the new and dangerous world of delving.

Last but not least was The Stone King by written by Kel McDonald with art by Tyler Crook. Kel was in attendance and spoke about the title being developed over years after meeting Crook just after he started working on B.P.R.D.. An early adopter of Kickstarter who has had great success she said she’s “trying new things so my comics pay my rent.”

The official summary for The Stone King:

A young adult fantasy adventure about finding who you are through taking responsibility for your mistakes, The Stone King explores the life of a teen girl thief, working to determine her future path but instead provokes a giant.

Additional notes from the panel

  • comiXology is looking for comics that may or may not be supported in the retail marketplace.
  • Creators are given support to better utilize the Guided View comiXology technology and optimize the reading experience.
  • After an audience member asked if any of these titles were in the process of or being looked at to be adapted into Amazon Prime TV or movies Head of Content, Chip Mosher answered they don’t have anything to report on that at this time. The audience reaction to that answer seemed to suggest otherwise.

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