Amazon has launched its latest publishing venture – a new imprint focused on comics and graphic novels dubbed ‘Jet City Comics’. Today’s launch included the first issue of Symposium penned by Neal Stephenson, the sci-fi author and technologist behind award-winning novels like Anathem.
Rather than superheroes, science fiction and fantasy seem to be the order of the day. Alongside Stephenson, other planned releases include works from Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. An adaptation of Martin’s story ‘Meathouse Man’ as well as a re-release of ‘The Hedge Knight’ (a prequel set in the universe of Martin’s best-selling ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ franchise).
Another well-known name on board is Hugh Howey, whose best-selling science fiction series Wool will be release in October this year. Issues will first be published individually for the Kindle, with bundle graphic novels and print editions made available later.
“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.”
For Amazon the move makes complete sense, with this latest imprint (their tenth) joining the likes of Little A (literary fiction); Day One (digital-only short stories from first-time writers) and Montlake Romance (the title says it all – a modern-day Mills & Boon).
Combining these imprints in with Amazon’s self-publishing arm allows the e-commerce giant to control each step of the publishing process – from buying the rights to shipping the work. The digital comics landscape has been under a slow transformation for many years now, but with Amazon’s involvement, and so many big names on board, the changes could be coming thick and fast.