Two former Marvel executives are making their return to comics at a new publisher called Artists, Writers & Artisans, Inc. or AWA. They’re joined by a slew of creators, with plans to launch their new titles this fall.
Bill Jemas will serve as the company’s CEO and publisher, while Axel Alonso will serve as Chief Creative Officer, according to The New York Times. They’re joined by Jonathan F. Miller as chairman, who helped broker the deal between Netflix and Mark Millar. They plan to have a shared superhero universe in addition to publishing stand-alone titles.
“The model here really is the old United Artists model, where people who are actually doing the creative have ownership, control and decision-making power over the work that they’re doing,” Jemas told the NYT.
Jemas served as publisher at Marvel from around 2000 until 2003. He’s credited as the guy who help promote Joe Quesada into the editor in chief position, and helped spearhead initiatives like the Ultimate line and the MAX imprint. Alonso, meanwhile, joined Marvel in 2000 and replaced Quesada as editor in chief in 2011, serving in that role until 2017, when he left Marvel.
In addition to the three executives mentioned above, the company also has a creative council made up of folks comic fans will be familiar with: Reginald Hudlin, Margaret Stohl, Gregg Hurwitz, Garth Ennis and J. Michael Straczynski.
“I was open to returning to comics if the project was something challenging, so when Bill and Axel approached me about creating an entirely new, cohesive, shared comic-book universe, the prospect was too much fun to resist,” Straczynski told the NYT.
The titles teased by the Times in the article include:
- American Ronin, written by Peter Milligan and drawn by ACO, “is about highly trained operatives of huge corporations.”
- Bad Mother, written by Christa Faust, is about a mother searching for her missing daughter.
- Fight Girls, written and drawn by Frank Cho, is about women in sports bras “vying for the title of queen of the galaxy.”
- Archangel 8, written by Michael Moreci, is about “one of God’s angels who goes rogue.”
It’s not clear if these titles fall into the stand-alone bucket or the new shared universe that’s being created.