comiXology announces ‘Adora and the Distance’ OGN

Marc Bernardin and Ariela Kristantina tell a story inspired by Bernardin’s autistic daughter.

Genius and The Highwaymen writer Marc Bernardin has been more active as a TV writer lately, working on shows like Alphas, Carnival Row and Castle Rock in recent years, but he’s making his return to comics with a new graphic novel from comiXology Originals.

Artist Ariela Kristantina, colorist Jessica Kholinne, letterer Bernardo Brice and editor Will Dennis will work with Bernardin on Adora and the Distance, a story inspired by Bernardin’s daughter, who was diagnosed with autism at four years old.

“There are millions of parents of kids on the autism spectrum and there are millions of children with siblings on the spectrum,” Bernardin said in the press release. “This isn’t a book about how hard it is to be a parent or a sibling, it’s one that imagines the unknowable: What’s going on inside the mind of a loved one who has never been able to tell us?”

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Comics Lowdown: New player in town: Graphite digital comic subscription service

Plus: Steve Morrow passes away, New York Times stops editorial cartoons, and more!

The New York Times reports on a new digital comics service, Graphite, that operates on a subscription basis, like ComiXology Unlimited. Graphite will offer a free version with ads, and their premium ad-free version is priced at $4.99 a month, a buck cheaper than ComiXology Unlimited, but their real selling point is automated recommendations:

On other platforms, recommendations are typically offered by editors, said Tom Akel, Graphite’s chief content officer. “Ours takes into account your user behavior, what you’ve watched before, what the pool of people around you liked and cross references that the same way a Netflix algorithm will,” he said.

The real test of a digital comics service, of course, is content. Graphite’s lineup will include BOOM! Studios, Tokyopop, Dynamite, IDW and the children’s publisher Papercutz, but not Marvel or DC (both of whom have their own subscription services). This is a choice that seems to make sense for the smaller publishers; as BOOM!’s Filip Sablik commented, “We’ve had free content available for multiple years, and it hasn’t cut into our Comixology business. In fact, it has continued to grow.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Spike Trotman and MK Reed

The duo discuss their comiXology Originals title ‘Delver,’ the fantasy genre and much more.

Spike Trotman is the woman behind Iron Circus Comics, one of North America’s best comics publishers. She is also the creator of the webcomic Templar AZ and the book Poorcraft, the writer of Yes, Roya and Iris and Angel, and cohost of the podcast Dirty Old Ladies. MK Reed is the writer of many comics including Americus, Palefire and Science Comics: Dinosaurs, and the co-writer of The Castoffs.

The two have teamed up with artist Clive Hawken on Delver, a new series coming out from comiXology Originals. It’s the story of Temerity, whose life and town is changed when a portal opens, and the town and the region becomes overrun with adventurers. It’s a story that takes a look at the fantasy genre in a different way and asks a few of the questions that sometimes bother those who like the genre. The second issue is out tomorrow, and they were kind enough to answer a few questions about the series.

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Comics Lowdown: Mark Waid’s attorney asks for dismissal of Richard C. Meyer’s lawsuit

BOOM! Studios cancels ‘Husband and Husband’ collection after plagiarism charges! Image stops selling DRM-free digital comics directly! Chicago Sun-Times drops two pages of comics! Plus: Chip Zdarsky, NaNoWriMo, best of 2018 lists and more!

Mark Waid’s legal representative has asked the U.S. District Court for the Western district of Texas to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by Richard C. Meyer. The civil lawsuit was filed in September and claims “tortious interference with contract and defamation.” You can read the motion on Newsarama.

“[Meyer] asserts claims against Mr. Waid for tortious interference with contract and defamation. These claims are completely meritless. But the problem at the outset, and which is proper to address, is that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Waid,” reads the motion. “Plaintiff’s Complaint fails to identify any allegations or facts establishing any connection between Mr. Waid and Texas. Instead, Plaintiff merely alleges a single phone call between Mr. Waid, who was in California at the time, and a San Antonio publishing company. That is far short of the necessary substantial connection with Texas to justify personal jurisdiction.”

Mark Waid and Richard Meyer have GoFundMe campaigns going to pay for their legal fees, both of which have reached their goals.

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Comics Lowdown: Olivia Jaimes to appear at CXC

Plus: Kazu Kibuishi, Katie Green, Zunar and more!

Olivia Jaimes, the pseudonymous artist who has revitalized the comic strip Nancy, will be a guest at the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus comics festival in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend. There has been considerable speculation about Jaimes’s real identity, and CXC will be asking the 40 or so lucky attendees at her panel to check their phones at the door to protect her privacy.

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DC Universe app debuts Sept. 15

New streaming service, which includes access to comics, TV shows and more, rolls out on Batman Day.

DC’s upcoming streaming/comics service, DC Universe, will launch on Sept. 15 — “Batman Day,” appropriately enough. As previously announced, the service will cost $7.99 a month and will include comics, in an “all you can eat” subscription model similar to Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jen Bartel on ‘Crystal Fighters’

The artist of the forthcoming ‘Blackbird’ talks about her early work on ‘Crystal Fighters,’ which will be collected by Dark Horse Comics in September.

Jen Bartel’s artwork has become familiar to many comics readers. She’s drawn dozens of covers for BOOM! and Marvel, IDW and Archie, Valiant and more. She’s drawn issues and stories for comics like Jem and the Holograms and Mighty Thor, and contributed to anthologies including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

Her first comic as co-writer and artist was Crystal Fighters. First published digitally on Stela, a print edition of the webcomic is in stores Sept. 5 from Dark Horse Comics. If that’s not enough, in October, Bartel and writer Sam Humphries are launching a new ongoing series from Image Comics, Blackbird. This coming weekend, Bartel will be a special guest at Flame Con in New York City, and we reached out to ask her a few questions about the experience of putting together her first book and what comes next.

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DC Universe service to cost $7.99 a month

Pre-order the service to get a full year for $74.99.

At Comic-Con International this week, DC Comics released more details on the DC Universe streaming app, which will include movies, TV shows, comics and more.

You’ll be able to subscribe to it for $7.99 a month. Right now they’re offering a pre-order price through July 22 of $74.99 for the entire year on the new service’s website; you’ll also be entered into a drawing to attend the premiere of the Aquaman film.

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DC Universe app to offer comics as well

The new app will include ‘decades of comics creations’ via a subscription service, in addition to new TV shows, classic movies, a community forum and more.

DC Comics has been talking about their forthcoming digital app for a while now, announcing that it will be the home of new TV shows like Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing and a new season of the animated Young Justice animated series, among others. But today they announced it will be more than a streaming service — it will also feature comics.

While Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited both offer “all you can eat” subscription models through their services, DC Comics has yet to offer a similar service for their comics. But the new service, DC Universe, will change that.

“DC Universe is so much more than a streaming service. It’s a welcoming place for everyone to immerse themselves in their own level of DC fandom, with the epic characters, stories and experiences they have come to expect from DC,” said Jim Lee, chief creative officer and publisher, DC Entertainment. “We are investing in and creating original, high-quality shows including the new Titans series, and curating the most beloved nostalgic content, while at the same time elevating the comic reading experience to new heights. Nothing this robust has ever been offered to fans before.”

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