Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are doubling down on their creator-owned projects, and they’re bringing a bunch of friends with them.
Along with Jason Fabok, Bryan Hitch, Lamont Magee, Francis Manapul, Brad Meltzer, Peter J. Tomasi, and Maytal Zchut, they’ve formed Ghost Machine, a “first-of-its-kind creator-owned and operated media company,” per the press release, where creators will co-own all the characters and universes developed, “sharing in all publishing, media, merchandise, and beyond.” They point to the recent Hollywood strike as an example of why creators need more empowerment in the current media landscape.
“Our ambition for Ghost Machine is to push beyond superheroes, introducing new genres, characters and shared universes, completely co-owned by all the creators involved. We see this as the future of how creatives will work and retain creative control and meaningfully participate in success like never before,” reads the Ghost Machine founding creators’ joint statement. “Our passion is for the magic of graphic storytelling and the emotional resonance of compelling characters. But we are not just a comic book company—we are the first wholly creator-owned and operated media company of its kind, born out of a desire to create and succeed together.”
The founders released a video explaining their vision for Ghost Machine:
They’re teaming with Image Comics to bring their books to market, which will include continuations of Geiger and Junkyard Joe, the two titles Johns and Frank published through Image Comics, as well as Redcoat by Johns and Hitch, which was previously announced, and First Ghost, which is written by Meltzer. Those titles are part of a shared universe called The Unnamed, which will be one of four shared universe that will be introduced in January via a Ghost Machine one-shot.
The other universes include a science fiction universe that will be featured in the Johns/Fabok comic Rook: Exodus, the “Family Odyssey” universe that will serve as the home to Tomasi and Manapul’s The Rocketfellers (great name) and an unnamed horror universe created by a “secret superstar artist.” Here’s a look at some covers:
Look for Redcoat, Geiger and Rook: Exodus to all launch in April.
The entire team will be at New York Comic Con this weekend in booth #3045 with variant covers and a free ashcan. And if you can’t attend the show, fear not — you can buy Ghost Machine merch on Threadless now as well.