Big news in the world of comic publishing today as founder and former CEO Comixology, David Steinberger and former Comixology Head of Content Chip Mosher announced the creation of a new publisher, DSTLRY.
Founding creators and creators who publish projects with the new company in it’s first three years will hold an equity stake in the company.
In the full press-release below, you can read all the details, which include some big name creators and information about the limited physical releases as well as, what appears to be an attempt to establish collectability for digital comics and a digital secondary market.
How this will turn out will be interesting to watch as David and Chip have cultivated a solid reputation within the industry. Ultimately it is for fans and readers to decide if they will support the endeavor.
COMIXOLOGY VETERANS DAVID STEINBERGER & CHIP MOSHER LAUNCH DSTLRY, A DIGITAL & PRINT PUBLISHER THAT PUTS COMIC CREATORS & COLLECTORS FIRST
DSTLRY Transforms the Creator-Publisher Landscape with Innovative Deals;
Focused on Premium Comics & Collectibles that Empower Fans with a StubHub-Style Resellable Digital Marketplace
LOS ANGELES, CA / NEW YORK, NY—April 13, 2023 – ComiXology co-founder and former CEO David Steinberger and former comiXology Head of Content Chip Mosher unveiled today DSTLRY, a next-generation comics publisher that redefines creator-owned comic books and collectibles. DSTLRY offers customers limited physical and digital item drops, available online or in-store at local comic shops, while providing creators with fairer deals alongside company ownership. The co-founders have been working on the project in stealth mode since departing comiXology/Amazon in summer 2022.
DSTLRY’s investors include international publishing giants Kodansha USA and Groupe Delcourt, as well as video game luminary John Schappert, superstar tech strategist Mike Vorhaus, and legendary producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura—the last three make up DSTLRY’s Advisory Board. These world-class advisors are committed to DSTLRY’s vision for premium content, hassle-free digital collectibles, and a more equitable comics industry.
“Chip and David have a rare pairing of skills, the ability to recognize true artistry and the technological wherewithal to elevate it,” said Lorenzo di Bonaventura, legendary film producer and advisor/investor in DSTLRY. “Artistic growth is spurred when its creators are nurtured and properly compensated for their achievements. This new system and its shared equity model will provide an invigorating environment which will foster great storytelling.”
DSTLRY’s Founding Creators include renowned writers and artists such as Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches), Tula Lotay (Barnstormers), James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Joker War), Junko Mizuno (Pure Trance, Ravina the Witch?), Ram V (Detective Comics, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr), Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy), Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Catwoman), Jock (Batman: One Dark Knight, Wytches), Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Batgirls), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Joker), Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting, November), Stephanie Phillips (Grim, Harley Quinn), Lee Garbett (Spider-Man, Skyward), Marc Bernardin (Adora and the Distance, Star Trek: Picard), Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine, Captain Carter), and Founding Editor Will Dennis (Y: The Last Man, Snow Angels), with more Founding Creators, creative teams, and a publishing rollout to be announced later this year.
Each Founding Creator holds an equity stake in the company, and DSTLRY has set aside an additional 3% of company equity to be distributed among all creators who release projects during the first three years of DSTLRY’s publishing slate; allocation will be based on title performance. This innovative structure aligns DSTLRY with the comic creators, whose creations dominate the pop culture landscape but are too often under-recognized and under-compensated.
“Comic creators have historically received the short end of the stick when they create great characters and storylines for traditional publishers,” said co-founders David Steinberger and Chip Mosher in a joint statement. “DSTLRY is truly a creator-owned endeavor, with creators co-owning the company their creations fuel. It just makes sense that as creators help build the brand, they receive equity.”
DSTLRY’s oversized, premium-format single-issues will be available in print at local comic shops while digital single-issues will be available for purchase for up to one week after release on dstlry.co. These eco-friendly digital issues will be fully owned and resellable on DSTLRY’s marketplace—a “Stub Hub for digital comics”—with benefits like special discounts, exclusive drops, and meetups with the creators, depending on the item. Collected editions of single-issue comics in both print and digital formats will be widely available.
Digital owners can resell their items on the DSTLRY marketplace at a price of their choosing, with a percentage of resale going back to the creators, while each physical issue will be a limited-edition premium collectible fans will love to read and collect. More details about these physical and digital collectibles will be announced later.
Distilling decades innovating at both digital and print comic companies, co-founders David Steinberger and Chip Mosher have cultivated a vision for a more modern and ethical industry, embracing drop-culture with digital releases and providing fair compensation and upside participation for creators.