Artists, Writers, and Artisans Studios is going ahead with a launch for its first title, The Resistance, by J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato, Jr., in webtoon format (vertical scrolling) on its own site and on webtoons sites WEBTOONS and Tapas. The company is also urging retailers to embed the free content on their sites to build anticipation for the release of the print edition, when it comes. 

Over 10,000 people have read The Resistance #1 on substandard bootleg sites to date, the company notes, indicating interest in reading high-quality digital versions of the material made widely available and free.    

The plot of The Resistance is timely, set after a global pandemic that kills hundreds of millions and leaves behind 15 to 20 million people that have acquired superpowers as a result of the disease (see ”AWA Launches Shared Superhero Universe with ‘The Resistance’”).

The launch of this title, the first in AWA’s line, was planned as a major event for the new, well-funded publisher.  As a new company, a quick pivot to this novel strategy is a lot easier than it is for companies with dozens or scores of titles in the pipeline.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out.