DSTLRY will publish single-issue comics in two formats: Oversized, premium format print comics that will be available in comic shops, and limited-edition digital comics available for one week only from the DSTLRY website. The digital comics can be resold on DSTLRY as well, with a percentage of each sale going to the creator. Collected editions will be widely available in print and digital formats.
Part of what sets DSTLRY apart is creator involvement: The company kicks off with a slate of Founding Creators, each of whom holds an equity stake, which includes Scott Snyder, Tula Lotay, James Tynion IV, Junko Mizuno, Ram V, Mirka Andolfo, Joëlle Jones, Jock, Becky Cloonan, Brian Azzarello, Elsa Charretier, Stephanie Phillips, Lee Garbett, Marc Bernardin, Jamie McKelvie, and Founding Editor Will Dennis. In addition, the founders have set aside 3% of company equity to be distributed to the creators whose projects are released in DSTLRY’s first three years.
“Comic creators have historically received the short end of the stick when they create great characters and storylines for traditional publishers,” Steinberger and Mosher said in a joint statement accompanying the announcement. “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 is bankrolled by a number of investors from inside and outside comics, including Kodansha USA and the French publisher Groupe Delcourt, as well as its three-member Advisory Board, whose members all hail from tech and entertainment, not comics: John Schappert, a veteran of the video game industry and the CEO of Shiver Entertainment; tech strategist Mike Vorhaus, CEO of Vorhaus Advisors; and film producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, founder and owner of Di Bonaventura Pictures and producer of the G.I. Joe and Transformers movies. Di Bonaventura is one of the producers of the Netflix series based on Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy (see “Netflix Greenlights Millarworld Projects”).
ComiXology launched in 2009 (see “New iPhone Comics App #1 in Books”) and was the leading online comics retailer until it was acquired by Amazon in 2014 (see “Amazon Acquiring ComiXology”). Steinberger and Mosher left the company last year (see “People on the Move”), and much of the rest of the staff was laid off in January (see “Bloodbath at ComiXology”).