It seems that the world of comics has been waiting for a digital revolution since the advent of the Internet. Launched in 2007, Comixology is best suited to bring such a piece to the medium, so naturally Amazon went and bought the service and screwed it up. The most recent proposal disappointed customers, eventually leading the brand to admit that the integration process was far from smooth and promise to respond to user feedback.
In fact, this is no different from the backlash that Kickstarter received after its big blockchain announcement late last year. The service has long been popular with creators who have felt alienated by recent announcements. Recently, Substack has ventured into comics and has hired several big names, including Grant Morrison and Chip Zadarski, although the service has not been without controversy.
Announced last year, Zestworld aims to wow the media with its own platform. The service, designed exclusively for comics, has already attracted several high-profile supporters, including Twitch’s Alexis Ohanian and Kevin Lin.
“The current situation in which comic book creators digitally publish their work and communicate with fans is appalling,” Ohanian said in a press release. “Zestworld brings together all aspects of the business and the comics community on one centralized platform that changes publishing and ownership of comics creators’ intellectual property and allows fans to interact with creators in completely new ways.
The two participated in a Series A round led by General Catalyst, which raised $9.37 million to advance the service’s plans to provide creators with a comics-optimized newsfeed platform, coupled with an intellectual property management tool. Of course, intellectual property has long been the bread and butter of the mainstream comics industry. You can sell top tier comics, but let’s face it, licensing is where the real money is made.
Alex Segura, one of the writers involved with the launch, said, “Finding a creator-based comics platform is a real challenge, and what Zestworld has to offer is fresh and transparent.” “Zestworld allows creators like me to publish my work on their own schedule, streamline the benefits and ways the creative team and me interact with our audience, and we can see through publishing platforms that we allow you to retain full intellectual property rights to anything you do. It’s hard to beat him.”
Segura with Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmotti, Peter J. Tomasi, Eric Canete and Phil Jimenez. Other promised features include community management and “NFT/Metaverse events” because you won’t be able to launch the service in 2022 without those things.