Zestworld will give comic creators more participation

Many comic book characters anchor global franchises, but their creators – or the writers and artists who helped make them popular – haven’t always shared that success. Zestworld, a new subscription-based platform slated to be introduced in early 2022, hopes to change that.

Zestworld will allow comic book authors and artists to showcase and reap the rewards of new work – and help monetize their creations if they are made into collectibles or adapted for television, film or other media. The creators will be shareholders of the company.

“As we started to build this, we started with the problem statement that this industry is broken for creators; and it’s broken in publishing, television and film; it’s also broken into events and collectibles, ”said Chris Giliberti, founder and CEO of Zestworld, in a recent phone interview. “We wanted to create something that was useful in all areas of their business, wherever they generate income. “

One of Zestworld’s investors is venture capital firm Seven Seven Six, founded by Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. “I’ve been a longtime comic book fan, so much so that I didn’t read a book for fun until college,” he said in an email interview. “This investment was born out of a personal passion, but it also fits perfectly with my history of investing in the economy of creators”. Ohanian was an early investor in Patreon, a platform founded in 2013 where people can pay musicians, podcasters, cartoonists, and others to access premium content.

Zestworld’s initial list of comic book creators includes Eric Canete, Amanda Conner, Phil Jimenez, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Segura, and Peter Tomasi, all of whom have received advancements in developing original stories for the platform. “The Awakened,” for example, is a superhero murder mystery narrated by Segura, who writes it with Michael Moreci, with art by Dean Kotz.

Palmiotti and Conner, who worked on several Harley Quinn comics for DC Comics, are working on a few projects for Zestworld, including a story about Booty Powpow, an immortal woman from ancient times who is awakening today. Palmiotti also writes “Found”, with the art of Juan Santacruz, about the discovery of a spaceship on Earth.

From the earliest days of comics, characters were typically owned and benefited by publishers, not the creative team that came up with them. (Famous, for example, the creators of Superman sold their rights to the character for $ 130.)

Palmiotti said he and Conner were excited about Zestworld’s offer. “They put their money where their mouth was,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “They came to us and said, ‘You can do whatever you want. We want you to create comics and characters. You own them, you control them.

With Zestworld he said, “Nothing is done without sitting down with us and talking to us and nothing is done without benefiting us. This is the kind of transparency that all creators need.

Lisa M. Horner