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Wanted producer teams with Palmiotti, Young and Walmart on new comic line

Kickstart Comics

Kickstart Comics

Jason Netter, producer of the Wanted film and the Painkiller Jane TV show, is starting his own comic book company.

Variety reports that Kickstart Comics, an imprint of Netter’s film and TV company Kickstart Entertainment, will be overseen by prolific writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti and AiT/PlanetLar owner Larry Young. The Hollywood trade also said the company has already entered into distribution pact with several major retailers, including Walmart, to produce at least 24 new books over a year. The initial plan is to release four books a month for six months starting this fall.

“This is a way to introduce comic books to a broader audience,” Netter told the trade.

Read the full story over at Variety for more. As they say, this one is developing …

Update: I asked Young about the announcement, and he responded: “At AiT, we’ve worked with Jason at Kickstart for many years. Loved shooting the NOBODY pilot for ABC Family up in Vancouver with him, and we have very similar sensibilities when it comes to graphic novels, so I’m really looking forward to helping the Kickstart team bring a mainstream entertainment experience to comics.”

And from Palmiotti: “I have been working with Jason and Samantha for years since they sold Painkiller Jane to sci-fi and have been writing books for them as well like Back to Brooklyn, and Random Acts of Violence. They asked me to freelance edit some books for them and help them along the way and its been great ever since. I am still writing for them, as well, they are out selling my properties like The Pro and Ballerina and we have enjoyed a great working relationship together.”

Update 2: Here’s the company’s website, which features preview art for upcoming books like Bombhead by B. Clay Moore and Kevin Mellon; Mirror, Mirror by Joshua Williamson and Lee Moder; and Hero Complex by Adam Freeman, Marc Bernardin and Javi Fernandez.

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Comments

9 Comments

This kinda makes me wonder what’s going on with Jeff Katz’s American Original. I don’t think I’ve heard anything since last San Diego…

Great that there’s finally someone willing to try to go after that Wal-Mart distribution.

Palmiotti but no Gray ?

Cool. Some real talent on this, regardless of the fact it is apparent that it was started to make cheap starts for movies and tv shows.

Um..will this company have anything to do with The Pro? That little animation that was shown at Heidi’s site? O.o

Anything to make comics easier to find and purchase gets a thumbs-up in my book. I miss the days of being able to go down to my corner 7-11 and browse through the spinner-rack of comics. Maybe this will be a step back towards that kind of ease-of-access.

This sounds very cool. I like Jimmy Palmiotti’s work a lot and I love the mission statement of making comics more accessible to a wide audience. I’m in favor of any measure that makes comics more widely-read and certainly anything that goes around the Direct Market’s clubhouse mentality, limited distribution system and far too specific tastes. Jimmy, if you read this, congrats and good luck.

My only question is regarding Wal-Mart. While that’s certainly a tremendous market and the king of brick-and-mortar retail these days, they have had censorship issues in the past. People don’t feel comfortable selling their music through Wal-Mart because they have restrictions on what they do and don’t sell…. will Kickstart Comics have to kowtow to censorship demands?

Best!

Looks like they’ve got some interesting titles, but it’s a bit disappointing that this wide distribution doesn’t come with wider genre selections. Considering how many of the books sold in big box stores are romance novels, it’d be nice to see something further outside of the Sci-Fi/Action/Supernatural categories.

Not that these comics couldn’t still be a hit – those romance novels are usually shelved right next to thrillers – but they’re not going to attract a lot of interest from people who avoid those genres already.

Anyway, best of luck to these guys. Success from the start will make riskier titles more likely down the road. :]

Wow… that’s an ambitious schedule!

First books are due out in October. Which means listing in the next Previews. Will Kickstart distribute titles to the Direct Market and the book trade on the same date? Or stagger releases like other publishers do?

That’s a pretty short time to announce a new line of graphic novels. They missed Book Expo America (book trade) and the American Library Association conference (libraries). That leaves CCI:SD (comics) to make a big promotional splash. Is Kickstart on the Comic-Con schedule? On the floor? Or will they be promoting the new line off-site at some restaurant? Will they be at Chicago or Baltimore? NYCC is a bit late in the game, but they could garner some attention. Only problem is… who will draw people to their booth besides Mr. Pamiotti?

Here’s another website, found on Books In Print:
http://kickstartent.com/
It’s the parent company, with more media files.

Four titles found in Books In Print:
978-0-615-38511-2
978-0-615-37995-1
978-0-615-37997-5
978-0-615-37996-8

Retailing for $14.50 – $14.99.

Some more questions:
1) Is this partnership separate from AIT/Planet Lar? Will it affect AIT’s schedule?
Not much coming out from AIT, according to Books In Print.

2) Will original graphic novels from a small press sell well enough? How does the company plan to counter disinterest from the Direct Market and returns from the book trade? Yes, you’ve got a great editor, but mostly unknown talent.

3) What graphic novels has Walmart sold in the past? Did they carry Watchmen? If Walmart stocks these titles in all stores, how will Kickstart avoid
a) Walmart’s desire to get the cheapest wholesale price, and
b) a massive return when these unknown titles do not sell in stores not known for selling graphic novels?
Kickstart first must finance the initial print run, then avoid massive returns.
c) How will Walmart merchandise the titles? Will there be dedicated displays for six months?
d) If Walmart is not successful with this publisher, will it salt the earth for future graphic novel publishers?
e) Will comics shops in Walmart markets decide to not compete, or not take the risk on non-returnable titles from an unknown publisher?

4) Basic new publisher questions:
How is the talent being paid?

How is this business model different from all the other “IP freely” publishers hoping to transmediate comics into film, television, and merchandising?

How are the books being financed? $14.99 for what appears to be a full-color, comicbook-sized graphic novel… Outlaw publishes similar OGNs of 112 pages for $7.99, so perhaps the initial financing is not too difficult.

Who will distribute the titles to the book trade? Books In Print does not list any distributors. (This is the sort of thing you nail down before launching PR.)

Good luck, Kickstart! Hope you succeed!

Cool,I’m a fan of B Clay Moore’s stuff.

Wow… 88 pages for $14.99. That’s a four-issue collection, pricing out to an average of $3.75 an issue.

That’s economical and not surprising for an original graphic novel, but will readers pick up a thin book and consider it overpriced?

Kickstart might want to ship some $1 preview issues, and/or offer substantial previews online.

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