Amazon launching comics imprint

In its continuing efforts to leave no income stream untapped, especially if other people are already drinking from it, definite potential comic book supervillain Amazon has found an entirely appropriate new means of expanding its plans for world domination: By itself printing the adventures of comic book supervillains, with the launch of its new comic and graphic novel imprint Jet City Comics. In a move akin to Apple deciding it wants iTunes to branch out into vinyl, the imprint will publish in both digital and print formats.

Jet City is hardly starting small, with its initial roster including work by Neal Stephenson, Hugh Howey and, most impressively, man of the moment George R. R. Martin, with digital reissues pending of the graphic novels The Hedge Knight and The Sworn Sword, both based on stories by Martin, and a new graphic novel adaptation of Martin’s short story “Meathouse Man” due in October. Amazon says the imprint’s books will be available digitally both as standalone titles and in serialised installments. Print, presumably, will be decided on a title by title basis.

Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing, said of the launch: ‘Comics and graphic novels, especially in digital format, represent a unique area for innovation. Our focus will be on adapting great books for this medium as a means of expanding the audience for our authors, pushing boundaries with new ideas that combine visual and narrative storytelling, and creating compelling new experiences for readers.’ By ‘adapting great books’ he probably means pre-existing comics and not just making a living out of, say, illustrating the Kurt Vonnegut bibliography, right?

Jet Set Comics will join a range of imprints already under the Amazon banner: Amazon Children’s Publishing, AmazonEncore, Amazon Crossing, Montlake Romance, 47North and Thomas & Mercer.