With entertainment companies digging deep into their pre-existing genre catalogues and also buying up new chunks of IP, many of the original creators of the source material that’s adapted into big-budget films and series have seen their ideas take off without them. Working together with Amazon’s ComiXology, writer Scott Snyder wants to change that.
Today, Amazon and Snyder announced the formation of Best Jackett Press, a new ComiXology imprint that will begin publishing a number of graphic novels penned by Snyder and illustrated by multiple artists. While other studios have carved out similar deals with creators — like Netflix’s partnership with Mark Millar — Snyder’s new deal with Amazon has a particular emphasis on its creative team retaining the rights to the work they create under the Best Jackett Press brand.
In an interview with the Beat, Snyder explained how, while the ideas for many of the series have been living in his mind for years, the ongoing covid-19 pandemic played a major role in pushing him and his collaborators to think about how they wanted to create something new in a healthy, equitable way. “The pandemic really expedited everything, where it became about how do we keep focus on the things that are really important to us about these books, like retaining the ancillary rights together so that we own the books,” Snyder said. “We own the TV rights, the film rights, the merchandising rights, and how do I make a move where these co-creators don’t have to scramble to find work elsewhere to make ends meet, and also we don’t end up doing the book over three years or four years.”
We Have Demons, a horror-themed comic from Snyder, artist Greg Capullo, and colorist Dave McCeg, is just one of the eight books that will launch Best Jackett Press and be available as available to ComiXology subscribers first before the books are subsequently released physically by Dark Horse Books. Along with We Have Demons, Amazon also announced Barnstormers from artist Tula Lotay and colorist Dee Cunniffe; Book of Evil from artist Jock; Canary from artist Dan Panosian; Clear from artist Francis Manapul; Duck and Cover from artist Rafael Albuquerque; Dudley Datson and the Forever Machine from artists Jamal Igle and Juan Castro and colorist Christ Sotomayor; and Night of the Ghoul from artist Francesco Francavilla.
Image: Tula Lotay, Dee Cunniffe/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Dan Panosian/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Francis Manapul/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, Chris Sotomayor, ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Jock/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Rafael Albuquerque/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Francesco Francavilla/ComiXology, Fair Use
Image: Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion/ComiXology, Fair Use
Snyder insisted that while his new deal isn’t sticking to the traditional comics distribution model, he sees Best Jackett Press as an example of how a publisher can prioritise its creators, something the industry as a whole could stand to do more of. “I hope that what this deal does is show the ways that digital and print don’t need to be competitive, and on top of that, it also emphasises the ways in which right now it’s a moment of creator empowerment,” Snyder said. “I love the Big Two. I love DC. I love Marvel. But with so much interest from streaming and so many platforms looking for IP, it’s important to be able to protect the ownership of your properties by going out there and finding places that are going to allow you to do that.”