DSTLRY: Former Comixology Executives Spearhead New Digital Comics Publisher
A new challenger has entered the comic book publishing scene. Former Comixology executives David Steinberger and Chip Mosher are spearheading a company called DSTLRY (pronounced “distillery”), with the twin goals of creating a more equitable platform for creators and bringing an element of collectibility to digital comics.
DSTLRY certainly has plenty of creative muscle in its stable. The publisher’s lineup of “Founding Creators” includes:
- Scott Snyder (Batman, Wytches)
- Tula Lotay (Barnstormers)
- James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children, The Joker War)
- Junko Mizuno (Pure Trance, Ravina the Witch?)
- Ram V (Detective Comics, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr)
- Mirka Andolfo (Sweet Paprika, Mercy)
- Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer, Catwoman)
- Jock (Batman: One Dark Knight, Wytches)
- Becky Cloonan (Wonder Woman, Batgirls)
- Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Joker)
- Elsa Charretier (Love Everlasting, November)
- Stephanie Phillips (Grim, Harley Quinn)
- Lee Garbett (Spider-Man, Skyward)
- Marc Bernardin (Adora and the Distance, Star Trek: Picard)
- Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + The Divine, Captain Carter)
Former DC and Vertigo editor Will Dennis has been tapped as DSTLRY’s “Founding Editor.” The publisher has an advisory board comprised of investors John Schappert, Mike Vorhaus and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
DSTLRY is aiming for a novel approach to digital comics publishing. New issues will only be sold for a limited time, at which point owners can sell and trade their books on a digital marketplace. DSTLRY calls it “Stub Hub for comics,” and creators will receive a portion of the resale price. DSTLRY’s books will also be sold in print form, and other physical and digital collectibles will be released both online and in comic shops.
Similar to publishers like Image Comics, creators retain full rights to their work at DSTLRY. However, the new publisher is going a step further by offering creators an equity stake in the company. Additionally, the company is setting aside 3% of its equity over the first three years to be distributed among Founding Creators.
“Comic creators have historically received the short end of the stick when they create great characters and storylines for traditional publishers,” said Steinberger and Mosher in a joint statement. “DSTLRY is truly a creator-owned endeavor, with creators co-owning the company their creations fuel. It just makes sense that as creators help build the brand, they receive equity.”
No specific DSTLRY comics have been announced yet, nor has a launch date been revealed. The company is teasing more announcements to come later in 2023.