Graphite Comics, Inc. today announced the launch of Graphite, the most innovative and technologically advanced digital comics distribution and consumption platform ever built. A Netflix-meets-Spotify-meets-YouTube for comics, Graphite Comics will set a new standard as the first-of-its kind freemium, global streaming service for comics of all formats and readers at all ages and stages of comics fandom.
Led by a team of award-winning comics industry talent and digital executives who have built premium content apps for the biggest entertainment brands and have raised an undisclosed amount with Mucker Capital as their lead investor, Graphite is set to redefine the digital comics experience for both casual and hardcore comic fans, provide publishers with an exciting and fully transparent way to monetize and market to current and potential fans, and open an new door for emerging comic talent to showcase and have their work discovered. Moreover, it will offer advertisers a fresh new way to reach the diverse range of tens of millions of male and female comic fans globally.
Blazing a new frontier in digital comics consumption and distribution, the AI-driven platform has already attracted the attention of a wide range of traditional comic book, webtoon and manga publishers and creators who have signed on as partners, providing the platform with more than 10,000 titles at launch, with hundreds more being added monthly.
“We are thrilled to reveal Graphite, the future of digital comics, to the world today,” said Tom Akel, Chief Content Officer at Graphite Comics. “The comics industry is primed for a seamless and universal platform to provide creators and publishers with a platform to reach new audiences through next generation features and for fans to have a singular, freemium home to engage with their favorite series. Graphite is truly the first platform to embrace comics in all its forms.”
Tom Akel joins CEO Michael Eng and CTO Rick Strom, who have an extensive background in developing apps and experiences for world class brands over the past decade and have been laying the groundwork for Graphite’s technology for years.
Graphite Comics’ bold vision solves major pain points that have been a barrier for the digital comics industry. For the consumer, it offers mass accessibility to a huge assortment of comics in a single, seamless global platform that caters to all ages, genders and comic tastes — supporting every conceivable comic format (traditional comics, vertical and horizontal animated webtoons, comic strips and manga) with robust community features and the most sophisticated, custom built AI-driven comics search and discovery engine ever created. Graphite simultaneously offers publishers complete and unfettered access to readership data and analytics, as well as the ability to market directly to their reader base on the platform. And for aspiring comic talent, Graphite has developed the most robust tool set available to help them create, market, get discovered and monetize their content.
“Graphite is one of the most innovative digital platforms we’ve seen in a long, long time. It’s been built from the ground up to expose and convert brand new fans of the wonderful medium of comics – whether that’s in the form of comic books, graphic novels, comic strips, or webtoons – and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of the lineup of launching publishing partners,” said Filip Sablik, President of Publishing & Marketing at BOOM! Studios. “Central to BOOM! Studios’ mission is to help potential fans discover their favorite comic and Graphite is a perfect way to Discover Yours!”
Among Graphite’s distinguishing features are:
-Publishing Partners – Graphite Comics will launch with content from over a dozen traditional comic book publishers, including Boom!, IDW, Legendary, Tokyo Pop, Aspen, Dynamite, Papercutz, and Top Cow.
-Premium Titles and Brands – Graphite Comics has more than 10,000 launch titles organized across over 50 genres. At launch, it will include series featuring a wide array of well known characters and brands with something for all audiences, including: Power Rangers, WWE, My Little Pony, Transformers, Priest, TMNT, Sunstone, Star Trek, Goldfisch, Angry Birds, Bob’s Burgers, Skylanders, James Bond, Powerpuff Girls, Godzilla, Popeye, Army of Darkness, Back to the Future, The Crow, The Boys, Bloom County, Witchblade, Garfield, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Gears of War, Ghostbusters, Barbie, Goosebumps, Judge Dredd, Magic the Gathering, Samurai Jack, Silent Hill, Planet of the Apes, The Smurfs, True Blood, Pacific Rim, Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Zorro, Adventure Time, Bill & Ted, Hellraiser, Mouse Guard, The Expanse, Cyanide & Happiness, The Dark Crystal, and more.
-Creators – Graphite’s Board of Advisors includes 2019 Eisner-nominee Leeanne Krecic, creator of the #1 series on LINE Webtoon, Let’s Play; 2018 Eisner-nominee Ryan Benjamin, known for his groundbreaking series Brothers Bond as well as his work on top Marvel and DC titles; and Nick Seluk, New York Times best-selling author and creator of the massive webcomic hits Heart & Brain and Lars the Awkward Yeti with over 4 million social followers. Series at launch will include the complete series of Katie Cook’s webcomic Gronk, the 2017 Eisner and Ringo nominated The Middle Age by Steve Conley, the 2017 Ringo nominated Cooking Comically by Tyler Capps, the 2018 Ringo nominated Cyko KO by Rob Feldman, Bonnie N Collide by Monica Gallagher, Girls Have a Blog by Tara Kurtzhals and Sarah Bollinger, as well as webtoon series by creators with hundreds of thousands of readers including Glacias by Yaruno and Nawa, Phase by Joukijo, ZomCom by EmiMG, Never Ever Done by Victoria Robado, Knights of Asherah by Anadia-chan, Love N Life by Kirinu, and Internet Explorer by Merryweather and Princess Hinghoi.
-Advanced Tech Platform – Graphite Comics will set a new standard for digital comics platforms. In addition to a custom-built AI that that works across different comic formats and brings comic search to new levels, Graphite Comics’ tech advancements also include:
-Web comics reader – new reader that seamlessly presents every comic format from traditional comics to vertical
-Image quality – retina quality comics in ultra-high definition.
Compression algorithm – presents best quality comics based on connection and bandwidth
-Advanced parental controls – a kids mode will provide access to just kid-friendly content, and will disable
commenting and other more adult community features.
-Community Functionality – Graphite Comics incorporates the best aspects of community from other social and content platforms. This includes: profile pages, comments sections, shared reading lists, ratings, series subscriptions, and posting to social channels. (Comments sections are age-gated and can be turned off by creators if requested.)
-Transparency – Graphite Comics provides publishers and creators 70% of all ad and subscription revenue; full transparency in providing monthly analytics; and the ability for publishers and creators through the platform to send notifications and offers to users reading their content.
-Best Creator Toolset – UGC creators will have access to develop content using the most advanced creator toolset, from incorporating sound and gifs to other interactive experience features.
-Premium Subscription Offer – Graphite Comics will offer a premium experience without ads for $4.99/month. This premium offering will also include additional community functionality and advanced features.