New “creator-first” digital publishing platform wants to “fracture the Marvel and DC duopoly”

Zestworld, a new digital publishing platform, wants to put creators in charge of their own comi In a March 21st press announcement, Zestworld revealed its plans to “provide comic writers and artists a centralized platform” tailored to the “idiosyncrasies of the comics format and industry,” and “fracture the Marvel and DC duopoly.”

How does it plan to do this?

Part of Zestworld’s business model revolves around streamlining the many factors of creating and maintaining comic book IPs. According to Zestworld, far from just making their own comics, creators too often have to step in as their own publishers, business managers, and fan-club presidents. Zestworld’s goal is to provide these services to the top creators in the digital comics industry in the way that works best for them, allowing them to focus on the work of making comics.

Zestworld comic books

The Awakened by Alex Segura, Michael Moreci, Dean Kotz, Jason Wordie (Image credit: Various)

Longtime industry writer, editor, and executive Alex Segura, who is co-writing The Awakened, one of Zestworld’s upcoming titles, praises the company for giving its talent creative control over their schedules, their interactions with fans, and crucially, the intellectual property rights of the characters they create. 

Zestworld comic books

Found by Jimmy Palmiotti, Juan Santacruz, and Alex Sinclair (Image credit: Various)

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“It’s a hard deal to beat,” says the writer.

Speaking of talent, Zestworld has assembled a roster of creators and announced the properties they’ll publish via the start-up. These include The Awakened, a superhero noir from Segura, Michael Moreci, Dean Kotz, and Jason Wordie; Boom Pow!, a sci-fi smash-em-up from Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti; Otherworlds, a reimagining of the Otherworld saga by Phil Jimenez; and several other exciting titles to delight comic fans looking for something new.

And readers are just as much a part of Zestworld’s business model as creators. According to the announcement, the platform’s creators will be “able to directly reach their audience […] without having to work against everchanging algorithms or potential shadowbanning that creators often face on other platforms.” 

Zestworld is currently in its beta stage and, so far, has not announced a release date for its platform or for its first titles. Stay tuned to Newsarama for updates as this story develops.

Does Zestworld have you excited for more comics outside DC and Marvel? Check out Newsarama’s greatest superhero universes outside the Big Two.

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