With $9.3 million in new funding, Zestworld plans to create a creator-owned comics newsletter service – TechCrunch

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The comic book world seems to have been waiting for a digital revolution since the birth of the internet. ComiXology, launched in 2007, is the closest thing to delivering such a piece to the medium, so naturally Amazon went and bought the service and screwed up. The most recent offering let subscribers down, ultimately leading the brand to admit that the integration process has been far from seamless and promise to respond to user feedback.

Indeed, it is no different from the backlash Kickstarter received after its big blockchain announcement late last year. That service has long been popular with creators, who have felt alienated by the recent announcements. More recently, Substack has stepped into the comics and has hired some big names, including Grant Morrison and Chip Zdarsky, although that service has not been without controversy.

Announced last year, Zestworld aims to take to the media with its own custom platform. Designed specifically for the comics medium, the service has already found some high-profile supporters including Alexis Ohanian and Kevin Lin of Twitch.

“The current landscape for comic book creators to digitally publish their work and connect with fans is appalling,” Ohanian said in a release. “Zestworld brings together every aspect of the comic book creator business and community into one centralized platform that is disrupting the way comic book creators publish and own IP, and enable fans to interact directly with creators in entirely new ways.”

Both participated in a Series A round led by General Catalyst that raised $9.37 million to realize the service’s plans to provide creators with a comics-optimized newsletter platform, coupled with an IP management tool. IP, of course, has long been the bread and butter for the mainstream comics industry. You can sell top tier comics, but let’s face it, licensing is where real money is made here.

“Finding creator-powered platforms is a real challenge in comics, and what Zestworld offers is refreshing and transparent,” said Alex Segura, one of the writers involved in the launch. “Zestworld allows creators like me to publish my work on my own schedule, customize the benefits and the way the creative team and I interact with my audience, and allows us to retain full IP rights to everything we do through publish the platform. It’s a hard deal to beat.”

Segura is joined by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Peter J. Tomasi, Eric Canete and Phil Jimenez. Other promised features include community management and “NFTs/metaverse events” as you won’t be able to launch a service in 2022 without those things.


This post With $9.3 million in new funding, Zestworld plans to create a creator-owned comics newsletter service – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/21/with-9-3m-in-fresh-funding-zestworld-plans-a-newsletter-service-for-creator-owned-comics/”

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