New comic publisher DSTLRY has announced its first official release, a 72-page one-shot which showcases stories from DSTLRY's roster of well-known creators.
Titled The Devil's Cut, the one-shot is themed not around a satanic horror concept, but around a term from high-end whiskey distillery that refers to the portion of the spirits that is absorbed by the wooden barrels in which it's fermented - the so-called "devil's cut." The title is also obviously a pun on DSTLRY's name, which is of course pronounced like "distillery."
"DSTLRY’s The Devil’s Cut features a flight of high-proof work and unfiltered stories from the most fearless creators," reads the publisher's official announcement, continuing its liquor-based metaphors.
Creators named as contributors to The Devil's Cut one-shot include Mirka Andolfo, Brian Azzarello, Marc Bernardin, Elsa Charretier, Becky Cloonan, Lee Garbett, Jock, Joëlle Jones, Tula Lotay, Jamie McKelvie, Junko Mizun, Stephanie Phillips, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Ram V, all of whom are named as the "Founding Creators" of DSTLRY. The one-shot also includes work from artists Francesco Francavilla, Ariela Kristantina, Eduardo Risso, and Christian Ward.
"The Devil's Cut is the perfect debut from DSTLRY, with our Founding Creators and friends delivering an amazing collection of completely self-contained stories," reads a joint statement from DSTLRY co-founders Chip Mosher and David Steinberger. "It's a prime example of the ambition and skill that you can expect from top-flight creators when they're given the canvas, freedom, and support to create the next generation of comics."
DSTLRY's unique business model has proven controversial among the comics community even before it's actually launched, because of the publisher's intent to create a market of digital scarcity for its comics in an attempt to replicate the speculation market of print comic books.
Most comic publishers release their digital comics in perpetuity, meaning that you can read or purchase most digital comics months or years after their release. However, DSTLRY plans to release a limited number of digital copies through its own proprietary service which can then be bought and sold just like individual issues of physical comics, with the intent that the scarcity of digital copies will create a digital secondary market for in-demand titles which gain value over time.
This has created controversy among some comic readers and collectors, due to the manufacturing of an intentional digital secondary market for comics - a practice that is also controversial in physical comics due to how it impacts the way many publishers release, market, and later collect certain titles and stories.
The Devil's Cut will release simultaneously on DSTLRY's digital marketplace and in physical comic shops on August 30 with a primary cover by Jock, seen here. DSTLRY promises that the physical release will never be printed again, while the digital release will only be available till Tuesday September 6.
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