July 18, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Ahead of Comic-Con International, Dynamite is announcing a new publishing partnership with Immortal Studios, to bring the Los Angeles-based publisher’s shared universe of Wuxia martial arts-fantasy comic books to the broader marketplace. Through the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, the Los Angeles-based publisher Immortal Studios has to date successfully funded three comic book series as part of a larger shared universe. Now Dynamite is set to bring these action packed titles to the direct market comic stores, digital vendors, bookstores, and beyond in multiple formats, with more releases and titles to come.
Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is spearheaded by the company’s Founder and CEO Peter Shiao, who is collaborating with a team of comic book storytellers to bring a modern sensibility to the Wuxia genre that has influenced contemporary pop culture, including Marvel's Shang-Chi, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Matrix, and Star Wars, as well as countless anime and manga like Naruto. Wuxia, pronounced "woo-sha," is a long running genre born from China that depicts the adventures and trials of martial arts heroes, often but not always in historical settings and with fantasy elements. The Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is inspired by the storytelling of one of the foremost authors in the Wuxia genre, Peter Shiao’s father Shiao Yi, whose novels have been adapted into film and television more than thirty times, including films by the Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest.
"I am very excited that with this new partnership with Dynamite, one of the preeminent comic publishers, Immortal has dramatically increased our reach and visibility to fandom," said Shiao. "This is a very important step in our goal to build a multi-pronged distribution footprint to reach different market segments that are important for us. We look forward to sharing these Immortal stories which have already gained initial traction through our growing community to new audiences now available to us through Dynamite’s various distribution channels!"
"At Dynamite, our mission is always bringing diverse and entertaining stories to all kinds of audiences through the art forms that we love," said Nick Barrucci, Dynamite CEO and Publisher. "The relationship I've had with Immortal Studios’ Head of Publishing Hank Kanalz over the years has always been great, and when he presented this opportunity with Immortal Studios, and the ability to work with Peter and his team, I could not be more excited. This partnership is a natural fit with the ethos of our companies and I can't wait for readers to dig into these stories. Whether there are kids and adults craving this kind of representation and storytelling, or someone unfamiliar about to be swept up in something magical, we're looking forward to responses!"
Immortal Studios’ titles include:
The Adept by writers Tasha Huo, Charlie Stickney, Alison Norrington, and Peter Shiao, artist Yishan Li, and letterer Deron Bennett. The Adept tells the deep and personal story of a young woman on a journey to master an ancient martial art that was thought to be long lost. Filled with action, transformation, and mystery, the key theme is about homecoming and redemption. Two action-packed chapters have been produced to date, featuring kidnapped pop stars, arcade brawls, and more.
Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsman by writer Peter Shiao, artists Pop Mhan and Jheremy Raapack, colorist Rex Lokus, and letterer Deron Bennett. In this series, protagonist Phil Du escapes his struggles through parkour and online gaming. But when he's suddenly pulled into an ancient order of supernatural warriors amidst a civil war and cataclysm, he will have to step up to his destiny.
Fa Sheng: Origins is created by Peter Shiao, written by Rylend Grant, illustrated by Dexter Wee, colored by Omi Remalante Jr., and letterred by Deron Bennett. The tale chronicles the humble beginnings of a great Shaolin Master. The series is written by Rylend Grant, a screenwriter, author, and Ringo Award-winning comic book creator who is also an ordained Soto Zen Buddhist monk. The series is recommended for fans of films based on the story of Ip Man, including the eponymous series and The Grandmaster.
Assassin G by writer Jen Troy and artist He Tao, featuring coloring by Hi-Fi Design and lettering by AndWorld Design. This summer Immortal Studios will launch a Kickstarter campaign for this new series, from the CW’s Supergirl TV series writer Jen Troy, about the deadly saga of vengeance between warring factions in the martial underworld in the early 1980s. The novel that inspired Assassin G by Wuxia master Shiao Yi, Gan 19 Mei (Gan the 19th Sister), is known as one of the preeminent IPs in the Chinese speaking world which has been adapted for television four times, and this new series will mark the story’s first comic book and English language adaptation. The Assassin G Kickstarter pre-launch page for the campaign is now live.
“We plan on continuing to use Kickstarter to crowdfund new concepts and series, including our fourth series, Assassin G,” said Immortal Studios’ Head of Publishing Hank Kanalz. “Kickstarter’s platform allows us to engage with a very active reader base, and take their feedback into consideration, prior to publishing the official, final version of any given series. This publishing partnership with Dynamite allows us to expand into the direct market and bookstores. With their success with The Boys and so many top shelf licensed comics, Dynamite brings an expertise that will help in our mission to broaden the wuxia genre in comics to a wider audience. I am thrilled to be working with Nick and crew again.”
Immortal Studios feature a range of variant covers from the likes of Gene Ha, Jim Cheung, Ming Doyle, Gian Gulang, Joyce Chin, and more. Other talents and staff behind the curtains include former longtime DC Comics editor Brian Cunningham and team members with experience at Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, 20th Century Fox, and more.
“Heroes in the wuxia genre are often everyday people who become extraordinary not because of machines or nuclear spills, but their own spirit and initiatives,” said Shiao. “Immortal carries on the legacy of the wuxia genre and my father’s work, re-introducing and calibrating these timeless concepts for a modern, global audience who are hungry to connect with stories that are empowering. It is always during times of uncertainty that Wuxia rises, and we are very honored to be carrying its flag."
More details on release dates, format, and more will be forthcoming from Dynamite and Immortal Studios.
Immortal Studios is repped by Lindsay Conner at O’Melveny Meyers. Nick Barrucci and Dynamite Entertainment are repped by Charlie Ferraro at UTA, Ford Lyttle Gilmore of Illuminati Entertainment and Michael Lovitz of Lovitz IP Law.
About Dynamite Entertainment
Dynamite was founded in 2004 and is home to several best-selling comic book titles and properties, including The Boys, The Shadow, Red Sonja, Warlord of Mars, Bionic Man, A Game of Thrones, and more. Dynamite owns and controls an extensive library with over 3,000 characters (which includes the Harris Comics and Chaos Comics properties), such as Vampirella, Pantha, Evil Ernie, Smiley the Psychotic Button, Chastity, and Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt. In addition to their critically-acclaimed titles and bestselling comics, Dynamite works with some of the most high-profile creators in comics and entertainment, including Gail Simone, Christopher Priest, Leah Moore, Kevin Smith, David Walker, Vita Ayala, Danny Lore, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Mark Russell, Brandon Thomas, Amy Chu, Reginald Hudlin, Nancy Collins, David Walker, Steve Orlando, Greg Pak, Jenny Frison, Matt Wagner, and a host of up-and-coming new talent. Dynamite is consistently ranked in the upper tiers of comic book publishers and several of their titles - including Alex Ross and Jim Krueger's Project Superpowers - have debuted in the Top Ten lists produced by Diamond Comics Distributors. In 2005, Diamond awarded the company a GEM award for Best New Publisher and another GEM in 2006 for Comics Publisher of the Year (under 5%) and again in 2011. The company has also been nominated for and won several industry awards, including the prestigious Harvey and Eisner Awards.
About Immortal Studios
Immortal Studios is an independent, comics first, content studio that is building the world’s first interconnected, comics-based Wuxia (martial arts-fantasy) storyverse with the aim to Awaken the Hero in Everyone with its uniquely empowering and elevating “essential Wuxia” ethos where Everyone is the One. The Company has created its own “radical fan engagement” playbook and is developing, funding, marketing and distributing content in concert with its users.