Dynamite has announced 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 Kickstarter, Immortal Studios has successfully funded three comic book series as part of a larger shared universe. With Dynamite, these action-packed titles will be available through direct market comic stores, digital vendors, bookstores, and beyond in multiple formats, with more titles in the future.
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“Immortal Studios’ Storyverse is spearheaded by the company’s Founder and CEO Peter Shiaowho 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 Matrixand Star Warsas 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 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 of Dynamite. “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!”
Titles to look for include:
The Adept by writers Tasha Huo, Charlie Stickney, Alison Norrington, and Peter Shiaoartist Yishan Liand letter 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 Shiaoartists Pop Mhan and Jheremy Raapackcolorist Rex Lokusand letter 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 Shiaowritten by Rylend Grantillustrated by Dexter Weecolored by Omi Remalante Jr.and lettered 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 Taofeaturing 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, 甘 19 妹 (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’ titles feature a range of variant covers from the likes of Gene Ha, Jim Cheung, Ming Doyle, Gian Gulang, Joyce Chin, and more. Other behind-the-scenes talents include former longtime DC Comics editor Brian Cunningham as well as others 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,” Shiao said. “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.”
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.
Details on release dates, format, and more to come!