Creator-first digital comics platform Zestworld is moving into an open beta phase with a new site design, free comics, and a new wave of creators. All users will be able to read comics for free, but subscribers will get early access to new books, in addition to behind-the-scenes content, invite-only events, virtual drawing sessions, and messages from creators.
Subscribers may also have their likeness featured in an upcoming comic. Zestworld’s offerings seem to differentiate from other digital comics platforms by not only offering access to what creators are working on but by creating a system for requesting digital commissions that makes the process easier for both fans and creators.
Essentially, comics readers who currently subscribe to one or more digital comics platforms and creator-specific Patreons or other paywall-protected pages could potentially consolidate their purchases and/or subscriptions and focus instead on Zestworld.
The platform has also created an IP Rights Tool, which helps creators protect their content and adapt it more seamlessly, which is key in the rapidly changing and growing digital comics market.
“We’ve spent the past several months testing, learning, and iterating alongside our fantastic launch creators while we build Zestworld into the premiere creator-owned vertical scroll comics platform,” says CEO and co-founder Chris Giliberti in the announcement.
“All the while, our creator waitlist has grown to encompass hundreds of the leading names in the industry. We’re delighted to emerge from closed beta and welcome new creators in waves. Next up: David Marquez, Liana Kangas, and Bill Walko, among others, will join us to publish comics, fulfill commissions and build their communities through Zestworld. From here, we plan to double the creator population on our platform each month to meet both creator and fan demand, and encourage any interested creators to sign up for our waitlist.”
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Writer/artist Marquez will release The UnChosen and will be available for commissions. In Zestworld’s announcement, he says, “The Zestworld team that Chris Giliberti has assembled brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from across the tech, publishing, and entertainment fields.
“The platform they’re building represents an incredible opportunity for creators like me to tell our own groundbreaking stories and to engage with readers and fans in fresh, innovative ways. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to launch my new comic, The UnChosen. I’m especially excited to offer digital commissions to my fans for the first time ever, made easier than ever thanks to Zestworld’s commission request system.”
Walko will also be accepting digital commissions, as will Kangas and artist Alejandra Murillo. Writer/artist Keith Champagne will launch an exclusive digital version of his Kickstarted-funded (opens in new tab) comic Daybreak! on Zestworld.
Creators interested in publishing their work through Zestworld or taking advantage of its digital commissions system can share their work and apply for the waiting list at the platform’s website (opens in new tab).
Daybreak! is far from the only successfully crowdfunded comic, but these are the most successful comics Kickstarter project of all time.