AWA, or Artists Writers and Artisans Inc, is a new well-funded comic book publisher operating out of New York City. Headed up by former Marvel publisher Bill Jemas and former Marvel EIC Axel Alonso, it's funded by James Murdoch. This month and last month would have been the big launch for their new titles, before the current situation shut down publishers, distributors, printers and retailers across the world. They did, however, manage to publish a few titles, which were all well received. Today, like fellow new publisher Bad Idea Comics, they look to be increasing their product rather than putting it on hold.
Two days ago, Bleeding Cool suggested that Bill Jemas had taken over the AWA social media as it had a certain tone to it. That was confirmed when he started signing the tweets. He writes "Defining ourselves as artists, writers and artisans who show and tell illustrated fiction, illustrated non-fiction and illustrated journalism clears the way for our collective enterprise to rise from the upcoming rubble and play an increasingly important role in the multi-genre media marketplace. Digital is the feeder system. Digital gives us the ability to do things that other formats can't. We go where news crews fear to tread."
Bill Jemas is hiring
And then Bill Jemas started getting specific on who he was looking to hire. "We're growing. AWA is launching a new imprint dedicated to graphic nonfiction and limitless creativity. We're looking for a leader – or two. We're hiring. AWA is commissioning writers, editors, journalists, directors and showrunners to show and tell stories optimized to play on smartphones."
At a time when other comic book publishers and distributors are making staffers unemployed, using Murdoch money might be a welcome trend. I know that AWA has been looking for a nonfiction editor for over six months now. They have now listed a positions on LinkedIn, for a documentary director as well. Is anybody out there interested? And does this mean they are planning to announce a nonfictional, journalistic comics line at some point this year?
I was once asked by Bill Jemas to pitch a sequel to his Marville comic book series at Marvel, though I never heard back from him after I did. Apparently it was enough for some to spread the gossip that I had ghost-written the original series for Jemas. While I have ghostwritten a comic book or two for some people over the years who should probably have known better, I definitely didn't do that one.