Remember Platinum Studios? Scott Rosenberg's entertainment company that managed to make Cowboys & Aliens into a movie with some rather interesting manipulating of the statistics? And who ended up owning a bunch of Rob Liefeld's properties, and sold Youngblood to Andrew Rev at Terrific Production? Well that have a new deal to announce, with a comic book publisher you may be familiar with from comic con appearances, but not the direct market.
Echelon Graphic Novels is an independent publishing company founded in 2012 in Charlottesville, Virginia to tells original comic book stories that appeal to an increasingly diverse audience. The Echelon team aims to be part of a new generation of creators who are breaking barriers and elevating new, previously unheard voices in the world of comics. In 2019, Echelon launched the podcast "Creativity in Progress," which soon grew into The CiP Network, featuring multiple podcasts, Twitch streams and a YouTube channel. And they got the attention of Platinum.
Echelon Graphic Novels has now signed a development deal with Platinum Studios, Inc., to develop their graphic novels into movies, TV/streaming shows and merchandise. Platinum CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg will produce, and VP of development Kendall Rosenberg and development executive John Lechago will co-produce.
Publisher Ethan Murphy says he founded Echelon with the intention of creating an outlet for more diverse stories, as the industry has seen a massive influx of new authors and readers from more diverse backgrounds in recent years.
Echelon's flagship title, Slate & Ashe, is about an unlikely partnership between a young, Black policeman and a zombie in a dystopian future. It debuted in 2013 at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., selling out of its initial run on the first day. Echelon has since expanded its team with new co-owner and full-time colourist Veronica Smith, editor Susan L. Holland, professional illustrators Zach Snyder, Eder Messias and Adam Fields, cover artists Carlos Eduardo and Luigi Teruel, and graphic designer and letterer Alex Scherkenbach. From 2016-2019, Echelon has gone on to self-publish three more graphic novels, with another debuting next autumn,
Screenboy—In 2246, a boy jumps through portals to battle supervillains throughout iconic works of fiction.
Blackmoore—Labeled "mad" by her peers, scientist Dr. Viktoria Blackmoore's experiments accidentally wreak havoc in 19th century London while she attempts to innovate the world.
Divine Influence—A jaded angel finds the reincarnation of God in a toddler and must decide whether or not He's worth raising.
IpSwych (due Fall 2021)—A fantasy world of supernatural creatures is threatened by the delusions of a young prince with severe PTSD.
Rosenberg says "I fell in love with Slate & Ashe, then immediately read Ethan's other comics and was impressed with his storytelling abilities. I can see the potential for all of these stories to appeal to our audiences."
Ethan Murphy states "Echelon is proud to be part of a new generation of storytellers, particularly as comics and graphic novels have become a bigger part of popular culture. That means not just creating our own stories but supporting our peers and the creators coming up. Of course, our ultimate goal is to deliver a story experience like none other regardless of the medium. We've tackled print and airwaves. We can't wait to see how our worlds look on the big screen."