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Indie comics news: "Graphic.ly" ends, "Talismen" returns, and "13 Coins" arrives

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The era of "Graphic.ly" is over!

As of this time next month, the digital comic book publisher once known as "Graphic.ly" will cease to exist as we know it. Having been founded in 2007, the company once envisioned itself as "iTunes for comic books" and at one point was the biggest competitor in the business of legal downloads of comic books, ComiXology. However, as ComiXology expanded its' technology and started forming exclusive deals with many top publishers (including Marvel Comics and DC Comics), the influence of Graphic.ly began to wane. They responded by expanding their company to include e-books as well, and distributing comics via those devices instead of their own app. By 2010, the company purchased the "IFanboy" podcast and were instrumental in publishing Ken Garing's "Planetoid", which now has a home at Image Comics.

Today, Business Wire announced that another digital publishing company, "Blurb", had bought out or "acquired" the staff of the Colorado based company, but not their digital content. Thus, while its' key employees (including founder Micah Baldwin) will soon be working for the self-publishing "Blurb", "Graphic.ly" will cease to exist. Users and publishers have thirty days to download their "products" before the servers are purged. Ironically, their biggest competitor ComiXology has since become part of the Amazon brand, perhaps showing the unfortunate monopolization of the growing digital comic book industry.

Forgotten webcomic "Talismen" becomes the new Caliber Comics' first offerings!

As announced back in March, Gary Reed stated that he would be reviving his comic book publishing company "Caliber Comics" from the depths it had fallen to since 2001. No projects for the reborn company were announced, until this week. Its' first offering will come in July, and is titled "Talismen: Return of the Exile". The series began life as a webcomic written by Steven P. Jones and drawn by Barb Jacobs which ran from 2005-2007, even winning a nomination in the "Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards" for "outstanding dramatic comic" in 2007. Unfortunately, since then the unfinished series ended and become lost to the void of the Internet.

The series centers around Ollie, a corporal in the Marines who finds himself transported to a strange dimension as he is about to be murdered by terrorists. The realm is called the "Plane of Imaginings", where dreams and nightmares are real, and is a land he is destined to save. Caliber's graphic novel in the summer will reprint all of the lost webcomic installments in color as well as feature new material finishing the story for a price tag of $16.99. This graphic novel will also tie into a prose novel, "Talismen: the Nightmare Knife" which tells of Ollie's first visit to the realm. Once the home of many creator owned series, this looks like a good initial step in Caliber Comics' resurgence.

Simon Bisley and "Hitman" writers team for "13 Coins"!

U.K. based publisher Titan Comics have just announced another new series coming in October which sees some big time talents unite. Artist Simon Bisley, best known for working on "Lobo" in the 90's as well as "Heavy Metal", "2000 A.D.", "Hellblazer", and "TMNT: Body Count" is uniting with writers Martin Brennan and Michael B. Johnson ("Hitman: Absolution") to produce "13 Coins". The series follows John Pozner, an ex-con who founds out he's descended from angels and is the key to both Biblical goodness and evil. The first issue hits stores on October 8th, and a trailer for the series was posted on YouTube.

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