By George Gene Gustines
American Ronin, about highly trained corporate operatives; Fight Girls, about warriors vying to be queen of the galaxy; and Bad Mother, about a parent searching for her missing daughter: These are some of the stories that are coming from a new comics publisher, Artists, Writers & Artisans, one that is posing the question, what stories could we develop if we begin with a blank slate?
In comic books, there are two main publishing models. One emphasizes flagship characters — like Batman and Spider-Man — whose success largely benefits their companies, DC and Marvel Comics. The other is creator-focused, where hits like The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, can mean a financial windfall for its creators. AWA is aiming for something between the two: It will have interconnected superhero comics like DC and Marvel as well as stand-alone series like Image. And all of its creators will have a financial stake.