Independent publishing company Echelon Graphic Novels has inked a development deal with Platinum Studios, Inc., a comic book-based entertainment company controlling a library of thousands of comic characters. The multi-year agreement entitles Platinum to develop the properties into entertainment franchises for theatrical release, TV/streaming and merchandising. Platinum CEO Scott Mitchell Rosenberg will produce, and VP of development Kendall Rosenberg and development executive John Lechago will co-produce.
Publisher Ethan Murphy founded Echelon to create an outlet for more diverse stories. The comics world has seen a massive influx of new authors and readers from all backgrounds, further fueled by conventions, where indie properties see greater exposure alongside the mainstream titles. The time is right for Platinum Studios to bring these stories to a wider audience on big and small screens.
Echelon’s flagship title, “Slate & Ashe,” about an unlikely partnership between a young, Black policeman and a zombie in a dystopian future, debuted in 2013 at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., selling out of its initial run and garnering recognition as a Con favorite.
Echelon has since expanded its team with co-owner and colorist Veronica Smith, editor Susan L. Holland, illustrators Zach Snyder, Eder Messias and Adam Fields, cover artists Carlos Eduardo and Luigi Teruel, and graphic designer and letterer Alex Scherkenbach. Echelon has self-published published three more titles, with another debuting in 2021:
- “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” (2021)—A fantasy world of supernatural creatures is threatened by the delusions of a young prince with severe PTSD.
Rosenberg created and produced the $175 million-grossing Cowboys & Aliens, based on the New York Times best-selling graphic novel of the same name, which Platinum Studios also produced alongside Universal Pictures, DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. Rosenberg previously owned Malibu Comics (later sold to Marvel/Disney), through which he brought the billion-dollar Men in Black franchise to Sony. “After reading ‘Slate & Ashe,’ I immediately wanted to see more. Ethan’s whole line of comics is as amazing as it is diverse. There’s absolutely a wide audience potential for them all,” Rosenberg said.
“Storytelling has always played a pivotal role in my life,” said Murphy. “I always knew that I wanted to carry on that tradition, but now, I’m more motivated than ever. People of all colors need to feel represented by what they read, inspired by heroes that genuinely resonate with them and given hope by a voice they can understand. I’m thrilled to have Platinum Studios join us on this journey.”
Visit www.echelongnovels.com for more information.