451 Media Group , the digital media company co-founded by Transformers director Michael Bay, is launching a new publishing division for graphic novels.
The company was first announced this spring with a large investment from China’s Guangdong Alpha Animation. In addition to Bay, the company’s founding partners include John and Anthony Gentile (who were involved in creating popular kids’ brands like the Micronauts and Visionaries), and 451 CEO Douglas Nunes.
451 Interactive Publishing will release both print and digital graphic novels. Rather than treating them as separate products, 451 will use T+ink’s Touchcode technology to connect the print and digital copies, with the print novel unlocking content on readers’ smartphones and tablets.
“We discover great stories by way of our team of top-notch writers, screenwriters and authors and then work with our technology partners to turn those stories into truly immersive entertainment experiences,” said Nunes in the launch release.
451 will partner with online video network Machinima to distribute the content, starting with sneak peeks this summer. The actual graphic novels are supposed to debut at around the time of New York Comic Con in October.
The initial creator lineup includes screenwriters Scott Rosenberg and Skip Woods, as well as novelist/TV writer George Pelecanos. (That’s an image from Rosenberg’s Bad Moon Rising up top, drawn by Ty Dazo.)