About Independent Comic Book Publishers
You think comics and your mind probably immediately goes to Marvel or DC Comics. It’s not your fault when both of those companies spend millions every year in advertising and have numerous films about their intellectual properties. But what about those indie comic book publishers? What about those hard working writers and artists who are slogging their guts out every day just so the world gets to know them and their art?
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite independent comic book publishers who are churning out release after release after release that are consistently incredible reading. So here we are, on our soapbox, preaching to you why you should check out every comic book company on this list. Enjoy!
1. Aftershock Comics
Founded in 2015, Aftershock Comics are an Independent Comic Book Publishing company based out of Sherman Oaks, California. As purveyors of exceptionally well written and artistically superb Science Fiction and Horror comic books it’s not surprising that Aftershock Comics is appearing at the top of this list. With previously published titles from the likes of comic book industry greats like Garth Ennis (A Walk Through Hell), Brian Azzarello (American Monster) and Marguerite Bennett (Animosity).
2. Skybound Entertainment
Founded in 2010, Skybound Entertainment is a multi-platform publishing company focusing on many mediums but with one foot always firmly entrenched in the world of comic book storytelling. Originally founded by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible) and David Alpert, Skybound is the company originally behind The Walking Dead comic book and, consequently, the TV show. Not to mention Outcast, Oblivion Song and the recently published comic book adaption of Shudder’s Creepshow horror anthology. Skybound Entertainment is also responsible for many other Film, TV and Gaming properties.
3. Zenescope Entertainment
Founded in 2005, Zenescope Entertainment are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Zenescope was founded by Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco with the aim to publish stories that bucked the trend of following the same trend and creative process left by their Marvel and DC Comics forebears. Stand out titles by Zenescope include Grimm Fairy Tales, Robyn Hood and Van Helsing.
4. BOOM! Studios
Founded in 2005, BOOM! Studios are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Los Angeles, California. BOOM! Studios was founded by Ross Richie and Andrew Cosby, and to this day, continues to walk that fine line between publishing original stories and licensed properties. Having published licensed titles such as Planet of the Apes, Power Rangers, Magic: The Gathering and Buffy the Vampire Slayer whilst also releasing titles by consummate comic book industry pros including James Tynion IV (Something Is Killing the Children), Christine Larsen (Orcs!), Caroline Breault (Nuclear Winter) and C.S. Pacat (Fence).
5. Antarctic Press
Founded in 1984, Antarctic Press are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in San Antonio, Texas. Since that time, Antarctic Press have published an impressive 1500+ range of comics which can be found all around the world. Comic Book titles like 8-Bit Zombie by Fred Perry and David Hutchison, Adventure Finders by Rod Espinosa, and most recently Punchline by Bill Williams and Mathew Weldon are a few of the many examples of comics you can find available from the good folks at Antarctic Press.
While in the 80s and 90s they received a bit of a cult following for their comics that were a bit more “adult” in nature, they have recently pivoted in the direction of releasing comics aimed towards a Younger Audience.
6. Oni Press
Founded in 1997, Oni Press are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Portland, Oregon. The company name, Oni, comes from a word in Japanese Folklore often referring to “ogre demons.” Despite recent online drama involving the company merging with fellow indie comic book company, Lion Forge, Oni Press continue to release Award Winning Titles that are both Creator Owned and Licensed Properties. Amongst these titles are the likes of Invader Zim, Rick and Morty and Wasteland. Not to mention huge favourite Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters by Chris Samnee and Laura Samee.
Founded in 1976, Fantagraphics are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Seattle, Washington. Fantagraphics was founded by Gary Groth and Michael Catron and is an American Publisher of alternative comics, comics strip anthologies, manga, magazines, and is home to the erotic Eros Comix imprint. Fantagraphics has a long and storied history (probably the longest on this list) of having published the work of worldly renowned cartoonists including Jessica Abel, Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Emil Ferris and Ed Piskor.
Founded in 2005, Markosia are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in London, United Kingdom. Markosia has gained a reputation for publishing a diverse assortment of comic books. From horror and fantasy/science fiction to super heroes and all ages books. Although, more prominent in the United Kingdom, you can get your hands on a Markosia release through most Comic Book stores around the world.
9. Mad Cave Studios
Founded in 2014, Mad Cave Studios are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Miami, Florida. Mad Cave Studios was founded by Mark London with the release of its first flagship title Battlecats (also written by Mark London). Since those early days, Mad Cave Studios has since gone on to release titles including Knights of the Golden Sun, Show’s End, Wolvenheart and Savage Bastards. Until recently, Mad Cave Studios has discovered the majority of its creative talent through running an annual Talent Search. However, they’re now accepting Creator Owned pitches.
10. Gestalt Publishing
Founded in 2005, Gestalt Publishing are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Applecross, Western Australia. Gestalt Publishing was founded by Wolfgang Bylsma and Skye Ogden, having founded and mentored creators who have gone on to build successful international careers including Tom Taylor, Andrew Constant and Justin Randall. Ever a stable on the Australian Comic Con scene, Gestalt Publishing are best known for Cleverman, The Deep, Eldritch Kid and Changing Ways.
Founded in 2010, Comics2Movies are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based just outside of Melbourne, Australia. Comics2Movies was founded by Shaun Keenan as a publishing company designed to explore the visual medium of comic books through their releases. Shaun has worked with numerous comic book creators to release titles including Fractured Shards, The 13th Labor, Talos of Sparta and XCT. Through his tireless efforts to release new comic books on a consistent basis it has raised Comics2Movies to the level of being one of Australia’s most successful Independent Comic Book Publishing Companies.
12. Black Mask Studios
Founded in 2012, Black Mask Studios are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Los Angeles, California. Black Mask Studios was founded by Matt Pizzolo, Steve Niles and Brett Gurewitz with the aim to support transgressive comic book creators. To give an idea of the creative vision the three had for Black Mask Studios, Steve Niles was once quoted as saying “If V for Vendetta were created today then there would be no publisher for it.” An impressive strong stance on the degradation and sameyness of the American comic book industry.
Titles that have spewed forth from the Black Mask Studios publishing doors include Beautiful Canvas by Ryan K Lindsay and Sami Kivela, Godkiller by Matt Pizzolo and Anna Muckcracker Wieszczyk, and Destiny by Pat Shand, Rosi Kampe and Manuel Preitano.
13. Ahoy Comics
Founded in 2018, Ahoy Comics are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Syracuse, New York. Ahoy Comics was founded by Hart Seely, Tom Peyer, Stuart Moore and Frank Cammuso. Ahoy Comics specialises in creator owned mini-series, with its standout comic book series including The Wrong Earth by Tom Peyer and Jamal Igle, Ash & Thorn by Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee, and Edgar Allan Poe’s Anthology series which involves a revolving door of talent.
14. TKO Studios
Founded in 2017, TKO Studios are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Los Angeles with its core focus being Graphic Novel publishing. TKO Studios was founded by Tze Chun and Salvatore Simeone, who to this day continue to release outstandingly well-presented Graphic Novels by Industry legends including Garth Ennis, Jeff Lemire, Steve Niles and many others. TKO Studios’ graphic novels tend not to stick to one specific genre and as a result, have delved into Horror, Thrillers, Wrestling and Noir storytelling.
15. Scout Comics
Founded in 2015, Scout Comics are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Fort Meyers, Florida. Scout Comics are a comic book publishing company first and with contacts throughout Hollywood that helped bring several Intellectual Properties to the small screen. Scout Comics was founded by Brendan Deneen, who functions as CEO, and has experience in Film, TV, Books and Comic Book Publishing. To date, Scout Comics has released comics worldwide by numerous independent comic book creators. Their comics span the Horror, Science Fiction, Noir, Fantasy, Romance and Slice of Life genres.
RELATED: Action Tank #1 Review (Scout Comics)
16. Vault Comics
Founded in 2016, Vault Comics are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Missoula, Montana. Vault Comics was founded by brothers Damian Wassel and Adrian Wassel, who continue to release incredible comics in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres. For many, when Vault Comics’ published series Vagrant Queen was turned into a TV show, is when Vault Comics were catapulted into mainstream attention.
17. Source Point Press
Founded in 2012, Source Point Press are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Saginaw, Michigan. Source Point Press was co-founded by Josh Werner and is part of Ox Eye Media (a company which publishing Gaming, Comics and many other kinds of Media). Source Point Press is home to many creator-owned titles including 20 Fists by Frankee White and Kat Bauman, Broken Gargoyles by Bob Salley and Stan Yak, Suicide Jockeys by Rylend Grant, Davi Leon Dias, Iwan Joko Triyono, and many more comics (too many of them to name).
18. AWA Studios
Founded in 2018, AWA Studios are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in New York. AWA Studios was founded by Axel Alonso, Bill Jemas and Jonathan Perkins Miller. The acronym, AWA, stands for Artists, Writers and Artisans. AWA Studios primarily releases Horror, Thrillers, Action and Adventure comics. Three of our favourite series of theirs would have to be Not All Robots by Mark Russell and Mike Deodato Jr, Telepaths by J. Michael Straczynski and Steve Epting, and The Joneses by Michael Moreci and Alessandro Vitti.
19. Psycho Janitor
Founded in 2006, Psycho Janitor are an Independent Comic Book studio based in Melbourne, Australia who usually publish their work under the Reverie Publications company. Psycho Janitor was founded by Rob Lisle and includes a range of comics which could best be described as having a zany, fun, off-kilter cartoonist style. Three of our favourite series would have to be The Devil’s Toilet, Sluggish and Vamoose.
Founded in the early 70s, Humanoids are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company originally based in France but have since moved their HQ to Los Angeles. Back in its heyday, Humanoids was originally the first publishing home of world renowned comic book artist and legend, Moebius. Thanks to Metal Hurlant (the original French version of the soon to be Amercanised Heavy Metal), Humanoids soon become quite well known as the French publisher bringing their titles to other parts of the world where comics are hugely popular (USA, UK).
Three of our favourite Humanoids series would have to be Space Bastards by Joe Aubrey/Eric Peterson and Darick Robertson, The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius, and NicNevin and the Bloody Queen by Helen Mullane, Dom Reardon, Matthew Dow Smith and Jock.
21. Bad Bug Media
Founded in 2021, Bad Bug Media are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Beckerley, West Virginia. Bad Bug Media was founded by Mike Tener and is the home of many comic book creators in the genres of Horror, Science Fiction, Teen, Fantasy, Adventure and Erotica. Three of our favourite Bad Bug series would have to be Midnight Highway, Vanya and Dead End Moon.
22. Reverie Publications
Founded in 1983, Reverie Publications are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Sunbury, Victoria in Australia. Reverie Publications was founded by Gary Dellar and proudly uses only Australian talent to bring their comic books to life. Three of our favourite Reverie Publishing comics would have to be Torn, The Dark Nebula and Draco Bentley.
Founded in 2011, Comixtribe are an Independent Comic Book Publishing Company based in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Comixtribe was founded by Tyler James and Steven Forbes, together they’ve released several books which can best be described as being multi-genre influenced. Three of our favourite Comixtribe comics would have to be Happy Hill, Wailing Blade and A Fistful of Pain.
Unfortunately, we can’t include everyone in this list so we’ve included below some Comic Book Publishing companies which we regard highly and recommend you check out:
- Iron Circus Comics
- Valiant Entertainment
- Dauntless Stories
- Top Cow Productions
- First Second Books
- Clover Press
- Dark Horse Comics
Who’s your favorite Indie Comic Book Publisher?
Did we miss anyone in this list?
Let us know on social media.