Kingstone CEO Art Ayris with veteran Kingstone artist Danny Bulanadi and his agent Frank Baldervarona
So many people ask us, “What is Kingstone all about?” that we thought we would provide a quick answer to that question and share some of the Kingstone story. Our brand promise is quick and easy - Ordinary People. Extraordinary Stories. But if you want to dive deeper, below you can find more of the personal details that drive our passion to bring heroic, world-changing stories to life every day.
Marvel and DC are the titans in the comics industry but where was the company for inspiring tales and the stories of the real superheroes? Kingstone felt compelled to be that answer.
As a new generation of Americans is discovering comics, they are simultaneously disengaging with Bible reading. A recent Barna study commissioned by the American Bible Society revealed a stark truth about Bible engagement. In 2015, 32% of millennials reported never reading the Bible, with 48% of teens reporting reading the Bible “less than once a year or never.” 1 Yet one does not need to look far on the cultural landscape to see that comics continue their surge in popularity with a 42% increase in sales over the last five years and a 56% increase over the past 15 years.2 Kingstone thinks that is a stat that evangelicals should pay very close attention to.
In fact, the company’s flagship product, The Kingstone Bible, was a direct response to declining Bible engagement among teens and Millennials. This epic comic version of the world’s best-selling and most translated book was a seven plus year effort to help America’s least Bible-literate generation engage in the Holy Scriptures. But the seminal project has done a whole lot more and is exploding in languages all around the world thanks to Kingstone’s growing list of global media partners.
The founder of Kingstone, Art Ayris, was a small town pastor finding some measures of success in media. Winning screenplay contests, having his properties optioned for motion pictures, as well as writing and producing a film that won multiple film festivals and was broadcast in several languages, only fueled his appetite for more materials to connect with the next generation. Then came what the founder calls his “God magnet.” After a 40-day fast to clarify and discern God’s purposes in all this, he was led to launch Kingstone. As Ayris unashamedly states, “It was truly a classic case of flying the airplane as we built it, with all the accompanying hard nose landings along the way.” Even though the company ran out of capital three times, the founder and his wife Kelly fronted money to keep Kingstone alive and the comics flowing. But finally a small group of visionary investors provided the capital needed to help the company blossom and grow to where it is today.
Kingstone now has signed an animation agreement on The Kingstone Bible, is developing an innovative new app, has one of its properties under option for a major motion picture, is in 95 countries (and climbing) and is coming out with some fresh surprises for 2017 and 2018.
We encourage you to engage with us and become a part of the Kingstone story!