According to Deadline, the two halves of the new company "will continue to exercise relative autonomy in publishing decisions," with an emphasis on creator-owned titles. Six original graphic novels, five new ongoing series and reissued trade collections are targeted for release under the new banner this year, beginning in September.
The website emphasizes the implications of the merger will extend beyond comics publishing, into television and film.
Founded in 1983 by Ken Levin and Mike Gold as First Comics, 1First was one of a wave of independent publishers that sprang up in the early years of direct market, releasing creator-owned comics that weren't subject to the Comics Code -- "Badger," "Nexus," "American Flagg," "Grimjack" and "Dreadstar," among them.
The company closed in 1992, only to be revived in 2011 by Levin, a producer of the television adaptations of "Painkiller Jane," "The Amazing Screw-On Head" and "Preacher."
Established in 1999 by Josh Blaylock, Devil's Due has released a mix of creator-owned and licensed comics over the years, including "G.I. Joe," "Hack/Slash" and "Forgotten Realms." Following cutbacks in 2008, the company relaunched in 2012; its current stable of titles includes "Drafted," "Squarriors" and "Plume."