CBS’ Simon & Shuster dipped its toe into the world of online video over the summer with the launch of its own digital production studio to produce digital HD video interview series and other features around its authors.

Nothing remarkable on the surface. However their first video series features not only Stephen King discussing his new graphic novel, but it’s followed by 25 episodes (drawn by Marvel’s award-wining comic book artist Alex Maleev, and colored by José Villarrubia) that you can watch online for free or purchase from iTunes at 99 cents per three 2-minute episodes.

Now the line starts to blur: is this just a clever promotional tool deployed first to promote a a hugely popular and profitable novelist, or are we watching a new kind of mashup where a venerable publisher morphs into a web video producer in the hopes of replacing revenue lost to the decline in literacy and reading? It’s a big question with a short answer: we’ll have to wait and see. Meantime, if you’re a Steven King fan you can now enjoy his work in a new way.

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