Writer/artist Jeff Lemire has joined a growing number of comic creators to partner with the online platform Substack to serialize new original comics ahead of their traditional debut via a paid subscription newsletter - although for Lemire, it's more than that.
Lemire plans to serialize two major projects - an original graphic novel called Fishflies, and a new Black Hammer comic centered on the Colonel Weird character.
"I don't even know what to call it really, 'newsletter' seems much too limiting for what I hope to do on this platform," Lemire writes. "My intention here is to create something akin to an online studio; a new platform to publish new comics and a meeting place to share all my work in progress with you and also offer lots of exclusive new material.
"I want to create a direct link between me and my readers," he continues. "So, this will be a place that I can share each step of my creative process with you and a platform to actually create and publish new comics too."
The plot of Fishflies is currently under wraps, but Lemire says he plans to publish five pages a week on Substack and anticipates the series itself to run over 500 pages - which would be one of his longest projects as a writer/artist.
"In many ways, Fishflies is a culmination of everything I’ve done in comics," he writes. "I think it combines the best of all my books. It sits right beside Essex County in terms of tone and setting, but also brings in some of the weirder genre aspects of books like Sweet Tooth and Gideon Falls."
The Black Hammer Colonel Weird comic will be co-written by Tate Brombal and painted by Ray Fawkes. Lemire says he plans to also debut new Black Hammer short comics on his Substack.
Lemire assures readers that all of these Substack-first comics will eventually be published traditionally, but his paid Substack newsletter will be the first chance to read it, as well as see behind-the-scenes talk and art from him. There are also plans for exclusive variant covers, giclee prints, commission opportunities, and more.
Lemire hasn't announced when the Substack-first comics will begin on his newsletter platform, but writes that the "first exclusive drop happens later this week!"
Substack is one of many ways to read comics digitally. Check out Newsarama's recommended best digital comics readers.