Outgoing Amazing Spider-Man writer Nick Spencer will lead a host of top comic book creators including Jonathan Hickman, Scott Snyder, Ram V, Molly Ostertag, and Saladin Ahmed in starting comic subscription newsletters through digital publishing platform Substack, as announced via the New York Times (opens in new tab).
The Times credits Spencer with "brokering" the influx of creators to Substack, stating Spencer began working with Substack founder Chris Best in the period of 2020 in which comic book distribution was interrupted due to COVID-19 shutdowns. Spencer's involvement with Substack was first reported in June (opens in new tab), though the confirmation comes with the announcement of the aforementioned creators, as well as a promise of more creators to be named.
Writer James Tynion IV is also included in the Times' announcement, having broken the news of his involvement with Substack himself through his personal newsletter, along with his impending departure from Batman (opens in new tab) to focus solely on his creator-owned work.
The creators who come to Substack will retain sole ownership of their work, be it comics, instructional material, or other publications released through the platform, while also being paid by Substack. The Times states Substack will keep "most of the subscription revenue for the first year" of its deals with creators, with the platform keeping 10% from then on, though the creators themselves will decide if their content subscriptions will cost money and if so how much.
Several of the creators bringing their work to Substack have already revealed stories they plan to tell on the platform.
Tynion revealed his story Blue Book with Michael Avon Oeming, which recounts tales of alien encounters taken from real testimony (the name comes from the so-called Project Blue Book collection of alien evidence known to real-world conspiracy theorists).(opens in new tab)
Meanwhile, Miles Morales: Spider-Man (opens in new tab) writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Dave Acosta will create Terrorwar, about a dystopian future where people literally battle their own fears given shape.
And writer Jonathan Hickman will enlist his own team of co-creators for a story titled Three Worlds Three Moons, similar to his approach as 'Head of X' for Marvel's House of X/Powers of X (opens in new tab) X-Men line. Alongside artists Mike Del Mundo and Mike Huddleston, Hickman will bring in writers Ram V and Tini Howard, among others. He'll also allow his subscribers some say in how the story is told - though the details of how this could work haven't been spelled out yet.
Finally, Dark Nights: Death Metal (opens in new tab) writer Scott Snyder, who recently inked a deal to release a host of creator-owned comics through digital reader app Comixology and publisher Dark Horse (opens in new tab), will create a newsletter of instructional material on how to break into and create comic books.
The Times does not state the start dates for the newsletters from the listed creators.
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