Skottie Young has joined a growing number of comic writers and comic artist/writers who have joined the Substack platform. Through Young's company Stupid Fresh Mess, the artist/writer says he will be offering the exclusive first look at upcoming "comics, illustrated prose, children's books, etc." including the relaunch of his comic book series I Hate Fairyland (opens in new tab), which was previously published through Image Comics.(opens in new tab)
"You all have no idea how excited I am to throw myself back into that world with those characters!" Young says in his newsletter. "I’ll get into more details in future posts, but for now, just know that Gert, Larry and the rest of the gang will be returning via your inbox and comic shops near you in the coming year!!! And the best part, you all will watch it all come to life right here!"
It's important to note that Young mentions "and comic shops" in this announcement, assuring this new volume of I Hate Fairyland isn't Substack-exclusive - just Substack-first, like the digital-first comics that DC, Marvel, and other publishers have been doing for years.
"I’ve been making comics BOOKS for twenty years and that ain’t gonna stop now! You better believe my comics will GO TO PRINT and are going to be all up in your stores!" Young explains. "This will be a place for you and the readers to watch them come to life and take shape! In fact, BECAUSE OF THIS SPACE, I’ll be able development much more creator-owned content and bring them all to press!"
Young will also be moving his previously free blogging about original art sales, commission lists, merchandise, and news about his upcoming comics, over to the Substack platform. In addition, he touches on offering "archives of some of my comic library," inferring his creator-owned works such as I Hate Fairyland, Bully Wars, and Middlewest.
As part of this announcement, Young assures his fans that this decision to partner with Substack doesn't mean the end of his superhero work with Marvel. He plans to continue writing the publisher's Strange Academy series, and a "new project coming up" with Marvel as well.
Substack is a content-delivery platform specializing in email newsletters. Individuals can sign up to write and publish newsletters, and charge a monthly or yearly subscription for those that read it. In 2020, the company launched Substack Pro - an invite-only service where they give out "grants" (as James Tynion IV calls it) to certain creative individuals with a quantifiable large following to produce content - be it blogs, journalism, music, art, instructional service, or in this case, comics - that will debut exclusively via one of these subscription-only Substack newsletters.
James Tynion IV, Jonathan Hickman, Scott Snyder, Molly Osterag, Ram V, and Saladin Ahmed are the first wave of comics creators to announce their involvement in Substack Pro, although more - such as today's Skottie Young - are also coming on board.
From how the creators have been discussing these new Substack-first comics works, the comics will eventually be published in more 'traditional' comic book and graphic novel formats. Similar to crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Patreon, these Substack Pro 'grants' allow creators to have more funding while the comics are actually created than what they would normally expect from publishers.
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