A number of well known comics creators unveiled plans today to publish their creator-owned comics via the newsletter platform Substack, signalling a new player making a major move into the comics business. James Tynion IV, Jonathan Hickman, Scott Snyder, Saladin Ahmed, and Molly Knox Ostertag all revealed that they will be creating and publishing comics that subscribers can receive as newsletters or read on the site.  

Tynion, who just won the Eisner Award for Best Comics Writer, announced that he turned down a three-year exclusive contract with DC because he received a grant from Substack to create his own comics on that platform via his Substack newsletter, . Batman #117 (due in November) and The Joker #14 (April 2022) will be Tynion’s last issues of those comics, but he said in a later post that he doesn’t rule out working on limited-run projects for DC in the future, and that DC vs. Vampires, which he outlined, will launch in October with Matt Rosenberg as writer. He also indicated that he will have “cool stuff” for retailers, and that he is developing additional projects that will be print-first. The Substack comics will eventually be released in print, but he hasn’t signed any contracts for that yet.

Tynion will continue doing his other creator-owned work for various publishers: Nice House on the Lake (DC Black Label), Something Is Killing the Children and Wynd (BOOM! Studios), and Department of Truth (Image).  His first Substack comic will be Blue Book, which he will do with artist Michael Avon Oeming, and he has four other projects in various stages of development. Substack subscribers will receive the comics in digital format only.

Hickman will create a new comics universe, to be called Three Worlds, Three Moons, in which he and other creators will tell different stories that all build up to a larger whole, he wrote on his Substack. He has partnered with artists Mike Del Mundo and Mike Huddleston to create a new studio to produce the comics, and writers Al Ewing, Tini Howard, and Ram V will all participate during the first month.

Ahmed described his Substack, The Copper Bottle, as “a pop-up imprint” and said that all his creator-owned work would appear there first. 

Snyder announced a different type of project on his Substack: a comics writing class, to be delivered via video along with writing tips in a regular newsletter. Snyder has just signed a deal with comiXology to produce eight new titles, which will eventually be published in print by Dark Horse (see “Dark Horse to Publish Eight New Scott Snyder Titles (After comiXology Originals Release)”).

Ostertag’s Substack will come out twice a week and will include a serialized graphic novel as well as commentary on her earlier and ongoing works. She said that most of her posts would be free, and she will donate her newsletter proceeds to charity, starting with the Trans Lifeline’s Migrant Program.