I’M GOING PRO!
Yep, that’s right! You may have heard of some other comic creators doing this in The New York Times this week. You didn’t read my name in that article because the quote I gave them was “Substack makes The New York Times look like The New York Time To Pack It In! And you can quote me on that! Legally you have to!”
So what am I even talking about? Well, I’m creating a branch of my newsletter that’ll be SUBSCRIBERS ONLY! It’s a way to create stuff directly for the people in my life that mean more to me than my family or friends: you, the reader!
I’ll talk about the bigger picture stuff at the end of this post (will I stay on Batman or not), but for now, let me tell you what’s on offer!
So, last year I finished illustrating SEX CRIMINALS. It was bittersweet. The bitter was that I loved creating it and was sad to see it go. The sweet was that my hand was a mashed mess of mincemeat from drawing and colouring 31 issues of a book and it was nice to kick back and relax and instead write thirteen books for Marvel and DC.
But then I had an idea. And now, like an absolute moron, I’m destroying my hand again.
Introducing … PUBLIC DOMAIN!
My new series that I’m writing and illustrating! PUBLIC DOMAIN is about a family of comic creators wrestling with their greatest creation and the people who lay claim to it. It’s a look at the industry through a fractured family and will feature a comic book artist nemesis named Brian Stegman.
I’ll be posting everything here along the way: the process, the scenes, the final books. It’s a chance to breathe life into the monthly comics grind by showing you all what goes into a comic. It’s mostly tracing photos of hands, but still!
And that’s not ALL!
Everywhere I go people ask me about whether or not I’ll be quitting Batman. And then they ask me about KAPTARA, my Image series with Kagan McLeod. We put out our first volume several years ago and it’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever been associated with. But, life gets in the way and volume two stalled.
That’s right! We’re back! KAPTARA, our grand, sci-fi, muscley adventure continues right here on Substack! Kagan has been producing gorgeous pages and I’ve been writing “interesting” words and we’ll be posting the results here for you, along with a handy catch-up guide for the uninitiated!
Beyond that, we’re making bite-size KAPTARA CHUCKLES installments with up-and-coming creators and old-and-grizzled creators! So many comics!
I’m sure a lot of you are wondering: will these also be in print? Probably! At some point! Do you have any leads on publishers??
Look, comics are all well and good, but what ELSE is on offer?
THE NEW COMIC CONVENTION!
Look, I don’t like saying it, but I’m done with comic conventions. I loved doing them, but I really don’t see the world returning to normal any time soon. I got bad lungs, old parents, and I can’t participate in events that bring together thousands of people.
Am I a loser? Sure. Am I being overly cautious? Maybe. Am I a loser? I already fucking said so, just back off, okay?
So what this means is, zdarsky.substack.com is going to be my home for all the things you used to get at conventions, beside twenty dollar hot dogs (for now).
I’ve teamed up with Comic Sketch Art to do mail-in signings! These opportunities will be for my annual subscribers with limits of 10 regular copies and 10 CGC copies a year. If you don’t know what CGC is then god bless you I wish I were you
I’ll be doing ZOOM PANELS to better connect with human beings! Human beings like … YOU? These will be open to 100 people, first-come, first-serve, and I’ll gladly answer questions and talk about all of my various projects, except for whether or not I’m quitting Batman.
One of my favourite things to do at shows were my brush and ink character head sketches. Since I stopped doing shows I find myself wandering the streets and asking people if they’d like an “Iron Man head” and getting no positive response.
So I’m doing them for YOU! I’ll be periodically drawing these medium-quality sketches and then randomly giving them out to my annual subscribers!
So, yeah! Just like a comic convention! Except you won’t accidentally run into Mark Waid and have to listen to his Justcie Society theories! Nice!
So … what ELSE?
That’s right! I’m a real entrepreneur now! I’ll be offering Annual and Chipnuts (I’ll explain later) subscribers the chance to purchase EXCLUSIVE variants of my upcoming books! The first one will be real soon for a new ongoing Image book I’m launching! I can’t say anything about it just yet, but the logo is … below!
What are CHIPNUTS variants? I TOLD you I’ll tell you in a bit. Calm down.
I’m planning to do several of these over the next year, all illustrated and designed by me! They’ll look nice, I promise!
So, what else??
I’ll be posting a BUNCH of videos, with tips and tricks and chuckles! They’ll be professionally made, not like my usual garbage, and they’ll be just for you! Yes, you!
Wow, what a hunk!!!
So, what ELSE????
STUFF FOR YOU TO STEAL
Look, a large reason for me doing this is to take a nice, loooong break from Twitter. I know, I know, I’m very good at it. But it’s destroying my brain! So this will be the only spot online where you can read my “jokes.” But not only that, I’ll be posting tweets here EXCLUSIVELY for you to claim as your own on twitter.com! Here’s an example:
Is Superman the mask or is Clark Kent the mask? Um, neither, they’re both human faces, you freak
Is it mine? Nope! It’s yours! Enjoy!
Like I said, I’m taking time off from twitter. So this will be the place to comment on things, get answers from me, tell me you like me but just as a friend. I want the comments section to feel robust and safe and fun! Until I yell at you for putting a hyphen in Spiderman!
Everyone who signs up for an Annual or Chipnuts subscription on Day One will get a personal thank you video from me whether you want it or not tbh
Okay, so that’s what’s happening! I’ll still be posting my public newsletters, letting you know what’s on sale, etc. But the BIG STUFF is going to be for the subscribers! Below are the various levels of support!
MONTHLY LEVEL—US$7/month: You get all the posts! Full of comics and fun and videos and big zoomz and all that jazz!
ANNUAL LEVEL—US$70/year: All of the above plus signing and variant opportunities!
CHIPNUTS LEVEL—US$250/year: You’re a CHIPNUT! You get everything! All of the above plus exclusive zoom hangouts and TWO copies of the super rare CHIPNUT IMAGE VARIANT that will only be available through here! Plus, REMARKS (li’l sketches on variants! Plus future SEEEECRET things!
And that’s that!
Look, I’ve never done a Kickstarter. Or a Patreon. This is my big leap into crowdfunding and direct reader-supported work. I’m excited to do this and show you what we’re working on. If you support me at any level I swear I won’t let you down again, Janice. Ah! Sorry, reflex. I swear I won’t let you down, reader.
Also, I’d like to announce that I’m quitting Batman (Batman: Urban Legends, final issue of my storyline in stores this week! No, they didn’t ask me to do more.)
Finally, I noticed fellow Substack Professional Molly Ostertag is donating her subscriber money to charity and I think that’s a swell idea. So I’m going to do the same. Because this year has been generously funded by a Substack grant, I’m going to donate my portion of the year’s subscription money to Rainbow Railroad, a great non-profit that works to help LGBTQI+ people who face persecution globally find safety. It’s a great organization.
One of the times I donated to them was after I co-wrote a Hulking book for Marvel with Anthony Oliveira. I donated my writing fee because, really, Anthony wrote the damned thing, while I just cheer-led and gave bad notes. I donated in his name since he refused to take the money and the fine folks at Rainbow Railroad thought he died. I’M SO SORRY ANTHONY.
Okay! Let’s do this!