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Public Domain Goes Public
Or, why I made it a physical comic. Also: I am Spiderman
There was never any doubt in my mind that Public Domain would see print. It’s a comic about comics, so it had to exist in that single issue format, a format almost unchanged since the days when kids were buying Superman from newsstands. Sure, the paper is better, the printing is better, but it’s still just a floppy periodical, paper held together by a couple of staples. It can be rolled up and shoved in your back pocket as you head to your favourite spot to get lost in the latest adventure. It’s a COMIC BOOK.
And there was never any doubt as to where it would be published. Image Comics changed my life when Matt and I put out our first issue of Sex Criminals through them back in 2013. By that point Matt had worked for years at Marvel, so he knew the deal. He wrote, they owned. He got a paycheck, they got unlimited possibilities in perpetuity. So the rewards that came from a hit book that he co-owned with me was an incredible and well-earned reward for building a career at Marvel. And for me, holy shit what a stoke of beginner’s luck being attached to the brilliant star that is Matthew J. Fraction.
Image was started thirty years ago by creators who knew their value. They struck out on their own and created a space where writers and artists could own their own work. It was incredibly important to me to wholly own Public Domain given its subject matter, so what better place than the company that allowed Matt and I to publish our weird smut book full of feelings.
I didn’t publish Public Domain with a million variant covers. In fact, I just did one. I don’t have any feelings one way or the other for creators who go the million covers route. I just knew that I wanted this to be a comic that was for reading, not collecting (plus, I clearly hate making money). I can’t stop people from sending their copy to a company who inspects it and gives it a 9.8 and then places it between hard plastic, sealed away. But my wish is that you’ll roll it up, put it in your back pocket, head to your favourite spot, and read a story that will hopefully entertain you as much as it did me during the process of making it.
And to all my subscribers here on this Substack who have already read it, and the issues after: thank you. You were my first readers and your words of encouragement mean more to me than you’ll ever know.
OKAY, I GET IT. YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING, I DON’T KNOW, FUN NOW?
No! You can’t make me! I’m also sad that Chip Mosher is leaving ComiXology!
For those who don’t know, Chip headed up the ComiXology Originals program, which published Afterlift and is currently publishing The Allnighter. Chip is, by far, the best, most supportive person I’ve met in comics. The guy looks out for creators and just LOVE COMICS. Much like with Image, Jason Loo and I own our books with ComiXology because Chip believes in creator rights and made a home for them both at ComiXology and at Dark Horse for the later print editions.
It was Chip’s passion for comics and getting people to read them that secured us our Eisner win for Afterlift, I’m sure of it. That Eisner is Chip’s as much as it is any of us who worked on the book, but I’m not going to give him my trophy are you crazy
Anyway, wherever Chip goes next, I’ll follow. Especially if it’s a vacation. He deserves it! And so do I, dammit!!!
Also, just so you know, ComiXology Originals is in excellent hands with Bryce Gold! Bryce has comics in his veins and I’ve got no doubt that the line will continue to grow under him! Expect more Chip (Zdarsky) comics through ComiXology!!
OKAY MAYBE NOW YOU CAN TALK ABOUT SOMETHING FUN
Uhhh, lets see. My dear friend Tiffy, the model for Suzie in Sex Criminals, sent me this recently:
A reminder that, in 2012, I “rappelled” down City Hall dressed as Spiderman. I put “rappelled” in quotes because the ledge at the top pushed the ropes out too far and made it hard to really do classic rappelling, so it was mostly just me slowly lowering myself without dying.
So, yeah. This week’s newsletter’s theme is that you shouldn’t risk your life for Spiderman!!
GOD YOU’RE AN IDIOT
But I’m YOUR idiot