ComicLab Ep 196 — Will Substack change comics?
Today’s show is brought to you by Wacom — makers of the powerful, professional, portable Wacom One! This week, we’re discussing the recent exodus of top talent from corporate comics to Substack, a subscription-based email-newsletter platform.
Questions asked and topics covered…
- What is Substack? Substack is an online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers.
- Creators are given a payment for their first year — between $3k and about $150k. After that, the creators take the standard deal, which is based on the number of subscribers they’ve earned, minus fees from Substack, credit-card companies, etc.
- What’s in this for Substack? Buying users. They currently have around 500,000. Patreon has 6 million.
- Will this be a turning point for the creators? We’ll know in about 366 days — after the advance runs out and they’re left with only their subscribers.
- What does this say about Marvel/DC? If things were going well with corporate comics, then a start-up like Substack would never be able to lure top talent away.
- Is this good for readers? We’ll know in 366 days.
- What does this mean for webcomics? Very little. It’s a variation on a theme that many of us have been applying for over 20 years.
- Is this a good time for Substack creators to abandon social media? No. If anything, this is the time to double down.
- What about some other creators that Substack has signed who embrace hateful messages?
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