Jeff Lemire is the latest major comic book creator to announce he has signed up to Substack as part of Nick Spencer's promotional Substack grant scheme, to debut new comic books digitally to subscribers and share the process of creation. He writes in his first Substack missive;
With that, I'm excited to announce FISHFLIES, the first project that I will publish here which is my next major graphic novel. FISHFLIES is a project I am both writing and illustrating, and I've been working on it since I finished Mazebook and Sweet Tooth: The Return at the end of 2020. At the time of writing this I have about 120 pages fully drawn, and the entire story is plotted out. It's going to be a BIG book. Probably my longest book since I finished the original Sweet Tooth series. I'm projecting it to be at least 500+ pages long, and it will likely take me a couple more years to draw. In many ways FISHFLIES is a culmination of everything I've done in comics. I think it combines the best of all by books. It sits right beside Essex County in terms of tone and setting, but also brings in some of the weirder genre aspects of books like Sweet Tooth and Gideon Falls. Starting next week I will begin serializing FISHFLIES next week, posting approximately 5 pages a week (depending on natural stop points in the story) and then to also post extensive process material as I work on new pages. And, when I finish serializing a complete chapter of the book, I will then provide a digital copy for you to download. Essentially you will be able to read the new book and watch me create it in real time as well.
He also states that he will publish a number of Black Hammer comics this way as well.
There will also be a number of new Black Hammer stories available exclusively to subscribers as well! I'm collaborating with a number of exciting creators to create some new Black Hammer short stories that I'll publish here over the next year. There will also be one larger Black Hammer story as well, a full-length Colonel Weird comic co-written by Barbalien: Red Planet and House of Slaughter writer Tate Brombal and fully painted by my good friend Ray Fawkes.
He also promised that the behind-the-scenes content will be extensive and go back through his whole career. Say, I wonder what he had planned for 5G? And plenty of exclusive merch for you to spend even more money on. Here are his Substack subscription levels.
- FREE: You get access to my weekly free post that has a snapshot of my current projects and content. Only a small taste of all the awesome going on in my Substack.
- $7/MONTH: You get access to everything. Every new comic. Every post. Access to my Secret Store, which will have monthly exclusive drops featuring; limited edition prints, exclusive variant covers, art, and much more.
- $75/ANNUAL: You STILL get access to everything, but pay $9 bucks less over the course of the year, BUT there are some incentives to sign up early…
- First 500 Annual Subscribers: Free download of a digital copy of one of my early out-of-print comics.
- First 200 Annual Subscribers: Name entered into a lottery to be one of 15 subscribers to get an hour long Zoom with me in my studio to ask me anything.
- First 100 Annual Subscribers: Exclusive FISHFLIES Signed Mini-Comic/Ashcan (not available anywhere else outside my Substack)
- First 50 Annual Subscribers: Name entered into a lottery to win one of 5 pieces of original art from FISHFLIES.
- First 25 Annual Subscribers: A quick headsketch of one of my creator owned characters of my choosing.
He also addresses some criticisms that Substack has received, saying
I want to take this opportunity to address the elephant in the room. As some of you may know, Substack has a history of criticism regarding extreme transphobic opinions, opinions that have deterred and alienated both creators and fans alike. Following the lead of my colleague, the super talented Chip Zdarsky, and Substack Professional Molly Ostertag, I too will pledge my subscriber money to a charity that promotes a safe space for all. As my launch with Substack is funded by a generous grant, my portion of this year's subscription money will be donated to Rainbow Railroad, a non-profit that works to help LGBTQI+ people find the safety they need. You can read more about Rainbow Railroad and the excellent work they do HERE.