Kelly Thompson Launches Two Substack Comics, Black Cloak & The Cull

Kelly Thompson has joined the list of prominent comic book writers and artists who have been recruited with significant six-figure sums by Nick Spencer to start a subscription service at Substack, to publish their creator-owned books digitally ahead of print publication at a later date, probably from Image Comics. And I knew because I have already subscribed to her Substack newsletter. In which she tells us;

My first paying work in comics was a creator-owned book I did with Meredith McClaren called HEART IN A BOX (Dark Horse). It was an incredible experience in which we…barely made any money. Again, comics are really really hard. It's hard to make them, it's harder to make them good, and it's hardest to make them good and also financially viable. But Substack has taken some of those hurdles out of the way – clearing the way for me and a handful of fantastic creators/collaborators/colleagues – to make what we want and to own what we make. It's huge and I've never seen anything quite like it before in comics and I'm honored to be a part of it. And I hope YOU will be too. All of this means nothing without you guys – it's honestly a journey that needs us both, so I want you with me! It's a little scary but also thrilling.

And Kelly Thompson will be launching two comic books exclusively through her Substack subscriber list.

Subscribing to the paid tier of my Substack means you will get COMICS (and access to lots of other cool stuff). For these first two books I'm going to tell you about I have teamed up with Image Comics for the print editions (a dream come true – something I've been wanting to do not just for years as a creator, but since I was a teen)! So these comics will eventually also be beautiful books that you can hold in your hands if that's what you're into.

Told you it would be Image. she also stated that the comics would be edited by her Hawkeye editor Charles Beacham, and designed by friend-of-Bleeding Cool, Rian Hughes. So what are the two books? Well, the first is called Black Cloak, drawn and coloured by the afore-mentioned Meredith McClaren, and lettered by Becca Carey.

A classic "hard-boiled" detective story set in a futuristic fantasy world where the "technology" is magic-based and the world is full of "fantasy" characters that don't always get along and all have motives for murder.

Kelly Thompson Launches Two Substack Comics, Black Cloak and The Cull
Kelly Thompson Launches Two Substack Comics, Black Cloak and The Cull

And the second book, The Cull, with artist and colourist Mattia de Iulis.

A sci-fi fantasy adventure following a group of high school friends who venture to a forbidden local rock to make a short film, only to find themselves in another world…and when they return home, everything has changed and it's been years, not days.

Kelly Thompson Launches Two Substack Comics, Black Cloak and The Cull
Kelly Thompson Launches Two Substack Comics, Black Cloak and The Cull

Subscribers are to expect twenty pages a month of comics, five pages a week, with lots of behind-the-scenes shenanigans from Kelly Thompson and other promotional benefits. There will, naturally be different subscriber levels.

  • FREE: $0/Month – Free Newsletter. Releases once a week and is similar to the existing newsletter – basic updates, recommendations, reminders, and some random stuff.
  • MONTHLY: $7/Month – Paid Subscription. This gets you access to all the comics, and all the exclusive content like world building documents, cool process stuff, interviews, scripts, exclusive giveaways, insider discounts, and other behind the scenes stuff.
  • YEARLY: $70/Year – This is the same as monthly, but cheaper because you're paying upfront in one lump sum PLUS this tier also gets you entry to the exclusive giveaways (see more details below).
  • FOUNDERS LEVEL: $200/Year – This is the same as the annual tier but you will also get one "mini print" for each book that launches on the site this year (2021-2022), PLUS two copies of a rare SUBSTACK FOUNDERS ONLY Variant Cover of each #1 that we print – same cover, one copy signed and one copy unsigned. So at a minimum you will get two copies of a rare variant cover for both BLACK CLOAK #1 and THE CULL #1.
  • Additionally, the first 100 people that sign up for a paid yearly subscription (or higher) will be entered to win one of six DEADPOOL #1 or HAWKEYE #1 sketch covers with one of my relatively terrible (but always fun!) drawings on the front. These, inexplicably, sell really well on Ebay…so if it's too hideous to look at you can probably flip it!
  • The first 250 people that sign up for a paid yearly subscription (or higher) will be entered to win 1 of 10 signed comics from my personal stash (each valued at $50 or more).
  • The first 500 people that sign up for a paid yearly subscription (or higher) will be entered to win a signed and numbered limited edition illustrated hardcover of my first novel THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING from my personal stock. These are very rare and sometimes go for a bunch of money on Ebay or Amazon. The last one I saw out in the world was selling for like 200 bucks on Ebay. Wild.

Let's check that shall we? Yup, it is currently $168 new on Amazon.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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