Bleeding Cool just ran an interview with Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman about their new Substack subscription publishing service, joining other creators such James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder,Jonathan Hickman, Skottie Young, Mollie Knox Ostertag, Chip Zdarsky, Saladin Ahmed, and we think Jen Bartel too, to getting big Substack grants – possibly $600,000 each according to Rob Liefeld – to create comic books and let Substack subscribers in on the deal. This included paid subscriptions at high enough levels to make it worth their while, but also including exclusive benefits for subscribers. And with the way comic book collectors are, this could pay for itself.
James Tynion IV set the bar with his Tiny Onion Substack and The Founders Tier, and that for $250 a year "you get access to everything I've laid out above (The first 24 hours deal applies here, too)… but you will ALSO receive six extremely exclusive covers from six different projects over the course of the next year that will not be made available to any other sales platform. They won't be on the webstore. They won't be available to other paid subscribers, monthly or otherwise. The ONLY WAY to get those six covers from me is to sign up for this option." And no geographical restrictions. Get those six covers, flip them on eBay for $50 each and you are in profit.
Jonathan Hickman, Mike Hiddleston and Mike Del Mundo followed suit with their 3W3M substack Founder Members $250 which was a latecomer's deal to the Annual $90 or monthly $8 amount, telling readers "the first 500 of you who sign up as annual subscribers can receive a Collector's Card from one of the Three Worlds, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. Or you can take THE COIN and see what it gets you. The first 250 of you can receive a Limited Edition Print, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. Or, you can take THE MAP, and see where it leads you. The first 100 of you can get, when it's ready, our very first printed Ashcan, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. We will only print 100 of these, ever. Or, you can take THE KEY instead, and see what new world opens up." Founder Members got everything. However these were limited to US customers only for the physical awards.
Chip Zdarsky might need to revisit his price points – his ChipNuts $250 a year as opposed to $70 a year, only gives away two exclusive variants and adds a video hangout. Selling a variant to a new Chip book for $130 each to make it up maybe harder. It;s similar with Skottie Young's Boss Level for $300, adding a couple of hangouts and a couple of I Hate Fairyland exclusive covers to the mix. It may not be enough. Mollie Knox Ostertag and Saladin Ahmed don't play that premium game.
And now Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, with their substack price at $8 monthly, $80 annually or $300 as Goat Level Founding Members. We interviewed them about what was coming, but Donny has more to share, talking about when he was going to write Batman at DC Comics, or his pitches for The Crow! Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Star Wars, and "The Crow/Robocop crossover CROWBOCOP". Yes it's going to be that kind of Substack. But what about the flippers? $80 subscribers will get standard physical copies of Vanish #1, The One You Feed #1 and Flood #1. But Goat Annual subscribers will get those plus Vanish #1 B cover, and will also get Substack exclusive variant covers for Vanish #1 by Skottie Young and Daniel Warren Johnson, as well as Substack exclusive variant cover for The One You Feed #1 and Flood #1. While the first 1000 annual/goat members get a Substack Founding Member exclusive Vanish #1 Director's cut (with pencils and script and design work) and Vanish #1 / Ryan Stegman Founding Member EXCLUSIVE virgin pencils variant cover. The first 500 annual/goat subscribers also get a Vanish #1 reclusive foil variant. And no geographical restrictions. Depending how big Vanish is, that will give you flippable options if you want to justify/ameliorate the cost of paying Substack all that cash…