‘Comics Day on Substack’ brings a new wave of creators to the platform

Grant Morrison, Tom King, Brian K. Vaughan, Niko Henrichon, Jen Bartel and more join the email newsletter platform.

If you’ve seen the acronym “CDoS” pop up in your email or feeds, you’re not getting spammed about collateralized debt obligation — well, maybe some of you are; I don’t know what you’re into. But in the comics realm, today CDoS stands for “Comics Day on Substack,” as the email newsletter platform welcomes several new creators, and their existing creators announce new projects and share free stuff.

Jen Bartel, Grant Morrison, Brian K. Vaughan, Elsa Charretier, Niko Henrichon, Khary Randolph and more join the likes of James Tynion IV, Chip Zdarsky, Skottie Young and more on the platform, which launched its comics-focused push last summer.

We’ll get the new ones added to our Comics Newsletter Directory page later today, but for now here’s a rundown of what’s been launched today.

Let’s start with Spectators, a new comic from Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henrichon, the creative team on Pride of Baghdad. In honor of a particular panel from that classic Vertigo graphic novel, they’ve named their newlsetter venture “Exploding Giraffe.”

“For the last fifteen years or so, Niko and I have been eager to collaborate on another story, one even more ambitious in scope and subject matter than Pride. The idea that excited us most is a graphic novel called Spectators, a planned 300-plus page self-contained epic about…well, a lot of things, but at its core, it’s a story about sex and violence, and why so many of us spend so much of our lives watching both,” Vaughan posted.

The first chapter of the NSFW comic is already available to read, for free. They plan to post subsequent pages for free, while paid tiers will get access to things like a private forum and a drawing for Henrichon’s art.

Also available to read today is the first issue of Love Everlasting, a new comic from Tom King and Elsa Charretier.

… today, exclusively on Substack, we are launching our new, ongoing, creator-owned book, Love Everlasting. It’s a romance comic about romance comics that we’ve been working on for a while. It is gorgeously colored by Miracle Matt Hollingsworth, it is perfectly lettered by Cool Clayton Cowles, and we are extremely proud of it,” King said in their intro post.

According to King, the comic will be available for free, while subscribers will have access to behind the scenes info.

Joining Substack on his birthday, Morrison doesn’t have a comic to show us yet, but they do have a whacky, fun, could-only-be-Grant-Morrison first post. Morrison’s Substack is called Xanaduum, and they promise to write and draw something:

A renewed desire to cut out the middlemen and go back to my roots led all the way to the primordial depths of Xanaduum, my attempt at autobiographical sci-fi collage comicks done in the lo-est of hands-on anti-NFT lo-fi with felt pens, coloured pencils, scissors and blackmail graphics. Crude, primitive post-apocalyptic and back to basics before computers roamed the Earth!

Khary Randolph and Joanne Starer have launched Glass Eye Studios, and again, they’ll be posting pages for free. Their first comic they’re collaborating on is Sirens of the City.

We’ve got two books lined up. The first, Sirens of the City, drawn by Khary Randolph and written by Joanne Starer, is a gritty urban fantasy set in 1980s New York. Layla is a teenage runaway pregnant with a supernatural baby. She’s desperate to end the pregnancy, but all the creatures of the city want to get their hands on it…and her.   

The second is called A Way from Here, and it will be written by Joanne Starer with art by GABO. “It’s the story of four teenagers from different backgrounds living in Vienna in the days leading up to the Holocaust.” Here’s a look:

“We’ll be putting all the main story pages of both books up for free,” Randolph said. “All you have to do is subscribe for the free option, and it will come straight to your inbox, no strings attached. We were given a grant to do this work, and we’ve decided to use this platform to empower creators and communities that don’t always have a voice. For as long as we can afford to, we will continue this work.”

Paid subscribers will get access to bonus content, sketchbooks and more.

Jen Bartel has launched JenBartel.Club, a newsletter that allows her “to have a dedicated, organized area for everything from tutorials to Q&As to wip/sketch shares to final art process posts. My goal is not only to share weekly updates with you, but to also create a community space where we can actually chat and get to know each other.” She doesn’t have a formal comic to announce, but says she’ll be sharing “inside looks at what I’m working on, along with process videos, brushes, and step-by-step walkthroughs.”

One of the more interesting projects to launch today is Mangasplaining Extra, an offshoot of the Mangasplaining podcast that features Deb Aoki, David Brothers and Christopher Butcher trying to explain different manga titles to Chip Zdarsky. They’ll be sharing their show notes for free, but if you’re a paid subscriber, you’ll actually receive newly translated manga pages every week.

This project will be led by Deb Aoki, Andrew Woodrow-Butcher and Christopher Woodrow-Butcher, with help from our friend/translator/all-around smart and helpful guy in Japan, Aki Yanagi. We’ll also be working with a variety of incredible manga creators, editors, writers, translators, letterers/re-touch artists, publishers, and more, to publish some really interesting and unique material for manga fans to enjoy. 

They’ll start with Okinawa by Susumu Higa and These Days (Higoro One-Shot) by Taiyo Matsumoto.

Kelly Thompson has been posting to her newsletter for a while now, but today she launches a new comic, The Black Cloak, with artist Meredith McClaren.

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