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Thursday, August 12, 2021 

More creators are taking to Substack services, including liberal ones

The Verge announces there's more comic creators besides Nick Spencer who're investing in the services of Substack. Including some pretty troubling and fishy ones:
Among the creators signed up is James Tynion IV, who until now was the head writer of DC’s flagship Batman title. Tynion wrote in a blog post that he will be using Substack to “create a new slate of original comic book properties” and build “a bunch of really cool stuff on my own terms.” Substack has also signed up Saladin Ahmed, Molly Knox Ostertag, and Scott Snyder, among others.

Substack is available for anyone to use for free, but it’s been signing writers to a program called Substack Pro that offers them upfront payments and support, so they can try going independent without being entirely reliant on subscribers (who may not materialize) during their first year or so on the platform.
Well if there's anybody they shouldn't materialize for, it's Tynion and Ahmed. So now the former is jumping ship from DC, after all the harm he did to Alan Scott (and Obsidian), retaining the homosexuality retconned onto the character by James Robinson nearly a decade ago. Which DC followed up on by turning Tim Drake bisexual. Well Tynion won't be missed, yet if he's entering the indie scene again now, nobody alienated by his recent roach of a story need put their money into his pockets on Substack. And Ahmed, of course, still harbors repellent views of Israel, so no need to finance whatever he's writing either.

Unlike last time, when Nick Spencer joined the Substack servers, it looks like this time, propagandist Graeme McMillan's kept quiet. He was being very petty when he wrote that bewildering smear against Spencer, his leftism notwithstanding, but it looks like this time, he and Inverse are avoiding any absurdities. Yet they'll never complain about the artistic damage Tynion caused for mainstream superhero fare, and that's but one way they're hugely disappointing.

Polygon also brought up the Substack topic:
On Monday, James Tynion IV, the current writer of DC Comics’ The Joker and flagship Batman, will soon wrap up his assignments with the comics publisher in order to launch a new line of creator-owned comics on Substack. Known for juggling indie projects like The Department of Truth and Something is Killing the Children with major DC tentpoles, Tynion will kickoff the newsletter with Blue Book, a series about true-life documented UFO encounters that teams him with artist Michael Avon Oeming (Powers) and letterer Aditya Bidikar (The Department of Truth). Tynion’s Substack launches in early September. It’s unclear when the writer’s run on the core DC hero books will end.
If and when it does, then as I said before, Tynion won't be missed. But again, he's hardly deserving of an audience and revenue for his independent stories if that's the kind of politics he upholds. And Ahmed doesn't deserve an audience either. They certainly don't deserve customer bases.
In the last few years, Substack has attracted numerous high-profile writers to leave legacy outlets for its creator-controlled subscription platform. In a new report, New York Times says Marvel writer Nick Spencer — currently wrapping up a long run on the company’s flagship Spider-Man title — became a liaison between major comic creators and the company, who is hoping to lure talent away from DC and Marvel. Along with Tynion, Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt, Miles Morales: Spider-Man), Jonathan Hickman (House of X/Powers of X), and Molly Ostertag (The Girl From the Sea) will launch subscription projects. A few weeks ago, another Bat-writer, Scott Snyder, launched his own Substack newsletter as well.

[...] “I don’t think there’s ever been a better deal in comics than what Substack is offering. We have complete creative control, we retain all of the rights for publishing and other media with no restrictions, and we have the money to pay people the kind of rates they might expect at one of the larger corporate publishers,” Tynion said, pointing to an upfront financial guarantee provided by the Substack Pro program. “If the creators taking this deal play their cards right, it means that we can rewrite the rules of the entire comic book industry on our terms, not the publishers. I don’t think people are going to realize how big this can be right away, but if we’re smart about it, this could be the start of a whole new paradigm in creator-owned comics.”
Now that I think of it, that's almost hilarious coming from one of the same people who's been rewriting established mainstream superhero casts to suit his shoddy views. I see Hickman's joining them too, suggesting he might be halfway out of Marvel after his predictably overrated X-Men run. And even he's worked on a retcon, to Moira MacTaggart, turning her into a mutant and diminishing what made her work in the first place as an ordinary human. We really don't need these kind of people whose approach to storytelling is that cheap, and who don't seem to think they've ever done anything wrong with the source material, which may not last much longer.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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