Kelly Thompson is about comics. And sometimes novels. She often goes by the name 1979 Semi-Finalist, which is its own whole (not terribly exciting) story. This is the place where she’s making her new creator-owned comics with some incredible collaborators, and also giving subscribers a peek behind the curtain of making comics.
Here’s a page full of answers to questions! It will be a living document for you guys to refer to and that I will add to it as necessary. Here’s what we’re starting with…
IF I AGREE TO DO A PAID SUBSCRIPTION, HOW WILL I READ THE COMICS?
Substack has partnered with the Panels app to make this digital comics reading experience the best it can be. If you want to check out how that partnership is coming along, check out James Tynion IV and Michael Avon Oeming’s excellent BLUE BOOK comic, which is the first of the Substack comics to appear in the app. Jeff Lemire’s very cool FISHFLIES was added this week too – so check that one out as well! I’ll keep you updated on this as it develops and as I learn more, but I’m really excited about this direction – so far these books are reading/looking great!
WILL THESE BOOKS EVER BE IN PRINT?
Yes. These first two comics (Black Cloak and The Cull) will eventually be released by Image Comics in print form. I do not have a timetable yet but will update as that develops.
ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR MARVEL BOOKS?
No, I am not leaving my Marvel books. I am still writing the >koff< Eisner-winning >koff< BLACK WIDOW. I am still writing CAPTAIN MARVEL. I am still part of the writing team on the forthcoming AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: BEYOND (Oct 2021), and I will ALWAYS be available to write more IT’S JEFF! And if all goes well I've got something really cool lined up for 2022 at Marvel too.
WHY DO THIS ON SUBSTACK?
I talk about this a little bit in the announcement post, but the simple fact is that they’re offering something nobody else in comics is – the ability for creators to control and own what they create and enough funding to actually make those projects. I have been trying for years to get the time or funding or both to make some creator-owned comics work again – this is the first time it’s been possible and that’s thanks to Substack.
I HAVE ISSUES WITH SUBSTACK, I DON’T WANT TO SUPPORT IT, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT?
Fair enough. I have some reservations about Substack too. But I have those reservations about nearly every platform and company I am on, contribute to, or work for. The purity test doesn't work. Nothing is pure. Every platform is flawed, every corporation is flawed, and quite frankly, every person is flawed. Are there degrees of acceptable and not acceptable? Absolutely. But I think that valuation is different for each of us.
I also think there's value in not ceding an entire platform to the bad guys just because a handful of them are loud and horrible on this platform. It's not ideal. But, to be honest, I have found little in life that is thus far. I'll take this money and make something positive and feminist and gay with it...and I think that's a win. Every little good thing helps beat back the dark a bit, right?
And while we’re here, if you think that a handful of hateful conservative writers are just too much to bear...I urge you to check out what's already here beating back that dark - and I don't just mean all these cool new comics people…how about absolute badass Roxane Gay on THE AUDACITY? Or if you’re into pop culture commentary Hunter Harris is doing fun stuff on HUNG UP as is Ira Madison III on FRANK. I’m really enjoying Charlotte Clymer’s relatively new CHARLOTTE’S WEB THOUGHTS. Her piece a few weeks ago “If I Had My Own Summer” is a favorite. Anna Codrea-Rado does great posts about being a freelancer/the freelance life that I find fascinating and highly relatable on LANCE. Luke O’Neil’s WELCOME TO HELL WORLD is not for the faint of heart but always makes me think and feels righteous in a way that a lot of news doesn’t these days? Daniel Lavery’s THE CHATNER is highly enjoyable and insightful. And they have only just started but I can’t pretend I’m not excited about Salman Rushdie AND Padma Lakshmi doing their own things on here.
Additionally I am donating my portion of our year one subscriber funds to charity – currently I’m planning to split those donations between The Trevor Project and The Trans Lifeline. While I reserve the right to change these charities over the course of the next 12 months, whatever they change to will always be charities focused on LGBTQ+ and Trans Rights.