Kelly Thompson is about comics. And she’s also sometimes about 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…
WHAT CAN I GET IF I GO PAID?
Glad you asked! Here’s a cute little flyer we made to outline the benefits of subscribing:
You can also of course read more in the original announcement post here.
IF I AGREE TO DO A PAID SUBSCRIPTION, HOW WILL I READ THE COMICS?
It’s really easy! Currently there are three different ways you can read — you can read just directly on the Substack site (right here!) or even in your inbox if you prefer. Or you can download the PDF file available. OR you can download the CBZ file available and read on whatever Comics Reader you prefer — including the Panels App.
So far our books have looked gorgeous (so do many creators as well) and we’ve had no real complaints or hiccups with the technology side of thing. It’s been very smooth sailing on that front (where’s some wood to knock real quick?)
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 CAPTAIN MARVEL. And I will ALWAYS be available to write more IT’S JEFF!
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. Jessica DeFino’s THE UNPUBLISHABLE is a terrific take down on the beauty industry and my feminist rage very much enjoys Jessica Valenti’s ALL IN HER HEAD and I’m also really enjoying Charlotte Clymer’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB THOUGHTS. Her piece a few months 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. And ND Stevenson is straight up doing some of the best “journal comics” I’ve read in a very long time.
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.