WHAT THE FUCK?
So, hey! Donny Cates here! You may know me from (John: plug in my credits here, I have to run to the bank in a second) and more! And now, I am here to announce that my partner in crime Ryan Stegman and I are starting our very own Substack imprint! Which, of course you already knew because you clicked on a link to the Substack website to read this.
Oh hey, Ryan Stegman here.
You may know me from such popular comic books as Superior Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, King in Black, Absolute Carnage--
Enough, Ryan. You'll get your chance. Anyhow, I’m sure you’re filled with questions, as this is all very new and no one in comics has ever done this before. Questions like:
“What is a Substack?”
“Wait…is this one Substack…or two? Because it’s one link but there’s two of you so I don’t unders-”
“Are you quitting Batman?
“Do we get stuff? Like…cool stuff and not just the normal crap you guys put out or—"
“Are you going to start writing Batman?”
“Who is Ryan Stegman?”
“What about Moon Knight? Will you write Moon Knight because—"
Okay, first of all? I don’t appreciate the tone that I’ve written for your questions. So, let’s all just cool it for a second, okay? We’re here to have fun!
Let me just start with the basics:
WHAT IS A SUBSTACK?
Substack is a digital platform that Ryan Stegman and I invented a few years back as a way to bring exclusive comics, and a peek behind the curtain at how they are made, to you! Yes, you! The one reading this. This is for you and for no one else.
Seriously, please don’t share this. This technology is proprietary and if it got out into the world, god knows how many other comic creators would steal this idea. Ugh, can you imagine…
Anyway, Substack is a place that Ryan and I can share our entire process with you. From blogs about our daily work life, video chats between the two of us breaking story, to scripts, to early sketches and then inks! Colors! Letters! And then…HEY, a fully completed book! Available first for your very own eyeballs and hand balls.
Annnnnd also some pretty killer SUBSTACK EXCLUSIVE variants and rare stuff along the way just for you, our Substack friends.
(More on that later)
Now, before I let Stegman talk again, let me just knock a few of your Frequently Asked Questions out of the way.
-I’m not leaving Marvel. I like it there. It’s fun to blow things up and I’m having a blast with THOR and HULK and the other secret things I’m doing over there. So…no worries.
-I was never going to write Batman. Well…except for that one time that I was…
…tell you what, tune in sometime and I’ll tell you that whole story! And hell, maybe I’ll even tell you my ideas for it!
As well as the pitches I had for all the other books I never did! Like the Crow! Buffy the Vampire Slayer! STAR WARS, and The Crow/Robocop crossover CROWBOCOP!!
-All of the books we are about to preview and talk about WILL be out in print and in shops at a later date.
We love retailers. I used to be one. It was awesome. They are awesome. Comics are awesome.
We want you to have your way with them physically.
-I don’t know what a Moon Knight is.
Okay! Next question!
WHO IS RYAN STEGMAN?
I am the secret sauce! The straw that stirs the drink! The
of Venom! Okay, maybe not that last part. But I drew Venom and Absolute Carnage and King in Black with my partner in crime, the aforementioned Donny Cates!
One of MY goals with this whole Substack thing is to bring you something new that I’ve been thinking about for a long time: A glimpse into what a comic book art studio is really like. I’d have
for this type of thing when I was an aspiring artist. Hell, I’d kill for it now if Michael Golden or Todd McFarlane would give me this type of access!
This access will include me drawing pages live while talking to you guys! Me showing you how a page goes from script to final! Me doing drawing tutorials! Me answering YOUR questions about drawing and how to improve your own work! I love to teach so I’d like that to be a foundational piece of what I do on this Substack.
Anyway, the coup de grace of this whole thing really is our new creator-owned comic
Since I was young, I wanted to create something new and have people read it. And here we are! A few months back Donny and I sat in my studio and plotted this thing out and it freaking rules. It’s about magic and superheroes and... Well, how about I just show you some art? Here you go!
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE THINGS TO LOOK AT AND READ!
That’s right! Along with Ryan’s and my new book VANISH, I’ll be dropping TWO new books on you!! Take that, Stegman!
First up: FLOOD! A six-issue underwater horror/western by myself, Megan Hutchison-Cates, Dee Cuniffe, and John J. Hill.
And yes, because the artist on this book tends to live with me, expect Megan to be dropping by our live feeds and zoom chats and whatnot to talk all things FLOOD!
And then: the long-awaited return of THE ONE YOU FEED! A six-issue mini-series from me, Dylan Burnett, and John J. Hill!
Rad, right? We’re so excited. And we really hope you are too. And honestly, if all goes right, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ryan and I both have a million ideas we want to bring to life, and we’re so happy to have the chance to make them all a reality.
So, what’s in it for you?
Check this shit out:
MONTHLY LEVEL: $8
All newsletters delivered right to your inbox.
Digital copies of Vanish, The One You Feed and Flood as they're produced.
Monthly video chat hangouts and podcasts with Donny and Ryan and Megan and assorted comic book friends!
Livestreams, sketch creation and instructional videos from Ryan Stegman.
Script creation, ranting and raving from Donny Cates.
Plus MUCH, MUCH MORE!
ANNUAL LEVEL: $80
Everything in the monthly level, PLUS...
A lottery ticket to WIN sketches drawn live by Ryan Stegman (details to come!)
Vanish #1 / standard cover A (physical copy)
The One You Feed #1 / standard cover A (physical copy)
Flood #1 / standard cover A (physical copy)
EXCLUSIVE access to merchandise ONLY YOU can purchase!!
Lots more EXCLUSIVE perks throughout the year!
GOAT ANNUAL LEVEL: $300
-Everything in the monthly and annual levels, PLUS...
-Vanish #1 / standard cover B (physical copy)
-Vanish #1 / Skottie Young Substack exclusive variant cover (physical copy)
-Vanish #1 / Daniel Warren Johnson Substack exclusive variant cover (physical copy)
-The One You Feed #1 / Substack exclusive variant cover (physical copy)
-Flood #1 / Substack exclusive variant cover (physical copy)
GET YOUR ASS IN NOW INCENTIVES!!!! — In addition to all those tier perks, the FIRST 1000 ANNUAL FOUNDING MEMBERS in those two tiers receive:
First 1000 subscribers to the ANNUAL LEVEL:
-Vanish #1 Director's cut (with pencils and script and design work) / Substack Founding Member EXCLUSIVE variant cover (physical copy)
First 1000 subscribers to the GOAT ANNUAL LEVEL:
-Vanish #1 Director's cut (with pencils and script and design work) / Substack Founding Member EXCLUSIVE variant cover (physical copy) AND
-Vanish #1 / Ryan Stegman Founding Member EXCLUSIVE virgin pencils variant cover (physical copy)
If you’re one of the first 500 subscribers in either the Annual or GOAT tiers you ALSO receive:
-Vanish #1 / Substack Founding Member EXCLUSIVE FOIL variant cover (physical copy)
ALL INCENTIVE BOOKS signed by Ryan, Donny and Megan (Well, she’ll sign Flood. But I guess she’ll sign the other ones too if you want.) We’ll have a lot more info and reveals for all these perks over the next few months.
Okay! Jesus, wrap it up!
Right. Right. Sorry.
So yeah! Thems the breaks, friends! Up next, we’ll be doing a live stream where you can ask us all the questions your heart desires! Check our twitters and this space for all of that info!
And look, we’re going to figure this out as we go along. We don’t pretend to know what the hell we’re doing here, but…in typical Stegman/Cates fashion…we’re sure as hell going to do a lot of it.
Now go smash that subscribe button and come hang out with us!
Until next time!
Kids Love Chains. And we love you.