Add another name to the list of creators taking their talents to Substack. Today Chip Zdarsky announced that he’ll be writing and illustrating a new series, Public Domain, that will be serialized through the service. Also on deck at Substack for Zdarsky is the return of he and artist Kagan McLeod‘s sci-fi series Kaptara. Both series will be available to paid subscribers to Zdarsky’s newsletter.
Public Domain is Zdarsky’s art follow-up to the recently-wrapped Sex Criminals, which was written by Matt Fraction. Here’s how Zdarsky describes the series:
PUBLIC DOMAIN is about a family of comic creators wrestling with their greatest creation and the people who lay claim to it. It’s a look at the industry through a fractured family and will feature a comic book artist nemesis named Brian Stegman.
Zdarsky said he would also be sharing a behind-the-scenes at creating the book along with the finished product for subscribers.
Zdarsky & McLeod’s Kaptara debuted at Image Comics in 2015 and ran for five issues. Zdarsky called the series “one of my favourite things I’ve ever been associated with.” No word on what the storyline of the returned series will be, though Zdarsky did say they would be including “bite-size KAPTARA CHUCKLES installments” with both new and veteran comic artists.
Along with the two series announcements, Zdarsky revealed that, for various reasons, he will not be attending in-person comic conventions for the foreseeable future, and that he has signed with ComicSketchArt for mail-in signings. These again will only be available to paid subscribers of Zdarsky’s newsletter. Zdarsky will also host panels, give away sketches, and offer exclusive variant covers for sale to his subscribers.
In an interview with AIPT on the subject, Zdarsky also clarified that he will continue writing Daredevil, as well as other projects for Marvel and DC, though he acknowledged that work-for-hire gigs can always dry up at any minute:
Look, James Tynion is a coward who needs “sleep” and spending time with “loved ones.” I’m still on Daredevil and I’m still working on DC projects like a goddamn hero to the people.
As for down the road, I think almost every comic writer has a shelf life with the Big Two. Sometimes it comes down to public tastes, sometimes it’s just that you’ve written all the characters or titles you wanted to. Or sometimes editors just f—-n’ hate you and the fact that you took the last slice of pizza at a Marvel retreat even though they already had two slices which was one more than you because Dan Slott wouldn’t stop talking to you about why you’re writing Aunt May wrong and you couldn’t get to the pizza table in time.
What I’m saying is, one day I’ll be done at Marvel and DC and it may be my choice and it may not be. So it’s important to always be thinking about and pushing your creator-owned projects.
Zdarsky has been using Substack for his personal newsletter (which is, frankly, a delight) for some time now, so this news isn’t entirely surprising given all the announcements made earlier this week from writers like James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder, and Jonathan Hickman, among others.
Who do you think will be next?