Is the bubble about to burst? Is this the end of this era of comics? Some comic book fans are flustered with the news of comic writers moving to SubStack. Tynion announced he is leaving Batman for the love of the nerd gods. Donny Cates announced a few upcoming projects on Substack, too. Jeff Lemire is in. Is this a sign of the end of days? No, I don’t think so. Let’s take a look at the big picture and look at the economics.

SubStack is throwing a lot of money around to attract prominent writers. They use the verbiage “We are betting on comics creators” or “we are thrilled to be announcing a major investment in comics creators.” SubStack page says “Top Writers on SubStack make millions of dollars per year.” It’s always about money, and that’s not always a bad thing.

The core of their philosophy is a simple one. They believe in subscriptions versus advertising. Those are the only two options in media. How do they do that?

Right now SubStack needs to make a name for their selves. They need the talent to bring in people. They need to cut into this digital landscape in a big way if they are to succeed long term. That is their challenge. It will be a herculean effort. Getting the comic book culture to assimilate is a big potential win. They already have some of the hottest writers on their team.

The big question can they find a niche within the comic book nerdom. Are there enough people to support this business model for comics? Price is a concern, but what will make or break it is the content inside. Are the readers getting the value from the service?

If I owned a comic book store, I would be pissed. As a consumer, I’m not sure. Will they provide value to subscribers? I’ve seen some authors sell exclusive comics or autographed comics only available to subscribers. This might lure some of the super fans of a specific author, but I don’t think it will appeal to all. Time will tell if Substack will last, but for myself, I will invest in paper.

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