Oct 26 • 9M

Newsletter #100: Your Best Jackett

A landmark post for a landmark chapter in the Comic Writing class!

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Scott Snyder
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Hey guys, it’s Scott.

It's Tuesday, October 25th and I'm just back from Florida (late last night at 2:00 in the morning), so I am jet lagged yet again. But the trip was worth it, we went down there for family reasons and to visit Jack (our 15 year-old)’s best friend growing up, whose family moved down there when the boys were about eight/nine years old and they've stayed in touch and stayed very close. So it was a good trip to do, it was the only chance to do it. And I'll tell you this, though, seeing a three year-old run around Disney is the funniest thing ever. It's just fucking hilarious because they've only, like, just begun to learn the physical rules of the world.

And then suddenly they're confronted with all of this absurdity that they can't make sense of, like, there's Donald Duck and he's four feet tall and he's emerged from my television, but his face doesn't move, but he's real. And so it's so funny. He's like, “Donald Duck! Donald Duck! Why isn't your beak moving? Let me help you!” And then he tries to grab it and that. Or like, “Mickey, Mickey, you need to get back in my TV!” And so watching him try and wrap his little brain around all of the rule breaking what's going on there is just so funny.

As a former Cast Member who put on the Pluto costume pretty regularly, this was a real full circle moment

And he's just bopping along with this crazy hair and happy as a clam. So it was a good trip, but the last thing I needed professionally. But back to work!

We have a really great week at Best Jackett. First, we have Canary out today from me and Dan Panosian, and this is our third big issue.

Canary #3 | Cover by Dan Panosian

And it kind of turns everything on its head. This is where the book really starts to get twisted and dark, so I hope you'll check it out. It's a horror/western about a collapsed mine that has buried a lot of dark secrets, both about the town itself and the history of the country. So I'm really proud of it.

And this Thursday night, not Wednesday, but Thursday, we're going to do a test run of our new class where I am going to use my own work as an example to show you what we'll be doing with your work. So this is Comics Writing 102 and we're going to make it free so you guys can check it out. So this is the only class that will be free, but if you like it and you want to sign up, it's only $7/month (or $75/year). And we'll start in November using your work this way. So I'm gonna be using two of my early stories:

Human Torch Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 and Nation X #1 (2009) | Covers by Adi Granov and Dustin Weaver & Morry Hollowell

I'll give them to you to read ahead of time tomorrow. But they're both short. You can read them, they're both kind of short—one’s an eight pager and one's a one-shot. And I'll show you how one does things better than the other in the department of characterization. So I'm going to show you how exactly we'll be looking at your work and comparing it to published work, talking about things that are really working, things that could be better off. So it'll give you a whole breakdown of how we're going to workshop stuff. I'm really excited about it, I genuinely think class is going to be much, much better and more helpful to you guys, all aspiring creators, now that we're going to be looking at work that could use a little elevation of extra support and constructive criticism. So anyway, that'll be Thursday at 9:30pm EST, live. Again, if you can't make it live, you can watch it in the archives. It'll be here the next day in a free post. And that's what we do with the classes, except it's for paid subscribers to Best Jackett.

And I just wanted to talk a little bit today about the fact that I realized (because Tyler told me because he's the best assistant in the world) this is the hundredth newsletter that we've done! And I can't wrap my head around that. It's been a hundred posts. And what really hit me was how much I've loved doing this, and how much I've come to see it as a home base and a natural way of connecting with you guys. And I don't just mean Substack, I don't just mean the newsletter, I mean creating Our Best Jackett and Best Jackett Creative, moving away from DC a little bit, and getting to explore and experiment and create your own space. And using this as the main portal to connect with you guys, it's all been of one piece. And it didn't really hit me until I was thinking about this hundredth post where I realized I've become used to communicating with you in all different ways than I used to.

I used to be on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram and just kind of blast things out into the ether. “Well guess what? This comic book is coming!” And I would always curb what I was going to say so that it would reach the most amount of people possible. So I didn't try and get too detailed about characters that were in the arcs.

My Twitter circa 2016, practically a whole lifetime ago…

If it was Death Metal, I didn't want to focus on Lex Luthor or on Perpetua or whatever. It was always the most broad and, hopefully, appealing message about getting you in to read something I was excited about. But there wasn't a space to talk personally about the work, there wasn't a space to get more detail, there wasn't a space to actually ask you what you thought and go back and forth because that whole maw has become more and more and more of this roiling sea of just everything. When you scroll it's, like, one post is like a deeply moving personal post, the next thing is political messaging, and the next thing is, like, “look at my cat eating cheese!” And that whole space is just so cacophonous that it's hard to make connection there.

And so this has been such an interesting shift brain-wise for me to be able to say I can connect with you on a personal level, give you a little bit about what's going on in my life, what I'm working on, why I'm working on it, and give you more detailed insight into the stuff that we're trying to produce. But also just to create tiers that you can decide on as you're comfortable with the level of engagement, the same way I can do that with you guys. Here I can decide a little bit more comfortably. Listen, in the paid posts I can get a bit more intimate about craft, I don't have to bombard you with it in the free posts. I can talk about different elements of writing or different elements of contracts, different elements of what it's like to work for the Big Two. Anything, right? And then if you're in the Black Jacket Club I can do extra stuff. I've come to learn that people in that tiar really like the personal connection of getting together and talking about the experience of working at DC and connecting with each other, actually, and sharing work with each other and that that community is really vibrant in that regard.

From this year’s (delicious) NYCC Black Jackett Club Dinner

And it's my job to help support that and foster that as opposed to getting in there and selling them things.

And so it's been fascinating for me, genuinely, and so inspiring. And it's made me so much happier to have this space as a kind of portal or lens through which to look at my relationship. Not just fans, but to my own work to say, “listen, everything is about taking control of what makes you happy in life and doing those things. I'm happier in my relationship to my fans here. Every con I've been to, one out of every five or six people in line tells me they're a subscriber, whether it's free or paid or something to Best Jackett.

We have so many people here now. I never expected it—thousands of people signed up for the free post and a couple thousand basically signed up for the class as well for the paid posts. And it makes me so happy, honestly, and energized to be able to relate to you in a sincere and genuine way, and also to know that there are these different levels of engagement that I can participate in with you and say, “listen, I'm not just blanketing you with publicity. People that don't want to hear this don't have to.” It's you select from me what you want and I get to select what I provide in ways that I know it's reaching people that actually want to hear it. And it's a better relationship, it makes me happy.

So again, it's something that I kind of adopted as a twin policy to the way I'm approaching my work. It's definitely the way that I feel much better about approaching fans. And I can't thank you enough. I mean, I really feel like this coming year, the class is going to be twice as good. I feel like we're going to open up our merch store, we're going to revamp the Best Jackett site so that there's going to be a lot of metadata, ways to order the books physically that we've produced digitally, how to order more things digitally, and how to subscribe. But we'll spruce all of that stuff up soon. Tyler, get on it! (Nah he's the best, he’ll do it over the course of the year) But we're going to start producing really exciting merchandise and we're also going to do a lot more updates on here, now that I'm out of the bottleneck of New York Comic Con and such, so that we can post about things like the return of Wytches…

Sidenote—make sure to buy Image! #7, in stores tomorrow, for a short Wytches story by me, Jock, and Matt Hollingsworth! Check out this great cover Jock did for the issue:

…and what happens with the TV show, whether or not it gets greenlit, what happens with Nocterra over at Netflix and the return of that series soon and all that kind of stuff. I want to make this a more robust place for you guys, which, having come to the end of the year and a hundred posts, I realized is a big priority for me on a lot of levels this coming year. So I can't thank you enough. Honestly, I always say it but I mean it sincerely, like, best fans in the world. This has been a joy and an incredibly eye-opening experience. And I'm committed to making it a way that I want to relate to you going forward. So thank you again!


A huge thanks from the whole crew at Our Best Jackett. Here’s to a hundred more!!
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