Newsletter #6: Blown Away Is an Understatement

Waking up in the morning to a tidal wave of new students

  
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Hey guys, it’s Scott.

And I am waking up to an overwhelming amount of students for this class. I honestly cannot believe it. I am so so excited and grateful and cannot wait to get into that virtual classroom with you all. It's been way too long since I've been teaching, and I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to do it again—I’m gonna give it my all. I hope we have a real blast.

And so, again, the class is for anyone that wants to take a comic writing course, whether you've written nothing ever in your life or you’re a professional writer. It's interdisciplinary, so it brings in a lot of things I've learned from screenwriting and from fiction writing and obviously from my career in comics. But even things that I've just read peripherally about playwriting—every technique that I think is worth learning about for the craft of comics and just storytelling in general is here in this class. So, I can't wait to share it all with you. I'm already brimming with ideas of what to use and who to bring in as guest stars and everything.

So, thank you again so so much and just a reminder if you sign up in the next 24 hours, you get four live streams with me where you will be able to ask me anything you want. So, the class in general is gonna be a kind of a live masterclass where I'll try my best to do a little bit of Q&A, but I really want to give you your money's worth in terms of packing them with information. These will really be the opportunities you'll have to interact in a more direct way and ask questions of your own. So again, sign up as soon as you can! It’s only seven dollars a class/month, and it comes with a ton of other things. Also, just to clarify, the free newsletter will still have all of my updates and teases and social media presence, but everything teaching related will be by paid subscription from here forward.

And I wanted to also talk a little bit about “Why Substack?” and why a lot of us are doing this, because one thing to understand is that it's not just the people announced yesterday. It really is a seismic thing—you're going to see so many great creators from all areas of comics announcing newsletters and all kinds of projects on Substack over the next three months. So, just to give you a sense of why James and I and some other people thought it was a good place for us to go to make things right now

Obviously, we’re aware of the criticism. No platform is perfect. We’re in conversation with people at Substack internally, and I know they’re dedicated to making it a better place, as are we. But, ultimately, this initiative itself in comics beyond the platform as a whole, this specific project and mission is really about creator empowerment within comics. It's about injecting not just money but creative freedom into the lives of creators across the comic spectrum.

The grants that Substack is offering aren’t just to make a book and then go publish it. I think that's the biggest misconception about it, and the thing to try to wrap your head around, as it took me a while, honestly, to understand it as well. But what Substack is doing, honestly, is giving us grants to essentially set up our own businesses—to set up the infrastructure of our own mini companies, where we’re the ones producing characters, stories, teaching classes, products, merchandise, all the kinds of things that we usually have to give rights or cuts over to or get permission to do or all of that—giving us the ability to do that ourselves.

And it's not just something that's in the immediate. It's not about, “here some money, go do this, and then were done…” What everyone I know of that's involved in it are about is setting up sustainable models for ourselves to be able to not just make great things, things we’re passionate about, free of any kind of constraints, not just have the rights to the things we we’re making or be able to market or merchandise whatever we want or sell ancillary rights to whatever we want out of those things—it's also about creating a system that we can connect with you more directly and we can monetize our social media as we see fit to be able to continue to fund books and projects and all of this as we go forward.

So, to be clear, for me personally, this is how you’re contributing to that by signing up for this class. I have a number of books set up at comiXology and Image—I'm so excited about all of them, I have amazing co-creators. So, I'm making all these books that I've been dreaming of making for a long time. I think they’re my best project, and I can't wait to show them to you. Teaching, and this leg of the stool for me, what Substack is, is about trying to help usher in or at least support the next generation of creators—to offer classes and lessons and advice through the teaching itself that wasn't there for me when I was coming up, and then ultimately to try and help on another level by funding emergent writers’ work, whether publicly or privately—setting up grants, working with creators I've met over the years who are doing really exciting and inspiring projects, working with organizations that I respect in comics to be able to provide resources.

So, really, Best Jackett has a couple buckets. One is about making books myself with creators who inspire, me some of whom I've known a long time, some of whom are brand-new to me—all of that, and you'll see that with the books we have coming out that will be teasing in the free newsletter and using as teaching tools in the class itself. And then the other bucket, this teaching and Substack bucket, for me is more about trying to help other creators find their way in and realize their work. As corny as it sounds, it’s true.

I’ve been really lucky in comics. I've had an amazing ride and a lot of support, a lot of advantages, all of that. So, my hope here is that we can do amazing things together, both on the page and off, and by signing up for the class, you’re really helping me with that. So, thank you again so much. I can't tell you how excited I am, how grateful I am, all of it. And again, if you know anyone that wants to take a comics class (you don't have to have written a word in your life), please tell them the more people that we can get in the (virtual) room, the better and the more fun it’s gonna be. I'll see you guys in class!

Thanks so much!
S