Updated: Feb 16, 2021
Many creators have their own newsletters where they keep their biggest fans informed of all their current projects. But the best of the best offer subscribers something more, an added value. Whether it's discussion on their process, a breakdown of the comic-making craft, personal anecdotes, or something else, each of these are the newsletters every comic book fan should be subscribed to.
We covered our Top Comics Newsletters last year, but a lot of new ones have sprouted up since then, and we've stumbled upon a few more already established ones we felt we needed to share with you fine folks. Most of these are writers – that's just where the bulk of the newsletters are coming from – so if you're hungry for more of this sort of thing from illustrators, colorists, letterers or other folks in the field, you should let them know!
Anywho, click the name of the newsletter if you're interested in signing up for any of them.
Chip Zdarsky – "It's Chip Zdarsky's Newsletter, Okay?"
Who is he? Chip Zdarsky broke out a few years back, doing art for Sex Criminals, the Image book he created with Matt Fraction. As one of the funniest guys in comics, everyone expected he'd continue, you know, doing art and being funny. Which is why everyone was surprised when he broke our hearts with serious (and seriously good) writing on his Spider-Man work for Marvel.
Why should you read it? The newsletter is consistently hilarious. Even when Zdarsky covers serious topics, he does it in such a humorous and approachable way, it defuses all the tension that social media builds up. He does everything the other newsletters do, plugging his comics and talking about what he's up to, but he does it in a way that makes you actually want to read it, if only to see how he's going to instill his brand of comedy into it.
How often does it come out? Weekly, usually. Sometimes bi-weekly.
Ram V – "Fly by Soul"
Who is he? Ram V is most known for the comics he’s written, especially such masterpieces like Grafity’s Wall and These Savage Shores. But he’s also a talented artist and one quarter of the White Noise collective, four writers who are making some of the most incredible comics in the industry.
Why should you read it? If you follow Ram V or have read his comics, you know the guy's massively talented. So, if you believe that you need to study the greats to be more like them, then reading the newsletter will give you some valuable insight into how his mind works, what he's interested in/listening to/reading this week, and what he finds fascinating in our modern world. He'll also sometimes include practical advice on honing your craft as a storyteller. And, of course, the newsletter keeps you updated on all his comics as they're published.
How often does it come out? Monthly, but only two have been sent out as of the date of publishing this article.
Renton Hawkey – "rent*space"
Who is he? He's an indie comic creator and podcaster who you may also know through other talented indie creators, like Milton Lawson & Rick Quinn.
Why should you read it? It's organized with the "Reader in a Rush" mindset. No giant paragraphs – just white space and bullets and neatly curated sections. If you've seen the Comic Book Yeti review format, you know a newsletter like this would resonate with me.
The thing about newsletters – especially writers' newsletters – is that they can sometimes be just mighty walls of text. That's not a bad thing! Newsletters more than anywhere else are the perfect place to be more verbose. However, in this busy world where we cram as much as possible into our days, readers may not have time to...well...read. And so, I like that there's an option for that audience, especially in this list filled with writers' newsletters.
How often does it come out? Monthly!
John Lees – "It's Yer Pal, John Lees"
Who is he? A Scottish writer who specializes in horror and suspense creator-owned comics. Currently writing MOUNTAINHEAD and HOTELL.
Why should you read it? For starters, you get free comics for signing up: Deep-Ender, issues #1 & 2, a "rom-comic" from Lees, Jules Rivera, Ashton Wagner, & Colin Bell. PLUS a horror one-shot from Lees, Iain Laurie, Megan Wilson, & Colin Bell.
As far as regular content goes, Lees puts in the time. The most recent newsletter talks about his favorite love stories, many from film and comics, writing at least a paragraph apiece and linking to his official review of each film. You'll, of course, hear about his current and future projects and get some insight into his processes and inspiration, but he also talks about his life, his goals, cons he's at, and all kinds of other stuff. This thing is chock-full of content every week, so if that's your jam, definitely sign up.
How often does it come out? Weekly, like clockwork.
Dan Watters – "Kind of the Point"
Who is he? If you're a fan of the White Noise writers (Ram V, Alex Paknadel, Ryan O'Sullivan & Dan Watters) or have picked up Lucifer, Deep Roots, Limbo or Coffin Bound, you likely already know who he is. But if you don't, he's a mega-talented writer pushing the boundaries of the comics medium.
Why should you read it? As we know, newsletters can quickly become entire books. Watters breaks his up into sections, with "The Work" and "Not the Work," and then also breaks down those sections for that "snack-sized content" we all crave. But the charm of any newsletter often falls in the section that's not the work – that's often what makes people stick with the newsletter and keeps them reading.
This one hosts thoughts on comic creation, like style, process, and things to keep in mind throughout. The newsletter only started this year, and there have only been two written, so it's difficult to say with any conviction what the content will be on a regular basis, but Watters talks a decent amount about music he's listening to and books he's reading, sometimes relating them back to the comics discussion.
Needless to say, the guy's smart, thoughtful, and well-educated (all the White Noise fellas are!), and so reading this newsletter might help form some new connections in your brain.
How often does it come out? Fortnightly.
Rich Douek – "Just Douek."
Who is he? He's a writer who's still fairly new to the comics game (in that he just really broke-out, not that he's finding his voice – the guy's GOOD), but that didn't stop him from having a killer 2019 with the bloody, heavy metal fantasy WAILING BLADE and the chilly, Russian supernatural suspense comic, ROAD OF BONES.
Why should you read it? This is also a very new newsletter – the first one only came out last week! So far, he covers what he's writing (see also: GUTTER MAGIC), what comics he's reading, and also some writing tips – always helpful, right? He also says he'll likely discuss "freelancing, the industry, and whatever else you’d like to hear about." So, if there's something you want him to cover, you should probably sign up and let him know!
How often does it come out? Monthly...for now!
David Pepose – "Pep Talks"
Who is he? David Pepose has been in the biz for a while in some form or another, most notable writing at Newsarama, but his comics Spencer & Locke and Going to the Chapel have put him on the map – so much so, he made Bleeding Cool's Top 100 Power List of Comics in 2019.
Why should you read it? "Pep Talks" covers the usual you get from comics writers: updates on their projects, what titles of his are coming out soon, convention plans, and what he's reading. But he also goes above and beyond, answering reader questions thoroughly and helpfully. Every newsletter also has a "Moment of Pep" where he shares a meme or recent news story and comments on it.
How often does it come out? About every 20 days, or so.
Cullen Bunn – "Vicious Shivers"
Who is he? Cullen Bunn's most famous for being a prolific horror writer, as well as all the work he's done writing for the Big 2. If you haven't read The Sixth Gun or Harrow County, you're missing out!
Why should you read it? If you're Bunn-anas for Cullen Bunn's work, this is where he keeps you posted on titles of his that are coming out, dates of conventions he'll be at, and a bit of bloggy, behind-the-scenes stuff about his life that week.
How often does it come out? Weekly, lately. Sometimes bi-weekly or goes on hiatus.
James Tynion IV – "The Empire of the Tiny Onion"
Who is he? Perhaps best known for his work in the Batman franchise, he's a writer who learned from some of the best in the business. Also, his comic, SOMETHING IS KILLING THE CHILDREN has gained a great deal of acclaim from critics, creators and fans, alike.
Why should you read it? If you like seeing more long-form essays about creators' lives and stories behind the comics, you'll definitely be into Tynion's newsletter. It reads almost like a blog; it feels highly personal in a way you don't often see in other more "marketingy" newsletters and communications.
How often does it come out? About every couple weeks.
Lonnie Nadler – “Thus Wrote Zarathustra”
Who is he? Nadler's been around for a few years now, mostly writing X-Men comics for Marvel and creator-owned horror comics. You see him most often partnering up with Zac Thompson for his comics work, but you might also stumble upon some articles he's written for numerous publications.
Why should you read it? Similarly to other creators on this list, the newsletter often operates like a blog, giving the reader an inside look into Nadler's life and creative thought processes with regard to the comics he makes. You might see longer, multi-paragraph-long short essays on particular films or "cinema" as a whole, for example. Other newsletters are shorter, but suffice to say, if you're a Lonnie Nadler fan and you want more insight into how his mind works, you should sign up for his newsletter.
How often does it come out? Every two months, on average, but it's irregular and there haven't been a whole lot of them yet, so it's hard to nail down when you should expect them.
While these are some of the best comic book newsletters out there, the medium is certainly growing in the comics industry as both a way to hyper-target creator-based marketing to fans and just to have a closer relationship with them. However, there is clearly a need for more newsletters from non-cishet white male creators. If you know of any, please let us know at TheComicsYeti@gmail.com, or tweet at @ComicBookYeti.