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©2018 by Matt Ligeti the Comic Book Yeti. 

  • Matt Ligeti

9 Must-Read Comics Newsletters

Updated: Feb 24


Image from Ed Brubaker's newsletter

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.


Click the name of the newsletter if you're interested in signing up for any of them.


Warren Ellis – "Orbital Operations"


Who is he? Let's start with the no-brainer option. If you're reading this, you probably know who Warren Ellis is. He's a comic book legend (among many other things), and his work and persona influenced the next generation of top comic book talent.


Why should you read it? This is THE newsletter you see people talking about week after week. It's not just because Warren Ellis is Warren friggin' Ellis. It's because he knows how to keep things interesting. He's talk about new, strange updates in science or anthropology or other newsworthy items you may have missed because you're watching the world burn down. He'll make recommendations of must-read comics and other media to enjoy, and you know those recommendations are going to be fantastic, and that he's not just making them because they're coming from friends of his. He'll keep you posted on his creative process and what books of his are coming out. But he also often ends each with a bit of positivity, which is something we all need to start our weeks with.


Here's a quote from the most recent newsletter:

"Hold on tight, folks.  You've been in worse shape.  Hell, I've been in worse shape.  Give yourself a break this week.  The world is big and weird and sometimes it feels like it's closing in but it's mostly just rearranging. Mutate and survive, as they used to say.  Do what you've got to do.  See you next week."

How often does it come out? "Orbital Operations" will grace your inbox every Sunday.



Aditya Bidikar – "Strange Animals"


Who is he? Aditya Bidikar is mostly known for his lettering work on some of the best comics out today: Isola, These Save Shores, Little Bird, and more.


Why should you read it? Bidikar breaks each newsletter down into smaller, easy-to-read sections. In each, he talks about his life, media he's consuming, other media he'd recommend, and usually a really interesting discussion about the industry. For example, in one, he breaks down comics he's lettered into their page numbers, average panels per page, average words per panel, average words per page, highest word count and lowest word count, then talks about each comic's pacing, content and how the storytelling changes for each.


Plus, we often get newsletters from writers – it's easy to imagine extending comics writing to writing newsletters – but it's fascinating to get some insights and opinions from someone whose majority of experience in the industry is as a letterer.


How often does it come out? "Strange Animals" is meant to be a weekly newsletter, but it comes out irregularly, likely based on how busy Bidikar is at any given time.



Declan Shalvey – "Declarations"


Who is he? The famed artist/writer who many know from his unforgettable art in comics like Moon Knight and Injection, and from his Irish crime OGN, Savage Town.


Why should you read it? Where a lot of creators use their newsletters as a way to constantly advertise their comics, Declan instead talks about his craft and process. In one recent "Declaration," Shalvey breaks down his Top 5 comic covers he's done, going into his thought process behind each. In another, he breaks down what a work week looks like for him – everything he does, day by day. Beyond that, he talks about other comics, progress on his ongoing projects, and other timely comics/comics-adjacent news. You'll also get interviews, exclusive first shots at commission work, and other fun surprises every now and then. It's truly a must-read.


How often does it come out? Bi-weekly.



Ryan K Lindsay – "Two Fisted Homeopape"


Who is he? He's an Australian comic book writer of fantastic comics, like Eternal and Negative Space. By day he works as a schoolteacher, and he also has kids at home who he plays Dungeons & Dragons with. He also writes brilliant study guides for comics that you can get access to through his Patreon.


Why should you read it? Like everyone else, Ryan K Lindsay talk about media he's recently enjoyed and the projects he's working on. But there's something about the way that he talks about them that rings so earnest and authentic. It's hard to put into words, but he seems grounded, like he's just a normal guy, maybe even a friend of yours, trucking along with his writing career.


The real gem that I constantly talk about with others, however, is the section where he talks about playing Dungeons & Dragons with his kids (and/or his school club). From character development to game mechanics to general creativity or how D&D relates to comics, it breaks "Two Fisted Homeopape" apart from every other newsletter in a way that's a delight to read.


How often does it come out? It comes out weekly, with a hiatus every so often.



Kieron Gillen – "Kieron Gillen's Word Mail"


Who is he? Remember when I was talking about the next generation of comic book creators, many of whom were heavily influenced by Warren Ellis? Kieron is one of them. He's a brilliant storyteller, writer of Die, The Wicked + The Divine, Über, Young Avengers, and many more top-notch titles.


Why should you read it? First of all, I don't know if the newsletter is actually called "Kieron Gillen's Word Mail." It doesn't have a title in the typical title space every week, so I grabbed that one off his sign-up page.


What I love about Gillen's newsletter, though, is how he organizes information. If you've taken a look at my reviews, I'm a big fan of breaking things down into sections and makes those sections easy to read and digest.


Kieron is prolific. He writes a lot of comics. He wrote an RPG Beta tabletop guide that sort of goes along with his comic, Die (go check it out, it'll make more sense from him). He also posts his writer notes for his comics. All of that, he curates in one place: this newsletter. (Also, all his projects and con appearances and interviews and all thet more expected stuff.)


How often does it come out? Roughly every 7 days. Sometimes, every 8 days. Sometimes, he skips a week.



Michael Moreci – The Michael Moreci Newsletter


Who is he? The writer of many stellar sci-fi books and comics, as well as a little horror, to boot. Check out Wasted Space, Curse, Roche Limit, and keep an eye out for The Plot, coming later this year.


Why should you read it? Moreci tells you right upfront what to expect in his newsletters (which, unlike the others, are untitled): the latest on his work, a progress report on his current projects, and a little bit about what media's in his life at the time.


What makes it unique, though, is the very end of each newsletter, where Moreci offers writing advice. It's not just a few sentences, or a couple bullets to keep in mind. Michael Moreci writes paragraph after paragraph of advice helpful to anyone interested in writing. In the most recent newsletter, for example, he talks about how a story's catalyst or inciting incident should work. Free advice from a pro is hard to come by!


How often does it come out? Meant to be once a month. I only signed up back in April, got one for May, but I didn't see one for June or July, yet. Not that I can find in my inbox, anyway.



Jeff Lemire – "Tales From The Farm"


Who is he? Jeff Lemire is the prolific writer/artist who often works in watercolor. Neatly everything he touches turns to gold, depending on if your definition of "gold" means "movies and TV" or not. His comics are well known: Sweet Tooth, Descender, Royal City, Gideon Falls, and many, many more.


Why should you read it? Lemire does the usual, but dives a little deeper into each. For his projects, he'll talk about why they're so important to him, and he'll sometimes show process shots of his work, the line art, then the inks before the full color. Sometimes, he'll just talk – most recently about Vertigo and his memories of the imprint. It's all in longform paragraphs, which may not surprise you if you've read his work. He seems like the type who enjoys writing long, thoughtful pieces.


How often does it come out? Whenever it wants to. Originally intended to be weekly.



LO-FI Fonts – "Monthly Newsletter"


What is it? Lo-Fi Fonts is comic letterer/designer/artist Steve Wands's "low-fidelity foundry." Wands creates fonts and sells them and his lettering templates at his site.


Why should you read it? Interviews with other letterers about process and lettering in general! New fonts! Links to past newsletters you might have missed! It's almost entirely content, and if you're interested in lettering, this is a newsletter you won't want to miss.


How often does it come out? Monthly, toward the end of the month.



Ed Brubaker – "Notes From the Basement/From the Desk of Ed Brubaker"


What is it? He's an American cartoonist and writer who's known for his award-winning work on titles like Criminal, The Fade Out, Captain America, and Daredevil.


Why should you read it? Beyond talking about his work, convention appearances, and recommendations of current comics coming out, Brubaker writes at length about the comics he grew up on, and how they inspired his work. He also highlights humorous or interesting crime stories he's recently stumbled upon. But each well-organized newsletter is mainly about Criminal. If you love Criminal, or Brubaker, you're going to want to sign up for this newsletter.


How often does it come out? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly? Twice a day? It's a little sporadic. But it'll come.



While these are some of the best comic book newsletters out there, there's definitely a desire for even more great newsletters from creators – especially from more marginalized voices.


Got a newsletter I missed that you'd recommend? Leave a comment, email me at TheComicsYeti@gmail.com, or tweet at me @ComicBookYeti.


And if you want even more comics newsletters to sign up for, check out our follow-up article, 11 More Must-Read Comics Newsletters.


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