Welcome to Joshua Williamson's Super Scary Newsletter!
Welcome to our FIRST Super Scary Newsletter.
My name is Joshua Williamson. I am a New York Times bestselling author that you probably know as the writer of Nailbiter, Birthright, Flash, Robin, Batman/Superman, Batman, Dark Crisis, or a slew of other comics books.
I wanted to write comics since I was in the 4th grade. It was my dream job. All I could ever think about. So I busted my ass and started self-publishing comics in 2001, and never looked back. It’s been a long and dangerous road since then, but I think it’s fair to say that this is much more than a job to me. I love writing and producing comic books. I’m very thankful to be able to do this for a living. And after all these years I felt like it was time to open up the vaults and talk more about my process on making comics book, but also explore some cool new ideas using this platform.
I’m treating this Substack Newsletter closer to a FAN CLUB. Home to behind-the-scenes info on my projects, my process, and it’s where you’ll get exclusive and limited collectibles and merchandise. Along with my obsession with making comic books, I’ve always loved collectibles and it’s a space I’d like to do some work in, so you’ll see the early stages of that here as well.
Our main monthly comic feature is “Tales from the Nailbiter and Other Terrifying stories” anthology alongside a few fun reveals and projects that we’ll bring to you over the next few months.
But before we get into all that, and detail all the cool stuff you’ll get from subscribing to my Substack Newsletter…
Way back in the spring of 2021 Substack reached out to me and some other comic book creators with an amazing deal. A totally unheard-of-deal that was way too great an opportunity to pass up. It was a Substack Pro Grant that allowed me to use this platform to create comic content, but also share a behind the scenes look at the process. You’ve probably heard this part of the story before from other awesome creators who launched Substacks this last year…
But seriously. Some of my peers were able to dive right in. Launch their Substack a year ago and start posting, showing off new comic books, sharing their insight on comics and their process. (You know who you are!)
But I had a long year ahead of me. I had just re-signed my DC exclusive deal a few weeks earlier (I’m currently still exclusive right now in case you’re wondering. I just have terms in my deal that allows select projects outside of DC.) and my workload looked NUTS. Dark Crisis started production and I was still writing Infinite Frontier, Robin, Deathstroke Inc, Justice League Incarnate, Rogues, and I was going to take over Batman for a few months. All of which were important books to me. And there were a few secret creator-owned projects I was developing like the new DARK RIDE series. There was a month this year where I had EIGHT books released by DC Comics. All in one month. (I’m a bit of a workaholic, if you can’t tell. But like I said before…I love this job…)
I had a LOT planned for 2021 and 2022. And I was worried about burning out. There was no way I could launch a massive project like Substack at the same time as my peers.
But I was thankfully able to accept the awesome once-in-a-lifetime grant and sign the deal back then with the understanding that I would launch at a much later date.
That date is today.
Keeping the fact that I had a Substack newsletter a secret for the last year was difficult, but I’m excited to finally share it with you now. But what the hell was I going to do with this Newsletter? I knew I’d open with the new Nailbiter short stories with co-creator Mike Henderson. Along with some behind the scenes material, but here was another piece…
Do you need to “know” a creator to support their work?
That a picture of me above, if you hadn’t guessed. I’ve never really shared too much of myself online. I don’t really write about myself or share a lot of my process. My favorite form of interviews is podcasts or video interviews. Mostly because I love to talk to people about comics or whatever I’m obsessed with that day. But I’ve never been the best at the social media side of things. I actually have it blocked almost 80% of the day. I have my own anxieties about social media that date back long before Twitter was a thing, so I’ve never really shared too much there. Mostly just hype for my books and projects. I’ve kept my distance from it and set boundaries, otherwise. And that’s worked for me. I have NO plans to change that or leave Twitter.
But for years I’ve heard that in today’s comic book industry you don’t just sell your books, you sell YOU. There must be a hint of “Cult of Personality.” Now, I’m not sure I really agree with this. I believe there are plenty of creators who have had successful careers and we never really “knew” them. Or we knew the “character” they created to present to us. There are some that have cultivated an almost rock star or legend status that sometimes outshines their work. And there are some that thrive in a social space sharing a lot of themselves. (Someone will write a whole post on how wrong I am about this, and I look forward to it. It’s a topic I’m fascinated by and question often.)
But it is something that has been brought up to me multiple times. It’s an idea that I’ve struggled with. But when presented with this Substack opportunity I thought “What the heck?” I’ll talk about myself. Let’s try it out and see what happens.”
(Honestly, even as I type that my brain melts a little bit.)
So, on this Substack I will share a bit more of a behind the scenes look at myself, my process, my own love of comics and some of the fun and/or horror stories I’ve encountered in my career.
(I just got the lovely warning that this post will be too long for email. If you’re reading this in your email then you will need to jump over to the actual Substack page to get the full message.)
Okay, now with all of that out of the way…let’s dive into what this Super Scary Substack will be about!
“Sixteen of the world’s worst serial killers were all born and raised in the same small town. What happened in that town to create such horror? The worst of the serial killers is the Edward Charles Warren. He would only kidnap people who chewed their nails. He’d keep them captive while their nails grew back, chew their nails for them, and then kill them. This earned him the name…NAILBITER.”
That was the original pitch for my creator-owned series NAILBITER that started in 2014. Co-created with Mike Henderson, with colors by Adam Guzowski and Letters/Design by John J. Hill. The first series ran 30 issues. And then we brought it back in 2020 with NAILBITER RETURNS that ran ten issues. Mike and I have plans for a follow up to wrap up the Trilogy. BUT the Nailbiter was far from the only serial killer in the series. That was part of the whole set up. There were 15 OTHER serial killers before him. And we never really got to flesh out the stories of the other killers. So Mike and I, along with Adam and John, decided to create this new series:
TALES FROM THE NAILBITER AND OTHER TERRIFYING TALES
It’s a horror anthology that takes place in the world of Nailbiter. Some of the stories are written by me, some are written by Mike and some are written by guest writers. It will all have guest artists. We’ll update you on creative teams in the future. Don’t want to ruin some surprises just yet. Mike Henderson and Adam Guzowski are doing intro pieces for each story.
Here is a taste of those intros that Mike and Adam put together:
This anthology WILL EVENTUALLY BE IN PRINT. Once we get to the end, all the chapters will be collected into one big trade paperback. And just to be clear, Nailbiter is still being published in print by Image Comics.
If you subscribe to the SUPER SCARY FAN CLUB, you will get a physical copy of that collection. You will be able to pick up a copy from your comic book store as well, but here you get it along with some other perks.
If you haven’t read Nailbiter before I highly recommend you order the trades from your comic book store of choice.
One of the big Nailbiter Projects that Mike and I have always wanted to do is a NAILBITER TABLETOP GAME. We’ve talked about this for years and we’ve had conversations with different game designers and publishers. So I’ll use this Substack as a development journal for that project.
We’ve also put together a new NAILBITER FAN CLUB BOX that comes with a few very cool items. That only goes to the people who subscribe to the ANNUAL PLAN and is perfect for Nailbiter fans. We’re limiting this version of the box to the first 500 subscribers to the ANNUAL plan. We’re only making 500 of them, so act fast!
A NAILBITER VOL.1. signed by Mike and myself.
Nailbiter collectable card sets. (sample below.)
A Nailbiter enamel pin.
A Nailbiter T-Shirt.
SUPER SCARY CLUB: You see that mascot at the top? His name is Super Scary. He’s my company’s mascot and haunts this Substack. If you subscribe to this Substack at the highest tier he will send you a box with an exclusive cover, a T-shirt and a pin. Pretty fricken cool. Details are in the “Tier” section. This is also limited to 500.
FLASH 101: I wrote over 100 issues of the Flash. From 2016 to 2020. It feels like a lifetime ago, but it was a very big piece of my life. And I wanted to give you a peek at the process of that series. My experience from start to finish. Annotated. Talk about why certain stories went the way they did and talk about a few stories that were left on the cutting room floor. I’ll talk about getting the job on the series and the roller coaster ride it was on the book. It’ll be fun. Trust me.
Once Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths is completed, I will talk about the development and production of the event. Give some insight into what it was like writing a Crisis event for DC Comics.
UPDATES ON ALL MY PROJECTS: This will start in October. It’ll be one of those breakdowns with the fancy TOP SECRET CODE NAMES. You’ll get updates on nearly everything I’m working on. And a sneak peek at projects in development.
THE NEW WEBSTORE: I will be launching an online store this year. It will have some new merchandise, collectibles, and comics. Here you will get a look at the merchandise as it’s coming together. And if you subscribe to the paid levels you will get a discount there.
OKAY. I’ve typed enough. I wanted to keep this first post down to a lower word count and I’m already WAY OVER. Let’s dive into what you get when you subscribe. This is the REAL thing you wanted to see, anyway.
SUBSTACK-SUPER SCARY TIERS!
There are four options for you to choose from:
Weekly newsletter full of updates! Project updates!
Covers, comic previews and more! Breaking art and covers!
Tales from the Nailbiter and other Terrifying Stories! - A horror Anthology - Digital chapters. In the Nailbiter series we developed fourteen serial killers called the “Buckaroo Butchers,” but we never showed a fleshed-out history of those serial killers. This would be additive to the Nailbiter comic series as each chapter would tell the horror stories of those killers in that world. Hosted by the Nailbiter himself. Each issue with a new guest artist. Written by Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson and surprise guests! Launching in October!
Behind the scenes look at the development and progress of the NAILBITER TABLE TOP GAME - Be there from the start as we try to make Nailbiter into a game!
BEHIND THE SCENES! - I have multiple creator-owned comics in development starting with DARK RIDE #1 in October. This will be the place to get a behind the scenes look at the development of those creator owned series.
FLASH FACTS – Behind the scenes breakdown/posts of every single issue of my 100 + issue Flash run. Each month I will give details into each trade paperback collection.
Full scripts from past projects - I’ll post a digital copy of one of my scripts. One per month for a year. Starting with ROBIN #1 from 2021.
Breaking in - Stories about breaking into comics. Including that time in 2007 when I had to go to the hospital in the middle of a convention but still made all my meetings or in 2012 when I thought my whole career was over. I’ll talk about the low moments and the triumphs. My hope is that other creators trying to break in to comics can learn something from my experiences.
Early bird access to new merchandise and exclusives on the new website when it launches.
5% discount on items in the new webstore.
$70-YEARLY-NAILBITER FAN CLUB LEVEL
Everything at the FREE and MONTHLY level at a discounted rate.
NAILBITER FAN CLUB BOX - Limited to the first 500 sign-ups at this level. Contains a signed copy of vol.1 by Mike and I. Nailbiter trading card set. A Nailbiter t-shirt. AND an enamel Nailbiter PIN. (I’ll update once they are gone.)
This Box is ONLY at the Annual sign-up level. This is ONE box.
$250- Founders Tier. SUPER SCARY CLUB LEVEL!
Everything at the Free and Monthly level.
NAILBITER FAN CLUB BOX. (Detailed above.)
“Tales from the Nailbiter and other Terrifying Stories” trade paperback collection when it is in PRINT.
THE SUPER SCARY BOX - Limited to the first 500 sign-ups. SUPER SCARY PIN and the Super Scary T-shirt that let’s people know you are in the SUPER SCARY CLUB.
First 75 sign ups will get a special limited edition version of the Super Scary Pin that will never be remade. This is a really nice fancy metal version.
The first 400 Super Scary members will get a limited edition DARK RIDE #1 EXCLUSIVE VARIANT COVER by Mike Henderson. (I’ll update if and when these are sold-out.)
THE SMALL PRINT - The exclusive Nailbiter and Super Scary boxes are estimated to be produced 2022 Q4/2023 Q1. Those boxes and collectibles take time to produce, and we want to make sure we get everything right. All the pictures you see here are works in progress, NOT FINAL, but very close to the final designs. The pins themselves are actually ready to go. Both BOXES are very LIMITED, so they will run out. But I’ll update once they do. The Dark Ride #1 variant cover will have 500 printed but I’m setting aside 100 copies for damages.
(I’m still new to this whole thing, so there might be some growing pains here and there. But I’ll work to make sure it all adds up. Thank you for your patience!)
All the graphics you see here were designed by John J Hill. The Super Scary mascot and his spot art were designed by Jason Ho.
Matthew Rosenberg. A great writer and friend is also launching his Substack today. He’s had his Substack newsletter for a while and it’s awesome! Check out his new launch for all the cool comics he’s putting together! AshcanPress.com!
AND NOW WHAT?
I’ve written a lot here. Way more than I was expecting to. I’m sure this thing is full of funny typos. And I’m sure you’ll have a lot of questions. If something isn’t clear, let me know and I’ll clarify and update.
Check out the different options to subscribe and join us on a horror filled ride!