Johnathan Hickman Joins James Tynion IV On Substack With A Little Help From Some Friends

by Olly MacNamee

It’s been quite the day for announcements and Substack have certainly benefitted from it all, I’m sure. James Tynion IV has more or left DC Comics to build a comic book company of his own and he’s not the only one. Johnathan Hickman also follows Tynion to Substack to create an all-new shared universe with support from writers Al Ewing, Ram V, Tini Howard, and artists Mike Del Mundo and Mike Huddleston.

Born from an attempt during the pandemic to get all the X-Men line distributed digitally, but “which went absolutely nowhere because Diamond and the market recovered,” the idea stuck with him and so 3W3M was born.

Why? Well, Hickman lays it out:

“The two biggest problems with the way we make comics now are: 1.) Because of the solicit/previews/pre-order hierarchy we’ve systemically erased surprise from the industry, and… 2.) We’re locked into a static storytelling format based entirely on an existing economic model.”

And what exactly is 3W3M, or Three Worlds Three Moons? Hickman spills the beans in his latest newsletter:

“THREE WORLDS THREE MOONS is a concept universe. And we mean this in exactly the same vein as a concept album, where all of the individual characters/stories/things we create together add up to be part a much larger whole…. This is the launch of a new universe in comics, a new and exciting place to tell the best possible stories, with no boundaries. We are going to be telling those stories right here, delivering them directly to you as they’re born.”

And, like Tynion, Hickman is offering three tires of payment plans:

$8 a month, $80 annual or $250 Founding Member, with the following incentives:

  • The first 500 of you who sign up as annual subscribers can receive a Collector’s Card from one of the Three Worlds, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. Or you can take THE COIN and see what it gets you.
  • The first 250 of you can receive a Limited Edition Print, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. Or, you can take THE MAP, and see where it leads you.
  • The first 100 of you can get, when it’s ready, our very first printed Ashcan, signed by me, del Mundo, and Huddleston. We will only print 100 of these, ever. Or, you can take THE KEY instead, and see what new world opens up.
  • And for all you who subscribe this week, annual or monthly, you’re going to get THE INVITATION. I’m going to be having a conversation with someone I very much respect and admire about all this, and I want you to be there for it.
  • (Oh, and if you sign up for that founding member tier, you get all of this. And more. We’ll talk about it soon. God bless you.)

For more, do read Hickman’s newsletter and take it from there.

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