Hey, how was your weekend?
Brian here, and late last night, I walked through a cinematic Los Angeles downpour to my local movie theater to finally see Babylon, which my friends have described as either a go-for-broke triumph or a deranged misfire. I’m still marinating, but my first impression is… maybe a bit of both? Absolutely never dull though, unlike a lot of last year’s critical darlings. What did you think?
Speaking of films, let’s get back to our cinephile ghost Val, who has escorted her spectral friend Sam to the old Angelika theater in the futuristic New York City they both still haunt. (Catch up on their complete story anytime in our handy Free Archives).
Many thanks to artist /co-creator Niko Henrichon and letterer Fonografiks for working so hard on these beautiful pages during what’s been another day off for some of us…
Page 122?! And our first year isn’t even over yet.
Exploding Giraffe debuted back on January 31, 2022, and it’s been one of the best creative experiences of my life. So I’m very happy to report that—thanks to the nearly 12,000 of YOU who have subscribed—we’ll be continuing with a second year here at Substack starting at the end of this month.
So what can you expect? Here’s the short version:
MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE, FOR LESS MONEY, IN FEWER EMAILS.
And here’s the slightly more detailed version:
MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE
More Spectators! Our sci-fi/horror/romance epic is just getting started, and Niko will continue bringing you at least two to three hand-painted pages of new story every single week, always for free.
And for you generous paid subscribers in The Tower, we’ll be giving you more bonus content (I’ve saved some of my most interesting lost comic projects and film/tv scripts for this second year), more sneak peeks at Saga and our other comics work, more of my podcast-thing Mature Readers (with very special guest/nemesis Ed Brubaker due up next), more behind-the-scenes Artopsy posts from Niko, more and bigger contests and giveaways, plus, EXCLUSIVE opportunities to get your comics/collections signed and personalized, as I’m not planning to do any conventions or other in-person appearances this year.
FOR LESS MONEY
Yep, starting at the end of this month, instead of a subscription to Exploding Giraffe costing $7 a month, we’re going to be lowering our monthly subscription to just FIVE BUCKS.
And instead of $69 for the whole year, we’ll be lowering our annual rate to only FORTY BUCKS.
While we may offer our $250 Founder Tier again in the future, for now, we’re pretty well “founded,” so rather than trying to squeeze more money out of our most affluent readers, Niko and I thought we’d instead drastically reduce our prices to hopefully allow a lot more of you to come hang with us.
This new pricing will be available closer to the end of the month, and if you’re already a subscriber, we’re working with Substack to make sure that you’ll automatically receive this new monthly or annual rate moving forward (if you opt to remain with us, of course).
And if you already signed up at our original rate (or just want to join today instead of waiting a few weeks for that lower pricing?), we’ll be offering some extra prizes and signing opportunities moving forward to all of you O.G. Year One Tower Members, as thanks for making all of this possible.
IN FEWER EMAILS*
*Or “posts,” if you get your Exploding Giraffe missives through the Substack app, which I highly recommend if you subscribe to a few different creators.
Anyway, I know your inbox is probably as explosively out of control as mine, so to help out, rather than dividing our content into a Monday dispatch with Spectators and a Friday dispatch with bonus content, we’re going to combine everything into ONE MEGA MONDAY POST, whose NSFW goodness you’ll be able to enjoy after work, or whenever you choose throughout the week.
We’ll continue to open with a brief check-in and new pages of Spectators, now followed by a no-pressure paywall, beyond which will be that week’s full serving of bonus content, contests, and interactive chat, exclusively for you Tower members (and anyone else who might feel inclined to join us that week).
Oh, and to answer your most common question, will Spectators ever be available in print?
It is absolutely our goal to find a publishing partner to help us create a beautiful physical edition of this graphic novel… but probably not until we’ve reached our last page.
Getting to tell this story completely independently, with no creative interference or other restrictions, has been an addictive joy, and Niko and I want to continue sharing Spectators as it comes to life in real time with you, our first audience.
But when the day comes for Spectators to finally be released in one complete edition, you loyal members of The Tower will be first to receive all the details (and maybe more), so thanks again for considering joining us.
And that’s about it. Exploding Giraffe will now be only $5 a month (or just $3.33, if you go the annual route) to participate, and remain 100% free to spectate. How’s that sound, friendo?
Anything else you’d like to see in our second year? Please let us know in this week’s chat, which will be open to everyone:
One change to Year Two will be that these Monday chat threads will no longer be open to free readers, but Niko and I hope at least a few of you lurkers might finally join up, since we have one of the best little communities of fascinating humans anywhere on the internet.
Over the weekend, we were discussing how our various collections have grown and changed recently, and Puente commented:
I just keep adding shit. Whether it be the Saga prints, the Pops I swore I’d never buy, the Chaykin art, out of print DVDs I fear I won’t be able to find on streaming, or my (also) new toy buying as I’ve gone from getting ol’ Billy Burr in Star Wars to Galactus, Kangs, Ms. Marvels...I must be stopped...
Sorry to further enable you, Puente, but our semi-fictional intern Genesis the Exploded Giraffe has randomly selected YOU as the lucky winner of this sweet Supermobile from McFarlane Toys:
Meanwhile, Tower member Paul Peterson wrote:
I’m one of the nerds who loves oversized collected editions of comics and graphic novels. My personal collection of those grew SUBstantially this past year. Got a good amount of BKV in there (love those Paper Girls hardcovers!) but still missing the Pride of Baghdad Deluxe Edition... just sayin’. 😋
Well, I’m not sure how random your selection was, Paul, but look what Genesis has picked out for your prize:
Thanks to everyone who commented, and Genesis will be reaching out for the winners’ mailing addresses soon.
Oh, and we just received the very last of Niko’s final Founder sketches all the way from France, so those (and any other prizes from before the break that haven’t gone out yet) will all be mailed out in the next week or so.
If you’re missing anything, feel free to reach out to Genesis anytime at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, two cool books (the kind without pictures?!) arrived in my mailbox this week, and I thought they might be of interest to you.
First up, my kids have long been obsessed with the Ordinary People Change the World series by illustrator Chris Eliopoulos and my old friend Brad Meltzer, but did you know that Brad also writes nonfiction thrillers for adults?
This new one is a corker so far.
Next, I was stunned when this heady tome showed up out of the blue:
I didn’t have anything to do with this book, and I can’t promise I’ll ever open it (reading about my own writing is what I imagine being water-boarded feels like), but I’m honored by and deeply grateful to writer Peter Admirand and anyone out there who feels that our humble comics are worthy of further consideration.
All right, that’s about it for this Monday, but I’ll be back on Friday for you Tower members with an exclusive first look at next week’s new issue of Saga.
Once again, our new pricing for Exploding Giraffe Year Two will be available soon for you potential new subscribers, and current Tower members who want to stick with us at that lower rate won’t have to do anything.
Any questions/comments/concerns, please let us know in the chat!
Happy Martin Luther King Day,
absolutely fantastic news about year two - congrats all ! spectators remains an essential part of my wonderful comics melange, so can't wait for 52 more weeks of it (at least!).
hope everyone is enjoying the new year so far - i've been spending mine, well, reading a shit ton of comics (lotsa batman!), selling books, and watching a pretty fascinating doc about the 90s wwe vs. wcw era of wrestling !
also purchased Wolk's 'All of the Marvels' full-Marvel read thru book which, i note, has a recommendation from a one mr K. Vaughan ! can't wait to dig into it.
happy week all, keep spectating xx
I will jump on with year two pricing (sorry, I’m a cheap bastard). Been enjoying Spectators from the beginning. It’s been fantastic and I spread the word about it wherever and whenever I can. Thank you Brian and Niko for being awesome!