Welcome to SKTCHD.
So…what is SKTCHD?
SKTCHD is a subscription comic site designed to tell the story behind our favorite comic stories, creators and the industry through a variety of content types, including:
Deeply researched longforms and industry analysis take the lead, with all of that supplemented by dedicated weekly columns, monster interviews, art analysis, goofy pieces, guest features, and more.
The home of Off Panel, my weekly comics interview podcast. It will continue to be free, but there will be subscription-only content on the site, including key chats for some longforms.
The brand new SKTCHD forum will be a haven for comic lovers of all varieties to discuss the world of comics, what they’re working on, recent news, and more with other members and David himself.
Want more information on what SKTCHD includes? You can find a deeper breakdown on that and why the site is embracing the subscription model below.
Want to subscribe?
Select one of the site’s plans below to subscribe.
$4.99 per month
$3.99 per month
$2.99 per month
A month of SKTCHD is either the same as your typical Marvel #1 or, for the best rate, the price of most single issue comics to get unlimited access to the site’s content and community. Just want the Longforms? Try the monthly plan that just gets you the featured content.
Still not sure? Try a week free on me, as each subscription gets a 7-day trial.
Note: Subscriptions automatically renew at the end of the month
or quarter you’ve signed up for. You can cancel at any time by turning auto-renew off. Your subscription will end at the conclusion of the period you signed up for.
So what makes SKTCHD and its content worthwhile?
Let’s ask some people you might know for their thoughts.
SKTCHD is one of the most comprehensive online resources for anyone who is interested in the inner workings of the comics industry. David is extremely thoughtful and thorough in his research and always manages to cover a wide breadth of topics and creators, so there is something for everyone.~Jen Bartel (Blackbird)
Whether in podcast interviews or longform journalism, David Harper’s passion and devotion to the comics medium in all its forms underlies a youthful exuberance and amiable demeanor that always puts his subjects at ease. Regardless of genre, format or personality, David’s curiosity and professionalism drive his pursuit of the profound deep dive; always engaging, never repetitive!~Stuart Immonen (Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., Grass of Parnassus)
David’s interviews and articles are friendly and thorough, and it’s apparent that he’s put the legwork in when it comes to background research. Always informative and a pleasure to read.~Fiona Staples (Saga)
SKTCHD is an oasis of good faith comics journalism, chiseled with a canny eye. David Harper is providing something the industry and the medium desperately needs, and I’m excited to see what SKTCHD 2.0 brings to the table.~Declan Shalvey (Injection, Moon Knight)
So…again, what is SKTCHD?
Let’s do it one more time, but with more detail.
SKTCHD subscribers get access to all of the content on the site each and every week, with your average week have four to six pieces, all of which is completely original content. The highlight reel pieces will be my weekly longforms, each of which is deeply researched, examining the industry, the making of old favorites, current events, the careers of creators, and a whole lot more. There will be plenty of other content, including deep dive interviews with creators and industry types, art feature interviews where artists examine their work with me, looks at the weird world of comics, and more, including weekly staples like my Friday column Comics Disassembled in which I share ten things I liked or didn’t like from the past week in comics, the industry and beyond, as well as my look at the week’s releases in “The Pull.”
Still wondering what SKTCHD might look like? Here are some good examples from the site that showcase what it’s all about:
- The oral history of the Annihilation, the 2006 Marvel event comic that restarted Marvel’s cosmic universe and set us on a path to the Guardians of the Galaxy becoming household names, featuring all of the key players from this mammoth project.
- A deep dive exploration of the impact libraries have on comics and vice versa, talking with key players from the world of libraries and comic publishers to see just how immense that impact truly is.
- Webtoon, the digital comics platform, is quietly one of – if not the – most read comic publisher in the world, and I explore what makes this sleeping giant such an atypical and effective house for connecting with comic fans.
- I looked back on Mike Mignola’s “Pancakes” story from Hellboy, discussing what makes it such a lasting and beloved short story, talking with Mignola about its creation along the way.
The objective of SKTCHD is to do things a bit differently than other comic sites, approaching varying topics in informative, heavily researched yet fun ways. While there won’t be a ton of content, the idea is quality, not quantity, making it a bit atypical to the trends of the internet. The vast majority of it will be from me, but The AV Club’s Oliver Sava has a quarterly column, and guest columnists pop in from time-to-time. Believe me, there’s plenty to read and explore here on SKTCHD.
The SKTCHD podcast, Off Panel, is still free as it was before. It still exists on all the places you found it previously – Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. etc. – and is still the same weekly comics interview podcast it was before, with guests new and old talking about comics, the industry and more.
So your subscription will include the same access everyone gets. However, SKTCHD subscribers will get access to non-Off Panel related audio content, from time to time, including some of the interviews that feed into the longform features I’m writing and occasional video features. But Off Panel is the core of the podcast side of things and will continue to be free (although you can support the show and get early access to each week’s episode by backing it on Patreon).
Comics are one of my favorite subjects to talk about.
But sometimes, the conversation about comics can have a frustratingly argumentative and ugly tenor to it. That’s not to say disagreement is universally bad, but when it lacks common decency, that’s enough to chase even the most passionate fans away.
The SKTCHD forum is something different. It’s a moderated home for discussion about the world of comics in a broader scope, with conversations touching on everything from the comics themselves and the industry to comic movies and beyond. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, as I’ve long loved the comic shop talk experience, but this is that on a larger scale.
This forum also exists as a place for discussion about the site, its content and what you all would like to see more of (it’s also where article comments live), but above all, it’s a place for you to have fun, in-depth and civil conversations about this medium we all love so much, while meeting fellow fans who could become new friends or future collaborators.
Or we can just make a bunch of jokes about silly comic things. That’s fun too. Join the conversation by subscribing and pressing the Discussion button at the top!
Why is this a subscription site?
I love writing about comics. It’s something I greatly enjoy, whether I’m creating absolutely ridiculous Excel documents examining comic sales or diving deep into the story behind a comic I adore. The first run of SKTCHD was a blast, and people seemed to dig it. But in my year of running the site, I created hundreds of pieces of content, which proved unsustainable for one major reason: I never found a real way to monetize it.
That’s not entirely surprising. It can be incredibly difficult to monetize anything online. Even worse, the existing banner ad model that most sites use encourages bad behavior and negative user experiences, as it inspires low quality content that’s quick to churn out at volume (all of which is surrounded by hordes of banner and video ads). I’m never going to be able to create that kind of volume, nor would I want to write that kind of content. It’s exhausting and not of interest to me, if I’m being honest.
The subscription model offers a perfect alternative, as SKTCHD might not be for the masses, but it might be for you if you’re into deeply researched longforms, a wide variety of interviews with a different approach, industry analysis, and a whole lot more. And even better for you, your subscription means you get to read the content you want with no ads, no pop ups, and no random videos that are playing somewhere but oh god where are they playing can someone figure it out?
Going this route makes it possible for me to write the types of articles I want to write in a sustainable way while you hopefully get to read the types of articles you want to read. It’s the best version of a comic site by me, or at least that’s what the goal is. It’s a dream of quality over quantity, with room to grow and make something special.
Welcome to SKTCHD. I hope you enjoy it.