Inside the Company Changing Creator Publishing 📖

How Bad Egg is developing original comic books for the internet's top creators

Welcome back. On YouTube, there's been over 32 billion video views on “oddly satisfying,” ASMR-like content during this year alone. That’s a lot of times people have watched things like squishing sand and stretching slime to de-stress—and given the holidays are coming up, maybe those views will double by year-end.

P.S. We're headed to LTKCon and VidSummit in Dallas this week! Hit reply if you'll be there—we'd love to say hi.

How Bad Egg is Disrupting Creator-Led Publishing

Commentary creator Charlie “MoistCr1TiKaL” White Jr. (left) is the author of comics GodSlap (top right) and Plague Seeker (bottom right) / penguinz0, Bad Egg

We’re seeing an influx of creators enter the publishing space—but is it working? And how are they doing it?

We (virtually) sat down with Robert Meyers, a comic book industry veteran and Director of Publishing at Bad Egg Publishing, to learn more about the operations behind commentary creator Charlie “MoistCr1TiKaL” White Jr.’s original comic book series GodSlap and Plague Seeker.

Context: Bad Egg started as a joint venture between merchandising firm Warren James and creative management agency Mana Talent Group (both of which count White Jr. as a client) in 2022.

Through its first year and a half, Bad Egg took what it learned from making GodSlap and developed a flexible, repeatable book creation process (from editing to design to distribution) that could easily adjust to creators’ busy schedules.

So what else makes Bad Egg unique? According to Meyers, it’s Mana’s network of creators and Warren James’ expertise with selling direct to consumers.

“We're doing things differently than other common publishers because…we're not working with a traditional distributor, we're self-distributing,” Meyers told us.

And early results are positive. Over four print issues of GodSlap and 100,000 copies sold, Bad Egg is expanding into new stories and partnerships with creators including Jacksepticeye.

Zoom out: While comic books are nearly two centuries old, creators are increasingly turning to the medium as an inexpensive way to diversify their storytelling and pursue new creative endeavors.

“Comics are new in the creator-driven space, and they allow us to make physical things that are so much different…and open up so many other [potential] branches [like animation and movies],” Meyers told us.

Looking ahead: Having proven product-market fit, Meyers said that the company is set to announce more new clients in the coming months—and expand distribution into additional comic book shops and (eventually) big-box retailers like Target and Barnes & Noble.

TrackStar Ramps Up Celebrity Guests

Singers Ed Sheeran (left) and Olivia Rodrigo (right) appear on TrackStar, a short-form music trivia show hosted by Jack Coyne (center) / TrackStar

Music trivia show TrackStar started welcoming celebrity guests onto their short-form video series—and recent appearances have leveled up to include A-listers like Olivia Rodrigo and Ed Sheeran.

Context: TrackStar is made by Public Opinion (PO), a New York City-based media company. Brothers Jack and Kieran Coyne started PO last July alongside collaborator Henry Kornaros.

Most of their guests are non-music professionals found on the street (one time featuring our very own Samir), and TrackStar shares all the featured songs on a Spotify playlist for fans to follow and listen to.

“The idea of the show is to be a destination for people to discover music and play along,” Jack told us. “We want to be educational, open-minded, and kind in our approach.”

So how’d they score Rodrigo and Sheeran? Shortly after launching TrackStar on TikTok, PO began receiving inbound requests from record labels who wanted to feature their artists on the show due to its relaxed tone and personal touch.

“With artists, I’m researching them to figure out what songs inspire them or have a similar sound,” Jack said. “We’re trying to pull out a story.”

Big picture: Like Hot Ones before it, the appearance of celebrity artists on niche TikTok accounts like TrackStar and Wishbone Kitchen marks a significant shift in the album promotion cycle.

“Our next step is making [long-form] YouTube videos about music…and asking [our guests more in-depth questions like], ‘Hey, what makes a hit song a hit song?’” Jack told us.

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Snap Sees Decline in Use Among Teens

Snap’s popularity is deflating / Illustration by Moy Zhong

People ages 11-17 are only spending about 3% of their phone time on Snap, according to a new report from Common Sense Media.

Back in 2017, Snap was reported to be the go-to app for teens, with users spending at least 30 minutes a day on the platform—but that screen time is now split mainly between TikTok and YouTube.

Big picture: Despite Snap reporting year-over-year growth in daily active users, its foothold among younger audiences seems to be loosening. What’s more, some of the platform’s latest features (including an AI chatbot) have received pushback.

🎥 From the Studio

Our VidCon panel, from left to right: Nate Graber-Lipperman, Max Reisinger, Alex Robinson, Grace Wells, and Anthony Potero / Photo by Asher Bykov

Thanks to everyone who attended our panel at VidCon Baltimore last weekend, including our amazing creator panelists Max Reisinger, Alexandra Robinson, Grace Wells, and Anthony Potero!

We had a great time diving further into our New Wave coverage IRL and chatting about how the next generation of creators plans to make “more than just content.”

Make sure to catch Hannah and Josh from our team in Dallas this week!

👀 Creator Moves

  • Science creators Underknown are hiring a short-form producer to write new TikTok videos.

  • The Sorry Girls are looking for an experienced creative director to oversee video execution and social content.

  • Fashion creator Rinimaa Borah is hiring an editor to edit videos to targeted lengths.

  • Business creators Alex and Leila Hormozi are hiring a videographer to film behind the scenes blogs.

Want us to post your role? Submit one here.

🔥 Press Worthy

  • Cody Ko collaborates with The Cut on The Button dating show.

  • Baseball creators Jomboy Media partnered up with The Warehouse Games to livestream their Blitzball playoffs.

  • Teachable now offers creator membership subscriptions.

  • Airrack signs with talent management company UTA as he expands into several verticals including TV.

  • Weibo creators in China are increasingly using the social media platform to spread feminist activism.

  • MrBeast is sponsoring a jersey patch for the Charlotte Hornets this NBA season.

  • TikTok musician Jeris Johnson explains why he regrets signing to a music label.

  • Casey Neistat documents the recent flash floods hitting NYC.

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