Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with decades of comics behind, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're celebrating Image Comics' 25th anniversary, and after taking a look at the history of cartoons based on Image-published comics, today we're looking at the comics themselves.
Everyone loves trivia about their favorite animated features and series, but with over 100 years of animation history behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in cartoons in this continuing video series. You think you know cartoons? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Image Comics, so this week we're taking a look at the history of cartoons based on comics from America's largest independent comics publisher!
When Image Comics launched in 1992, I was thirteen years old. I think that might be the ideal age for that first wave of Image books. But the truth is, I didn't read most of them. Image comics were a little more expensive than the books I was used to, and my allowance could only go so far. Also they weren't always easy to find, considering I bought most of my comics at either the one grocery store that still had a spinner rack or the tiny bookstore at the mall.
But there was one book I showed up for: Erik Larsen's The Savage Dragon. It launched with a three-issue miniseries, which is what I remember best.
At the dawn of 1992, comic books were booming. Tim Burton's Batman had kicked off a new wave of big-budget film adaptations. Superhero products could be found in nearly every aisle of every department store and supermarket. New comic shops were springing up in shopping centers and malls, publishers were seeing their highest sales figures in years, and new companies were making names for themselves as serious players. And Marvel Comics was the unquestioned big fish in the pool, with their stock booming in the six short months since they'd gone public, and an unparalleled creative stable.
But big changes were afoot. In December of 1991, Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, and Jim Lee, Marvel's three biggest artists, informed publisher Terry Stewart that the company's policies toward talent were unfair, that creators were not being appropriately rewarded for their work, and that they were leaving, effective immediately. In the month thereafter, they joined forces with a few more like-minded artists from Marvel's top-selling titles, worked out a deal with small publisher Malibu Comics for production and distribution, and decided on the title for their new company --- recycling a name that Liefeld had originally intended for an aborted self-publishing venture. On February 1st, 1992, a press release was sent out announcing the formation of Image Comics.
Things got interesting over the past few days for comics folks who keep their ear to online skirmishes over how welcoming comics is or isn't --- and how welcoming comics should be in the first place. Between the new Killing Joke-inspired and tonally jarring cover to Batgirl #41 (which was just pulled at artist Rafael Albuquerque's request, and in line with the creative team's wishes) and Erik Larsen going on a Twitter rant about comics pandering to a "vocal minority" that in his mind wanted superheroines covered up, it would be easy for readers interested in the new world order of "comics for everyone" to feel discouraged. After all, if some of the decision-makers at DC and one of the owners of Image Comics don't get it, how can we expect everyone else to get it? The answer is easy: we move on without them.
If there's a Hall of Fame for comic book titles, then Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories deserves its own wing. You put those words in that order on the cover of a comic book, and I'm going to buy it, no questions asked, and I'm pretty sure I'm not exactly alone in that way of thinking. To be honest, though, I will admit to being just a little bit disappointed that it's not an accurate description of the contents. I mean, is there anyone who wouldn't want to read a treasury-sized extravaganza about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego busting out forbidden martial arts techniques in order to fight their way out of the oven? I would.
That said, what we actually have -- an extra-sized $20 tome edited by Bruce Timm and Erik Larsen -- is still pretty amazing; an anthology of stories from fantastic creators that accomplishes that rare feat of being an anthology book where every single story is highly entertaining, even if they're not about Esau mastering poison styles to take his ultimate revenge on Jacob.
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.
Comic-Con International in San Diego is just a few short days away, which means that we are finally coming to an end of the series of big reveals of exclusives that you can only pick up on the con floor next week. Today, it's Image Comics, and they're putting out con-exclusive paperbacks and variant covers for books like Rocket Girl, TechJacket and more
There's also an out-of-nowhere anthology paperback called Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories, edited by Erik Larsen and Bruce Timm, and I know that I need it in my life. The title alone is worth the price of admission. Reportedly years in the making, the book features all-new stories by Larsen, Timm, Adam Warren, (Empowered), Tom Scioli (Gødland), Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Andy Kuhn (Firebreather), and Arthur Adams (Uncanny X-Men). The collection, described by Image as a Treasury Edition, will be available in limited quantities exclusively at the Image Comics booth.
The comics medium attempts to answer a lot of big questions: Who would win in a fight between the Hulk and Superman? "What lurks behind the beehive?" What's up with the Joker's face? In that spirit, ComicsAlliance's Matt Wilson is asking comics creators, retailers and commentators some big questions of his own...
On sale now from Image Comics is Supreme #63, which after a 15-year wait finally concludes Alan Moore's hugely acclaimed work with Rob Liefeld's Superman analog. Also the writer of such books as Watchmen and From Hell, Moore's final Supreme script sat on the proverbial shelf since the last issue went on sale in 1998, and will be drawn by Savage Dragon creator and Image co-founder Erik Larsen with Cory Hamscher...
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