Image has confirmed today that it will be returning for another Image Expo this July, which will take place one week before San Diego Comic-Con. Typically the home for a deluge of announcements from a wealth of both billed and surprise guests from the world of comics, the Expos have become a widely anticipated part of the comics calendar --- not least because publisher Eric Stephenson usually offers a keynote speech in which he criticizes everybody else in comics. It's ace.
Image Comics held another one-day Image Expo in San Diego this week just ahead of San Diego Comic-Con, to shine a spotlight on a slate of upcoming titles, including new work from Rick Remender, Ray Fawkes, Marian Churchland, Jeff Lemire, and Becky Cloonan.
It was also a chance for Image publisher Eric Stephenson to talk about Image's position in the comics market. In his keynote speech he called out his competitors for their reliance on "grave robbing the past," hailed the importance of diversity, and derided the term "creator-driven".
In the final few hours before San Diego Comic-Con opened its doors to the public for Preview Night on Wednesday, Image Comics Expo took place in an upstairs ballroom at the nearby San Diego Bayfront Hilton, where the publisher welcomed a group of press, creators, and fans to watch as the company announced, discussed and otherwise promote a great variety of upcoming Image titles.
Welcome back to the ComicsAlliance podcast, covering the latest comic book entertainment news topics. Joining Senior Editors Andy Khouri and Caleb Goellner for this episode is CA writer Matt D. Wilson for a conversations about the the keynote address delivered by Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson to the ComicsPro Retailer Conference in Atlanta. Stephenson made a characteristically iconoclastic and not altogether unassailable presentation, urging retailers to become community leaders, abandon their support of gimmicky, high-priced publishing practices, and draw a distinction between good and bad comics.
We’ll contrast Stephenson’s remarks with those of Dan DiDio, his counterpart at DC Comics, one of the stop superhero publishers, who in an interview this week confirmed plans to double— even triple-down — on weekly comics, crossovers and 3D covers, publishing strategies that are seemingly exactly the sort of thing Stephenson that criticized.
Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson took a shot across the bow at not just Marvel and DC in his address to the ComicsPRO retailers meeting in Atlanta Friday, but also Dark Horse, BOOM! Studios and other s, denouncing the practices of renumbering series, event comics, gimmick covers, licensed comics based on cartoons and films, and charging up to $7.99 for an issue.
One of the most significant -- and to many readers, one of the most exciting -- developments in comics in the last few years has been the growth of Image Comics, with many of the most popular writers and artists in the industry currently producing much, if not all, of their creator owned work through the publisher. As such, Image Expo has become a highly anticipated event, as publisher Eric Stephenson uses the annual show to announce several upcoming books from both established and new talent.
Today's Image Expo continued that tradition, as more than a dozen new titles were announced, from Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Chris Burnham, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and more.
2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
You can cast your vote after the cut for the best editor of the year.
Hiatuses kill me. When a great comic book reaches out and touches all those nodes of pleasure in my brain on a regular basis, I come to expect the hit. When that hit suddenly doesn’t come when it’s supposed to, when the next issue is listed in the solicitations only to get pushed back again and again, that expectation grows from an anxious wiggle of electricity in my brain into a full-blown itch, and the longer the wait goes on, the more I want to push my fingers into my head and scratch it. Try as I might, I can’t recall a recent book that’s given me that itch, that’s instigated that want more than Image Comics’ Nowhere Men. Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde, Jordie Bellaire, and Fonografiks are creating one of the most intelligent, experimental, and beautiful comics today, and after an absence of several months, this week it finally returns.
For those of you unfamiliar with the deep inner workings of direct market distribution -- also known as "the business of comic book stores" -- ComicsPro is an influential trade organization of comic book retailers whose focus is to advocate for its members in matters of business, promotion and other concerns unique to those from whom most of us buy comics. At the beginnin