Image 2013: New Comics From Brubaker, Epting, Remender, Straczynski, Sienkiewicz, Aaron and More
Tuesday marked the second annual Image Expo, the banner event where Image Comics announces its slate of upcoming projects for the year to come. Last year's expo featured announcements of a slew of new comics; this year's had a similar abundance of news, so much of it from established Marvel creators that comics creator Phil Hester took it upon himself to (probably jokingly) announce via Twitter that Marvel's creator-owned imprint Icon "is done."
For example, writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Colleen Doran are bringing their Icon series The Book of Lost Souls to Image. Straczynski is also bringing his former Marvel book Dream Police to the publisher.
In his keynote address, Image Publisher Eric Stephenson said the only conversation Image is interested in has to do with creators, not licenses or properties. Writers and artists "come to Image because we give them the platform to do what they do best: create," he said.
Stephenson bragged that Image is making "significant gains" on Marvel and DC in terms of sales. Market share has risen 80 percent since 2009 and Image had 22 of the top 50 trade paperbacks in 2012. Not only that, but it also has a spiffy new website which touts DRM-free digital downloads.
So just what are creators creating at Image? Here's the list so far:
Creators: Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting
Concept: The team behind a highly praised Captain America run regroups to tell the story of "Moneypenny kind of character," the personal assistant to the head of one of the world's biggest intelligence agencies. She goes to work in the field in a "true Cold War scenario."
Creators: J. Michael Straczynski and Ben Templesmith
Concept: Not much yet, but the overriding question will be, "Would you put up with an eternity of suffering for love?"
Creators: J. Michael Straczynski and Tom Mandrake
Concept: Superhero Red Cowl is killed in action, which forces his sidekick, Flyboy, to decide what in the world to do with himself.
Creators: Kurtis Wiebe and John Upchurch
Concept: An homage to fantasy stories in the vein of Lord of the Rings, Rat Queens focuses on four mercenaries, all women, who kill monsters for bounty and use their gains to throw parties. Covers by Fiona Staples!
Creators: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Concept: A young woman and a young man discover they both have the power to stop time when they...reach climax during sex. Like anyone, they decide to use this ability to commit crimes. Fraction said, "it's like Superbad, American Pie, 40 Year Old Virgin, and all that kind of stuff."
Creators: Matt Fraction and Christian Ward
Concept: A gender-swapped, cosmic take on The Odyssey.
Creators: Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin
Concept: A man decides how to deal with the naughty photos his father left behind upon his death.
Creators: Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera
Concept: Remender says the book is "right up your alley" if you enjoyed his Fear Agent series. It features a member of the Anarchist League of Sciences.
Creators: Rick Remender and Wesley Craig
Concept: Inspired by Remender and Craig's backgrounds in the 1980s' hardcore scene, this is a comic about a high school for assassins.
Creators: Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
Filling the "big cursing-sized hole in my heart," Aaron is writing what he knows: "Dukes of Hazzard x Coen Brothers or The Untouchables vs Boss Hogg." Plus barbecue. The villain is a football coach.
Creators: Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo
Concept: A "Marvel Universe for the 21st Century," as Millar puts it.
Creators: J. Michael Straczynski and Bill Sienkiewicz
Concept: The six-issue miniseries will "deconstruct comic-book storytelling."
Other upcoming or currently running books discussed include:
- Ghosted by Josh Williamson and Goran Sudzuka
- Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos
- Three by Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly
- Rocket Girl by Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
- Zero by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh
- Umbral by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten