Jonathan Hickman’s creator owned work is known for tackling big, often metaphysical concepts such as the nature of media as propaganda, the transcendence of humanity beyond the limitations of the human form and the death and destruction of the entire world at the hands of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
His new series The Black Monday Murders with Tomm Coker, Michael Garland and Rus Wooton, announced today at Image Expo, takes things a bit simpler and is all about rival schools of magic, but instead of magic they are financial institutions battling for supremacy following the global stock market crash of the late eighties.
For virtually every comic book creator working today, self-publishing stories is the necessary first step for a career in comics, whether it's through webcomics or creating and printing your own series or graphic novel to sell at conventions or local stores. Unfortunately, it also tends to not be a very financially rewarding part of the process, and it's full of opportunities to make mistakes that can hinder - or even stop - someone with a great story to tell from getting to their full potential. Today, though, that process just became a whole lot easier for at least one young creator.
As the final announcement of today's Image Expo, creators from both Image and Iron Circus announced the formation of Creators For Creators, a new nonprofit organization that will award a $30,000 grant to one cartoonist or writer-artist team to "support the creation of a new and original work of a length between sixty-four and one hundred pages over the course of a single year." And believe it or not, the money's only half of what the grant will involve.
Every once in a while, you come across a premise for a story that has so many great hooks that you want to start reading it before you even finish the sentence where it's announced. Prima, announced this week at the Image Expo as the next project from Jen Van Meter and Rick Burchett, is one of those comics: The story of a ballet company that was secretly a resistance cell during World War II, and uses their skills as thieves after the war.
To find out more, I spoke to Van Meter and Burchett about Prima's roots in mid-century illustration, the collision of wartime resistance and high fashion, and the troubles of building an entire cast of characters who all have one big lie to tell to each other and the audience.
Ahead of Emerald City Comiccon, Image held its annual gathering of creators to announce a new slate of titles coming from the publisher in 2016 and beyond. The 2016 Image Expo brought with it wealth of information about the publisher's plans, including new books from the former Batgirl creative team of Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher; crime comic mainstays Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips; a new OGN from Leila del Duca; Jen Van Meter and Rick Burchett's ballerina crime caper; and a number of other promising projects.
What a week! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to sit back and read some comics. The weekend is finally here, and the world can relax and rest once more — but the comics industry has been busy too, you know, and the last seven days have seen a flurry of comics-based news and announcements fly past at high speed.
ComicsAlliance has got your back, though: when it comes to comics, we never slow down, and so here’s a look back and just what’s been going on. New comics, new stories, new podcasts, new art being made — it’s all part of the ComicsAlliance Weekender!
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.
Sex Criminals co-creator Chip Zdarsky and Infinite Kung Fu author Kagan McLeod plan to take readers to colorful, strange, and rather gay new worlds with their new Image ongoing title Kaptara this April. Announced by Zdarsky himself and Image publisher Eric Stephenson at the one-day Image Expo in San Francisco on Thursday, the book sees a waylaid earthman sent on an odyssey through peculiar worlds inspired by the action figures of the 1980s, on a mission to save his home planet.
The two Toronto-based writer-artists have known each other for years, and as they told ComicsAlliance, the roots of this collaboration go back to the studio they once shared. Kaptara is written by Zdarsky and illustrated in full color by McLeod, an acclaimed magazine illustrator making his return to comics. The story offers echoes of Flash Gordon and John Carter, and of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga, only... gayer. More gay. ComicsAlliance met with the team to find out just how gay, and to get the ball rolling on Motivational Orb mania.
Image held the latest in its series of one-day Image Expo events in San Francisco on Thursday, putting a spotlight on a slate of new titles for 2015, and introducing some new creators to the Image family. In concert with the expo, Image also released a new Humble Indie Bundle that includes an Image Expo Preview book containing art from the newly announced titles, plus some forthcoming books that were previously announced.
Titles featured in the preview include Savior by Brian Holguin, Todd McFarlane, and Clayton Crain; Injection, by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire; No Mercy, by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee; Island, by Brandon Graham and a whole host of artists; RunLoveKill, by Eric Canete, Jonathan Tsuei, Leonardo Olea, and Manu Fernandez; and Starve, by Brian Wood and Danijel Zezelj; the book also includes a one-page ad for Marjorie Liu's new book with Sana Takeda, Monstress, and an ad for the second season of Pretty Deadly, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.
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".