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Speaking of Comics-Town, USA, at San Diego I started to hear a few whispers that Image Comics might be leaving its Bay Area headquarters for the cheaper and even more comics friendly environs of Portland, OR. Based on what I’m hearing, this is actually happening in the nearish future.

Image is currently located in Berkeley, CA, a once reasonable college town type area in the East Bay that, like all of the Bay Area, is now insanely expensive. The  Image staff is fairly compact, around a few dozen people, so moving shouldn’t be that difficult and probably would be welcomed by everyone looking to escape the birthplace of commuting to the suburbs and artisanal toast.

According to my faulty memory (and the internet has been no help here) Image Central moved to Oakland when Erik Larsen was publisher, a position he held until 2008 when Eric Stephenson took over.  Prior to that it was located in Anaheim, as part of the Liefeld/Lee SoCal contingent. So moving around is nothing new for the company.

Of course, this further cements PDX as the heart of the US comics industry, with Dark Horse, Oni and the CBLDF all located there, along with hundreds and hundreds of comics professionals. It also backs up the notion that the Bay Area, once the birthplace of underground comics and home to one of the most vibrant comics scenes in the history of the world, is fully tech town, where handcrafted things like comics have a bit of a harder time finding purchase.

In many ways, the same thing is happening in NYC, as young techies who can afford housing become the leading edge of culture and thought. It isn’t really good or bad, it just is.

As Image Central is more of a production center than an editorial office it shouldn’t affect anything to do with the comics themselves.

Image Comics declined to comment for this article.

Comments

  1. The bearded comic says

    Couldn’t possibly be the giant minimum wages and high business taxes…..

  2. Jeff Bonivert says

    The Bay Area has been changing into a Tech Center for a while. It’s everywhere, the evening news
    seems to spending almost half their airtime on Bay Area tech news, Except it doesn’t sound like
    news, it sounds like a commercial for the companies.

  3. The Mighty Northwest says

    Better yet, move to Bellingham, WA! Close to Canada, close enough to Seattle but far enough away so that you’re hit by high costs of living. Space Goat is out here, Steve Ditko’s publisher lives here, AudioComics is based here… what the hell, Image? Come to Bellingham! The more the merrier!

  4. Chris J says

    I love their publishing output. I lived in Bekeley and their presence did t change my life one way or another, except when I managed Comic Relief nearby and would see their employees stop in on new comics day.

    Well. Like it’s been said… cheaper to do business there. Berkeley…the Bay Area is pushy businesses further and further away.

  5. Carl says

    Like The Mighty Northwest says! Bellingham is an awesome place. Close to Seattle AND Vancouver BC. Awesome comics vibe here and a great place to live!

    Not to mention, if you visit…check out The Superman House in Bellingham on Airbnb!

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