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.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.