WHEW that was a wild hour or two, right? Since the Image Expo unfolded like a garden of delights, more art news and info has been released… so here’s some of it. BTW, very nice to see all the colorists credited on these books. Overall, it’s a strong batch of books. Image is the new Vertigo, but more on that later.
§ In PR, more Image sales stats were released; it’s been a very good year according to Eric Stephenson.
“We saw our dollars increase 40% over 2011’s numbers, with our units going up almost as much – 38%,” Stephenson said, noting that Image’s sales have been steadily increasing since 2009. “Better still,” he continued, “six months into 2013 we’re already up 33% in dollars and 38% in units over the same period in 2012.”
COMICS ARE NOT DYING.
§ CBR was the outlet of choice for more news so head over there for all the details, but here’s a digest version.
Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge.
At Image Expo in San Francisco, Rick Remender revealed his newest creator-owned endeavor with Image Comics, “Deadly Class.” Along with artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge, Remender’s return to Image centers around an unusual and clandestine high school hidden under the depths of San Francisco. Described by Remender as “a high school for assassins where the heads of all the major crime families and spook organizations around the world send their fledgeling up-and-comers, their kids and people they want to become the #1 assassins,” the school in “Deadly Class” is only a part of the story he has planned. The series is, in many ways, the creative team’s exploration of the late ’80s, including real experiences Remender had during that period in his life.
Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
(Okay I am really excited for this one.)
The pair took the stage earlier today, describing the series as a crime book set in a fictional Alabama county filled with lots of mean old bastards and the main bad guy — a high school football coach. This is a character Aaron came up with during “Scalped,” but he didn’t quite work into that series. “He’s a local celebrity, won a bunch of trophies and is burying bodies under the end zone and bleachers,” the writer said. “With this book, we have the chance to do everything together, and both being souther bastards ourselves, its right up our alley.”
JMS talked about the return of Dream Police (Sid Kotian) and Book of Lost Souls (Colleen Doran) which were previously published by Marvel’s creator owned Icon imprint.
In truth, Marvel never had a really strong reason or desire to market these books. They were more of a sop to creators than an actual working line. After “Book of Lost Souls” finished its full run, Colleen and I had been told by bookstore owners that they were told at the books were unavailable and out of print. Well as it turned out, we bought two pallets full of boxes and boxes and boxes that were printed just never made available to distributors. People have been asking for these books to come back for years so we don’t need to create interest. It’s already there.
And as for Dream Police:
Silly as it may sound, it was one of those ideas that I literally just dreamed up. I had a dream one night, and in the course of the dream I met these police officers who said that their job was to keep things organized to keep you from being hurt in the course of dream. I woke up thinking that’s really kind of a cool idea for a series.
ALONE by JMS and Bill Sienkiewicz
A new series which ‘promises to deconstruct comic book storytelling’.
THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR is a new event storyline which will start off in issue 115. Culminating the fight between the protagonists and the gang run by Negan, this will be a twelve-part storyline shipping fortnightly. To help Charlie Adlard keep to such a punishing schedule, inker Stefano Gaudiano will come onboard to help.
BLACK SCIENCE by Remender, Matteo Scalera and Dean White.
Former member of the anarchistic order of scientists, Grant McKay has finally done the impossible; he has deciphered Black Science and punched through the barriers of reality. But what lay beyond the veil was not epiphany but chaos. Now Grant and his team are lost, living ghosts shipwrecked on an infinite ocean of alien worlds, barreling through the dark realms, long forgotten, ancient and unimaginable. The only way is forward. The only question is how far are they willing to go to get home again?
VELVET by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Bettie Breitweiser.
When the world’s best secret agent is killed, Velvet Templeton, the Personal Assistant to the Director of the Agency, is drawn off her desk and back into the field for the first time in nearly 20 years… and is immediately caught in a web of mystery, murder and high-octane action.
ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward
A science-fiction spin on The Odyssey, featuring a gender swapped cast. Fraction created the book in order to give his daughter a Ulysses-esque role model. Also, it’s set in outer space.
§ Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder’s Kickstarter-funded comic Rocket Girl will be published by Image later on in the year.
§ Mark Millar videoed in to say he’ll be launching a new line at Image in the future, which will revolutionise the industry, save us all, feed the hungry, rebuild the ozone layer, etc. He’ll also be starting a new book with Duncan Fegredo called MPH.
§ FINALLY, Ron Richards with more on the digital bits:
Asked about the perception that Image will now be competing with partners such as comiXology and Amazon in the digital market, Richards said, “Yes and no. I think the tech savvy comics fan who cares about things like DRM will come to us, and there will be a loss of sales in other marketplaces. But I think there are people who are loyal comiXology users who have built up a collection there, and they can continue to do that. We’re not ceasing any agreements or partnerships with comiXology or iVerse or Apple or Amazon. All that stuff will still be there. So the Kindle Fire owner who buys stuff from Amazon can still do that. This is for the person concerned with ownership who wants to go direct to the source.”
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.