On the opening day of Heroes Con, there were plenty of excellent panels to behold, but Image pulled out all the stops by packing so many artists and writers onto the speakers platform that one had to stand and another was teetering on the edge bravely. Aaron Holland (“A Comic Shop” columnist for Bleeding Cool) hosted the troop that included Tradd Moore and Justin Jordan (LUTHER STRODE), Nate Bellegarde (NOWHERE MEN), Cory Walker (INVINCIBLE), Ming Doyle (MARA), Joe Eisma (MORNING GLORIES), Todd Nauk (GUARDING THE GLOBE), and Joe Harris (GREAT PACIFIC). The diversity of their projects alone suggests what’s going well for Image right now, giving “everything a unique voice”, as Holland put it.
Just having each creator explain their current work at Image filled a large chunk of the panel, but hearing their descriptions in their own words was very entertaining and cast an interesting light on the nature of their work. Harris was reminded not to leave “tentacles” of “mutated sea creatures” out of his summary, while Bellegarde’s synopsis of NOWHERE MEN was interrupted by Holland’s assurance that it is “way sexier” than he made it sound. Eisma’s selling point for MORNING GLORIES was that it is the “least confusing comic out there” and Doyle’s tale of “literal girlpower” in MARA was dubbed a “coming of rage story”. The lengthy Q & A core of the panel discussion kicked off with an unusual question, which other Image book the creators would like to work on if they could. Everyone agreed immediately on THE WALKING DEAD, which provoked plenty of laughter, but plenty of the panellists expressed fandom adoration for some of Image’s earlier titles. When asked what they thought of the original 7 titles that Image produced, Jordan, Nauk, and Eisma all told tales of Image’s influence on their early conception of comics and on their careers.