With this year’s Image Expo taken off the schedule due to Image’s move to Portland, the ECCC Image Panel was the scene of many announcements, including the concluding chapter of Matt Wagner’s 30+ years in the making Mage epic, and much more. So here’s the lowdown, cobbled together from various announcements:

• Image Expo will return in 2018 on Feb. 1, 2018 — Image Comics Day.


• Matt Wagner is completing, at long last, his epic fantasy Mage. The first part, Mage: The Hero Discovered appeared in 1984; Mage: The Hero Defined came out in 1997, and twenty years later the series wraps up with Mage: The Hero Denied.

Yes, it’ll follow the same template as both of the previous series.   It begins with a half-sized “Interlude” story that will be published as THE HERO DENIED #0 and which bridges the gap between the new series and it’s predecessor, THE HERO DEFINED.  And then the regular-sized series follows immediately after that—fifteen issues with the grand finale (#15) again being a double-sized extravaganza.  THE HERO DENIED #0 will premier in July—just in time for the San Diego Con.  Like the previous series, the narrative unfolds in four-issue story arcs and that’s how we’ll be publishing as well—blocks of four monthly issues followed by a skip-month during which the collected trade of that arc is released.  During the entire run of THE HERO DENIED, we’ll also be releasing new TPB editions of the previous two series as well…with all-new covers!


• Sacred Creatures by Klaus Janson and Pablo Raimondi, which kicks off with a six issue mini series with variant covers by Frank Miller, Sean Murphy and Bill Sienkiewicz. The story involves a race of long hidden being, the Sacred Creatures, and their plan to upset the balance of power with humans.


• Savage Town an OGN written by Declan Shalvey with art by Philip Barrett with Jordie Bellaire on colours, letters by Clayton Cowles, and design by Emma Price, based on Shalvey’s experience in the Irish city of Limerick that settles on a gangster named Jimmy Price. Interview here.

Shalvey: Jimmy was inspired by gangsters that were operating in Limerick at the time who weren’t such great people. I’ve kind of replaced them with an amalgamation of my favorite roles played by Colm Meaney and Brendan Gleason. John Boorman’s’ The General was a big inspiration, but thankfully with comics there’s none of that Van Morrison shite.



• New Lieutenants of Metal  by Joe Casey and Ulises Farinas, promising incomprehensible but spectacular adventure. (Image via @N1ghtwing17)


Death_of_love_1.jpg• Death of Love written by Justin Jordan with art by Donal DeLay, colors by Felipe Sobreiro and letters by Rachel Deering. Interview here.

But, the basic gist of Death of Love is that a supposedly nice guy, bummed about his inability to get the girl, ends up with the ability to see the Cupidae that make love possible. And after he tries to interrogate one things get… slightly out of hand. This where cupids versus chainsaws comes in.


• The Family Trade written by Jordan and NIkki Ryan with art by Morgan Beem. A swashbuckling steampunk tale of a man-made floating city, Thessala, aka The Float. More here.

Justin Jordan: What inspired my part of the idea of The Float, though, is equal parts of both places like Kowloon Walled City or the island in the middle of a lake in Africa, places that are geographically constrained but sort of no man’s lands, and just maritime culture.

Flavor by Joseph Keatinge and Wook Jin Clark, “Food James Bond.”


Sleepless written by Sarah Vaughan with art by Leia Del Duca and Alissa Sallah, letters by Deron Bennett. A romance about a person who doesn’t have to sleep. More here.

Sarah Vaughn: Sleepless is a historical fantasy about Poppy, a dead king’s illegitimate daughter, who is protected by Cyrenic, an enchanted knight who never sleeps, and their struggles as they both try to navigate life at court under a new king’s rule.

The Sleepless spell and this world of magic is an integral part of the kingdom’s culture. We’ll be diving into sleeplessness in its many forms. We need sleep to survive, and there are consequences to our bodies and minds if we don’t get it.

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• The Hard Place written by Doug Wagner (Plastic) art by Nic Rummel. Coming from 12 Guage.

the tale of a former wheelman tossed into a vicious web of Russian mobsters and bank robbers. And though the introduction hints at familiar vice tropes, the team promises a purer dive into batshit action and chiseled, blood-splattered art as the series progresses.


§ Redlands written by Jordie Bellaire art by Vanesa R. Del Rey. An ongoing about a trio of witches. More here.

[Bellaire]: For me, this is a book I’ve been developing for years. It was something I was kicking around since college and I continuously shelved it, always feeling it wasn’t good enough. I’m glad I waited because as each year passed, I grew as a person and the story changed as I became angrier and more passionate about things that were important to me. One day it clicked as I wondered what could change the things that upset me: What about the archetype female figure, the witch, could she change things? Witches taking over a town and assuming roles of actual influence really frightened me. And as the world has changed so much since November 2016, I find myself getting even darker with the material, and in a horrible way it makes even more sense now. The idea of corruption and monsters in places of power seems more believable than ever… Regarding art, I just knew Vanesa would be a great fit for this book. She has a relentless and visceral style that really gets under your skin and stays there. I’m just happy Vanesa said yes to this project! Redlands wouldn’t be Redlands without her.


Shirtless Bear Fighter, the book that comics most needed. It’s written by former editors Jody Leheup and Sebastian Girner, with art by Nil Vendrell and colors by Mike Spicer. According to Nerdist, it is about just what the titles suggests.

It’s literally about shirtless guy fighting bears. You can keep your science fiction dramas and your crime thrillers; we’ll take the bear punching. This sound like too much fun to pass up. So, what exactly is Shirtless Bear-Fighter about? “‘Angriest man alive swears to fight all bears for what they did to him,’ would be the simplest pitch, but we hope readers will quickly realize that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Girner told us. “It’s also the story of a wrathful man who has to change if he’s going to save his loved ones and the forest he’s sworn to protect,” Leheup added. So yes, it’s about a shirtless dude piledriving bears, but there’s a heart and soul to it, too. “Bears will get punched (or suplexed, kicked, piledrived) every issue, but this comic will also deliver humor, drama, tears and cheers. It’s the full package,” Girner said.

• Family Tree by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Phil Hester, Another horror series from the busy Lemire.


 Generation Gone by Ales Kot and artist André Lima Araújo. Bank robbers with superpowers. “It’s like Unbreakable meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”


• The New World by Kot and artist Tradd Moore, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller. Dystopian future, “love, fate and war.”

And here’s more images in info from @ImageComics live tweets.

(Additional information from Comicon and The Outhouse.)