Time machine! Or at least someone with a VHS in 1992. Not Blog X begins an examination of Image Comics and links to the 1992 CNN report on the founding of Image Comics. Dig the hair and such titles as RETIEF on the stands.

Before becoming its own full-fledged company, Image began as an imprint of Malibu Comics. Youngblood, the comic that would become Image’s first release, was announced as a three-issue mini-series in October 1991. Before Youngblood was announced, Marvel’s lawyers apparently squashed Liefeld’s previous attempt to publish a title called The Executioners through Malibu. The Image name actually didn’t exist yet, and there’s no indication in the early announcement that anyone else would be joining him. In fact, looking at the Usenet discussions from this era, most people didn’t believe that he was even leaving X-Force in order to do this title.

The video mentions “EIGHT” image Creators — who was the eighth man??? (The Image Founder are considered to be seven: Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio, whose book never quite came out.) Jesus, it’s like the missing replicant! Was it Dale Keown? Or someone…else.


  1. There was a rumored eighth creator but I don’t that person actually went through with it. I forget who it was.

  2. As a person who works with journalists all the time and generates news and then watches it get covered with perplexed eyes and ears, my guess on number 8 is that they just screwed up and it really was 7 all along.

  3. Ah, 1992. Mozart wrote his great mass, the Montgolfier Brothers went up in their first balloon and Great Britain recognized the Independence of the United States…

    Also the year I moved to NYC to pursue a career in comics, fully believing that Valiant was the real story in the biz, while this Image thing would fade.

    Of course, I thought the Rap Craze would blow over, too!

    Thanks for the memories, Heidi!

    Tony B.

  4. Probably not the person referenced, and based on not but hazy memories of a secondhand story, I believe JR Jr. was asked, but declined.

  5. isn’t there a story that John Byrne was invited to join Image, but didn’t?

    i vaguely remember a gossip site of ill-repute (heh) reporting that story once….

  6. I remember it originally being Liefeld, McFarlane, Larsen, Valentino, Lee, Portacio, and Silvestri.

    Who was the other one? If memory serves Portacio didn’t make a book until a year or so later and was no longer a founding member.

  7. I think the 8th person they’re referring to may be Hank Kanalz, Rob Liefeld’s friend and co-writer on Youngblood, who I believe was a part of some of those early Image meetings (I seem to remember seeing him in some “Image founders” group photos) but was never considered an Image partner in any real sense, and was shown the door relatively quickly. That could just be my faulty memory, though.

  8. “If memory serves Portacio didn’t make a book until a year or so later and was no longer a founding member.”

    Portacio was still considered a founder, and participated in the “Image founders” panel at San Diego this year. Here’s how Wikipedia phrases it, which jibes with what I’ve read in other places:

    “in 1992, Portacio left Marvel to co-found Image Comics with six other high-profile artists. But, Portacio quickly withdrew from his partnership in this enterprise due to his sister’s bout with lupus, eventually publishing his title Wetworks through Jim Lee’s Wildstorm imprint in 1994.”

  9. I thought the 8th member was Brandon Choi, the original writer of WildC.A.T.s. He wasn’t a famous comicker like the others, so people don’t remember him. That, plus I don’t think he worked in comics much after the first WildC.A.T.s miniseries, which took forever to come out anyway. (And made little sense when it did.)

  10. The eighth member was would have been Chris Claremont; His name was in some of the initial press releases.

    You might want to check out my book, Image Comics: The Road to Independence, for some neat 1990s comics history.

  11. The mystery 8 th man was to be Chris Claremont – he would have published a series called ‘The Huntsman’ with Wilce Portacio on art – a character/concept later introduced in a ‘WildCATS’ 2 parter Claremont wrote with Jim Lee on the art.

    IIRC – Claremont was also to script Wetworks for Portacio, before the property was sold to Aegis/Wildstorm.