by Zachary Clemente


Image Comics’ traditionally solid convention programming kicked off on Thursday of San Diego Comic-Con 2015 with a discussion of the mainstream in comics with Image creators (left to right) Michael Moreci (Roche Limit), Alex Grecian (Rasputin), Keenan Marshall Keller (The Humans), Chip Zdarsky (Kaptara, Sex Criminals), Marjorie Lui (Montress), and Kody Chamberlain (Punks).

Spurred by moderator David Brothers and questions from the audience, they described through their Image titles, what sort of genre could possibly best apply, and the process in which they’re made. Personally, one of the reasons I enjoying covering Image panels is that it’s a good opportunity for creators to be candid about the ins and outs of their creative process and the realities of working freelance.

Punks, according to Chamberlain, started as a light argument between him and the series writer, Joshua Hale Fialkov that turned into the creative challenge of “do comics need to be drawn?” Wanting to emulate the style of punk rock fliers and posters, all the pages of Punks are collaged by hand, only using digital processes for coloring. Chamberlain went on, saying that Punks was an experiment that led to fun.

Keller, who self-published the first issue of The Humans before it was picked up by Image, described the book as “Apesploitation” and an ode to underground comics today. Their goal is to have as much fun and upset as many people as they can.

The ever entertaining Zdarsky, hat in hand, admitted that Kaptara was an excuse to work with series artist Kagan Mcleod. He confessed further that the world of Kaptara is almost entirely built of his love of He-Man and that he considers the series’ Smurfs (known as “Glomps”) are like their Men’s Rights Activists.

‘Montress’ Promo Art by Sana Takeda

Lui, writer of the much anticipated Monstress title with artist Sana Takeda announced back at Image Expo in January explained the the idea for the book started with the idea of how neat it would be if Godzilla was her friend and that the title was crucial as she wanted to address the narrative of the monster as feminine. She also divulged that the first issue, a whopping near-70 pages will be released in November.

The majority of the panelists were writers, only Zdarsky and Chamberlain occupying the role of artist on a current Image book, but everyone echoed the need to write for the art and “get out of the artist’s way” when scripting. When asked about the relationship between collaborators and the nature of working on personal work, all stressed the need to work from the heart and to understand that writing in comics isn’t a guaranteed way to ensure financial success. Working from the heart was considered the best way to make the best work.

“The mainstream is what we make it.” – David Brothers

Thanks for joining and we’ll have ongoing coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2015 all this weekend!