Official Press Release
Orange, CA -- 20 February, 2004 -- Erik Larsen is the new publisher of Image Comics, taking the helm from Jim Valentino, who stepped down this week. The power shift steers Image in what Larsen believes will be an exciting new direction for the 12-year-old publisher.
"When we formed Image, the group of us had all come fresh off of superhero comics, so doing more of what we loved was a natural progression," said Larsen. "Over the years, things have gradually shifted and the emphasis has been more on doing cutting-edge, alternative comics. Jim's roots were there, after all, so it was only natural that he would help Image expand in that direction during his tenure as Publisher. I've aided him in that regard over the years, having brought in A DISTANT SOIL, AGE OF BRONZE, LIBERTY MEADOWS and KABUKI, among others, but my roots are in the more mainstream camp. We'll continue to do these types of books, but I'd like to see us broaden our scope a bit.
"Image Comics has always been a creator-friendly place. It's the only company I'm aware of where the publishers don't grab a piece of the rights for themselves. All Image titles are 100% creator-owned and keeping that is important to me. We're the premier publisher for top-flight creators to come to in that regard. Reaching out to the creative community and bringing in more creators who want to build something for themselves is job number one."
In addition to redefining the company's creative profile, Larsen also has plans to tighten Image's schedule, ensuring that the publisher's books hit retailers' shelves in a more timely fashion.
"Retailers and fans are the true backbone of the industry and providing them with more on-time, high-quality books is a huge priority. I've had extensive talks already with Todd McFarlane about SPAWN and together we've cooked up some ideas that will please fans, retailers and Todd alike. I'll be talking to others as well. Getting the trains to run on time is important -- and we'll ALL sleep easier once that Image Comics Anniversary Hardcover goes on sale."
Along with his newfound duties as Publisher, Larsen will continue work on the long-running SAVAGE DRAGON, the only original Image book written and drawn by its creator. Larsen will oversee Image from his drawing desk in Northern California, while day-to-day operations of the Southern California office will be handled by new Managing Editor Eric Stephenson, formerly Image's Director of Marketing.
"I've known Eric Stephenson for years and have worked with him professionally on several occasions," Larsen explained. "He was Jim's right-hand man and he'll be my right-hand man. I can think of no one better for the job."
Jim Valentino remains an Image partner and may play a more creative role in the new Image scheme.
"I'm hoping Jim can do some more creative stuff instead of being the guy sitting behind the desk. I hope we'll see some good stuff out of him," said Larsen.
Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become the third largest comics publisher in the United States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into three major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. Visit www.imagecomics.com for more information.