NYCC: Brave New World: Image Comics

The Image Comics panel at this year's New York Comic-Con was made up of Image creators old and new: Image Publisher Erik Larsen, Shadowline's Jim Valentino, Jay Faerber, Mark Sable and Claudio Sanchez and Joe Keatinge (Image's PR and Marketing Director). CBR News was on hand to bring you all the details.

Keatinge commented that Image Comics has finally been around long enough that its new generations of creators actually grew up reading Image. "We're in our 16th year," Larsen said. "Kids who grew up reading our books are now old to enough to start getting into the business. Robert Kirkman grew up on Image."

Larsen proudly boasted that Image was still one of the few companies that offered complete ownership to it creators. "Other publishers get their meathooks in your work and want to own a piece of it," Larsen said.

Faerber, for his part, actually broke into comics at Marvel and DC, but gradually found his way to Image. "I was living the dream for a few years," Faerber said. "But then I met the Image guys in Chicago and it flipped a switch." He said his transition to Image taught him to make comics, not just to write them. Faerber said working without the safety net of an editor leaves you with nobody to blame if the book is poorly received, but on the other hand, there's no one to hold you back.

"I've been spoiled by Image," Sable agreed, where creators get an unprecedented level of creative freedom and respect.

Keatinge moved on to the slide show of new and current Image titles. Dan Brereton's "Nocturnals" is due out this July. "Four Eyez" hits stands in September. Joe Kelly's "I Kill Giants" is coming down the pike, as is Phil Hester's "GOLLY!," which boasts to have more cursing than "Preacher."

Keatinge observed that in the early days of Image, their lineup consisted almost exclusively of superhero books. He asked the panel about the content shift. "I started out in small press," Valentino said. "I like stuff that's of the beaten track."

"Aletheia" is an upcoming Shadowline book, a tale about mythological gods and revenge told in a "Manga-type style."

"Pretty Baby Machine" by Kody Chamberlain tells the story of Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and Machine Gun Kelly and their war with the notorious Al Capone.

"Vix!" by Rantz Hoseley is about a superpowered teen who endeavors to hide her powers from the world at large.

Valentino described book two of "Cemetery Blues" as a Hammer film if it were directed by Monty Python. "Cemetery Blues" is about a group of ghost hunters who spend most of their off hours in a pub.

"The Roberts" focuses on a confrontation between two retirement-home-bound men named Robert who happen to be the Boston Strangler and the Zodiac killer, respectively.

Valentino said Shadowline's upcoming "New World Order" "makes you paranoid even if you're not a conspiracy theorist."

The 8" by 8" "Dear Dracula" tells the story of a kid who worships Dracula and writes the legendary vampire a letter entreating advice for joining the ranks of the undead. But no one expected Dracula to actually show up at the door.

Image will be releasing a hardcover collection of Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot's "DNAgents."

Steve Niles will be penning a book called "Savage."

After 20 years, Ted McKeever will finally be finishing "Transit," and the earlier editions will be re-released as hardcover collections.

Keatinge revealed that two Image founders would be taking over "Spawn," but was sworn to secrecy about who those creators were. The moderator did go so far as to say that one of the creators hadn't done any work for Image for 10 years. It all begins with "Spawn" #185.

Now discuss this story on CBR's Image Comics forum.

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