25 Years of Image Comics

2017 saw the 25th anniversary of Image Comics. To celebrate, Big Bang Comics of Dundrum held their first Image Day, consisting of a signing with Simon Spurrier (Cry Havoc, The Spire), and a panel talk with the aforementioned, as well as Emma Price (Cry Havoc), Jordie Bellaire (Captain Marvel, Nowhere Men), and Declan Shalvey (Injection, Moon Knight).

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Over the course of the panel, we got a first-hand account of what it’s like working with a company like Image, in comparison to working for the likes of DC and Marvel, and at the very least, one of us left with a newfound respect for Image Comics, and a vastly different view of the Big Two (Marvel/DC).

One thing that was made abundantly clear by the creators on the panel, was that there is a clear distinction between how creators operate with Image, and how they might operate in the Big Two. They went to great lengths to stress that Image work for the creator, where inside the Big Two, the creator works for the company, where the later, more often than not, operate as a corporation, focused on bottom-lines, and sales figures.

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All four creators spoke about Image Comics with great passion, and it was clear that, not only was it a company centered around the Creators, but that it set a new standard for Comic Publishers worldwide regarding the treatment of creators, and continues to do so to this day.

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The best part of image, they said, was that there are no rules in terms of what you work on; If you have an idea, you can approach any writer/artist/colourist and pursue the project of your own volition. This is a huge contrast to the nature of DC and Marvel where you are assigned work, which has a number of rules to adhere to and hoops to jump through before an issue is deemed ‘acceptable’.

After spending quite a while convincing us that Image was probably the best publisher for a creator to work for, giving more freedom to the creator and requiring lower sales figures for a creator to live comfortably, we were treated to a screening of The Image Revolution, a documentary that follows Image Comics’ first years of existence, from the original seven leaving Marvel, right the way up to Robert Kirkman joining as a partner after his success with The Walking Dead.

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It’s not a biased documentary either, as it goes into great detail about the internal struggles the founding members went through among themselves, with the departure of a few, and the return of fewer still. For anyone interested in the Comics Industry, The Image Revolution is a great documentary to watch, and even if you have a mild interest in comics, it’s still genuinely entertaining, and will have you laughing as well.

We’re looking forward to many more years of Image Comics, and cannot wait to see what gems they have yet to turn out.

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