Published on January 10th, 2015 | by Duke Of Havoc0
Image Expo 2015 Breakdown
Yesterday saw Image Comics hold it’s Expo to unveil what they have in store for us in 2015. Image have grown massively in 2014 with some of the most original titles in the industry all coming from the publisher in San Francisco. Eric Stephenson kicked off Image Expo 2015 with some Bowie music (he is a well known Anglophile) and even gave the Image logo a bit of Ziggy Stardust treatment.
It comes as no surprise to those who read comics regularly that Image has grown. Exponentially it would seem. Double digit growth for any company is good. When you are competing against “The Big Two” of Marvel and DC, that is incredible. Eric Stephenson ran through some figures which, yes OK, we aren’t the FT but I think it is very important to show how far this publisher has come in 20 years. Just look at the market share that Image Comics had in the trades market with so few books compared to DC and Marvel. Astonishing.
— Deb Aoki (@debaoki) January 8, 2015
Image had 16.48% market share for graphic novels in the book market in 2014. pic.twitter.com/FJx6JfPz7m
— Image Comics (@ImageComics) January 8, 2015
First to the stage was one of the men who helped form Image Comics 20 years ago: Todd McFarlane. He spoke about how proud he is of the company and he kicked off the huge list of new titles announced. So let us get underway….
“What if the most dangerous man on Earth was also trying to do the most good?”. McFarlane along with co-writer Brian Holguin and artist Clayton Crain will be releasing this as an 8 part mini series in April 2015. The pitch from McFarlane is certainly very interesting: “A man appears with no background, no memory, and no place to call home. But this much is clear—this individual possesses certain powers, abilities that harken from the Old Testament… Could he possibly be this corrupted world’s Savior in the flesh? Or will he be the world’s undoing?” The aim here I think, is very much to deconstruct the American superhero and remove the spandex, gimmicks and other cliches that appear in so many comics. Very much in line with certain characters with God-like powers, some will herald him as Earth’s champion whilst others will denounce him as being too powerful for his own good.
James Robinson took to the stage next to announce his new book: Heaven. Drawn by Phillip Tan of Uncanny X-Men fame, Heaven could very well be a good companion for stable-mate SAGA. Described as a space opera where man and alien alike have used religion to conquer the known universe. Next stop: Heaven itself. Following “The Good War” it will see man pitted against angel in a conflict which crosses all of space and time itself.
Ok, so this is now the third book in a row with some sort of religious/faith connection. Certainly seems to be on the minds of creators at the moment. Black Road was the first of two books to be announced from Brian Wood. With art by Garry Brown and colours by Lauren Affe, this will feature “Vikings, Pagans, the Church, and a secret that could change the world”. Set in Viking Norway, the book focuses on a Christian Fixer called Magnus The Black who manages to lose a Roman official on the infamous Black Road to a bandit. With him trying to fix his dilemma, Magnus The Black uncovers a secret which could change the face of Europe forever. Black Road hits the shelves in September of 2015.
The second of Wood’s announcements sounds like it would be the perfect aperitif to fellow Image title: Chew. Set in the not too distance future, Chefs (yes, I said chefs), are treated like royalty and having access to one is seen as the ultimate status symbol. Reality television has taken a rather grim and chefs slice and dice up rare and exotic animals in a gonzo style arena. People really will watch anything. Working with Wood on this is Danijel Zezelj and Dave Stewart. Issue #1 is due this May.
This is set to be a shared universe constructed by different teams working on independent miniseries. The first issue will feature two stories, Mirror by Emma Ríos and Hwei Lim and Arclight by Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland along with many others. Mirror is set in an isolated colony which is developing around a landed laboratory starship. Within this colony, magicians and scientists of the House of Healers experiment with the local fauna to create man/animal “hybrids,” obtaining insight to use in a cosmic war and gain political favour. However, with a blossoming (see what I did there?) community of hybrids, they start to question why they are involved in Man’s war and politics. Arclight is a four parter following a noble woman who believes she is permanently trapped in an alien body. Nothing terrifying about that at all. That is until she hears of the alien being living in her body has returned, taking over the noble woman’s old life. No date has been set as yet for 8House but will debut in 2015.
Sticking with Emma Ríos and Brandon Graham, they announced something a bit different from Image Comics. Island will be a oversized magazine spread over 72 pages and featuring a slew of artists. Coming in June 2015, Island will feature ID by Ríos, the return of Graham’s Multiple Warheads, and Dagger Proof Mummy by Ludroe. Along side some awesome new anthology stories will be articles, fictional fashion, and mechanical designs that will never exist.