A big part of what makes the Image EXPO so awesome is all the new creator-owned announcements, and this year was no different! MightyVille's Joe Kach was in-house to catch all the cool news, and here's his breakdown of went down at this year's Expo in San Francisco. [EDITOR'S NOTE: For coverage of the 2013 Image EXPO, click here.]
Ed Brubaker (Batman, Captain America, FATALE, CRIMINAL) and Sean Phillips (INCOGNITO and SLEEPER) and Image Comics have signed an unprecedented deal in comics publishing, a five year deal to do anything they want with total freedom, total control, and total ownership over their projects. The first project on this new deal for the award-winning creators is THE FADE OUT, debuting this summer, following the conclusion of FATALE with issue #24.
I don't think anyone reading this has any doubt that The Fade Out will be awesome. But this five-year deal is pretty unprecedented and changes the comic book marketplace just a little. I wonder if we'll see more of this with other big name creators going forward. Others have brought work from outside publishers over to Image in the past, but none have had quite the impact that Brubaker has had. In fact, you could almost point to Fatale as being the book that turned Image around over the last few years. I also wonder how DC and Marvel feel about Brubaker taking his properties from their houses over to Image?
James Robinson and Greg Hinkle decide to go on an adventure and bring back the now public domain AIRBOY series of 1940s fame. Created by Robinson (THE SAVIORS, Earth-2) and Hinkle and starring, well, Robinson and Hinkle, AIRBOY is the story of two comic book creators determined to breathe new life into a series that, while once wildly successful, had fallen into obscurity. This will be Hinkle’s debut at Image Comics. AIRBOY is a new ongoing semi-autobiographical series, inspired by the original Airboy comic series, coming to Image Comics in 2014.
This concept fits James Robinson like a glove, huh? I am pretty ecstatic about this announcement, people. I'm a fan of both Robinson and his work, and Airboy feels like an awesome blend of both. This is not the first time a creator has interacted with their creation, but I don't think I've seen anything of this scope. Airboy seems pretty on-the-nose. They refer to it as "nothing short of inspired mayhem" in the press release and that sums it up nicely. Check back on MightyVille soon for our interview with James Robinson about Airboy and more!
In 2014, Kelly Sue DeConnick (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble) and artist Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) are bringing the Women in Prison trope to outer space in BITCH PLANET. Sure to be a campy, kick-ass adventure, BITCH PLANET is the story of five leading ladies ready to bust out of their prison cells. BITCH PLANET is a new, ongoing science-fiction action series coming to Image Comics in 2014.
Well, this sure sounds great, right? When I saw the title, and Kelly Sue's deadpan reaction to it, I had to laugh out loud, though I doubt this will be a comedy. This is a book where the creative team will have a lot of fun putting the story together, and it's definitely one I'm looking forward to. I'm not sure what to expect. I haven't read much by Kelly Sue, but I know she produces quality work, and this seems off-the-wall enough to make it her own, even if it seems to be a slightly unoriginal idea.
This May 2014, Kyle Higgins (Batman, Nightwing), Alec Siegel (Captain America, Avengers), and Rod Reis (Justice League) take readers back to 1960s Chicago, in a time when the once-heralded superhero labor union C.O.W.L. struggles to maintain their public image and regain the confidence of the people. Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel’s C.O.W.L. is projected to debut in May 2014 from Image Comics.
The Chicago Organized Worker's League ... where do I sign up? I really like Kyle Higgins' work on Nightwing (it's the best the title has been since the 90's) and I've been following the evolution of C.O.W.L. through his interviews on the Comic Vine and Fatman on Batman podcasts. C.O.W.L. is based on Higgins' short film, The League. The concept of C.O.W.L. is something I'm always into: "real world" superheroes with a political backdrop. I mean, superhero labor unions?? Come on! I'm in!
In 2014, Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM), Fábio Moon (Daytripper, Serenity), and Gabriel Bá (Daytripper, The Umbrella Academy) team up with author Michael Chabon to bring the adventures of Casanova Quinn back with CASANOVA VOL. 4: ACEDIA. Forthcoming in 2014.
I love almost everything Matt Fraction writes, as are many people. For Casanova fans, I'm sure this is an awesome announcement, but the most interesting parts for me are that a) Michael Chabon is returning to comics to do back-up stories for this? Wow! and b) similar to Brubaker/Phillips, it looks like the previous collections that were published through Marvel/ICON will now be coming back to Image. Casanova started at Image, went to Marvel/ICON, now is back at Image. Full circle, much like many creators' careers.
In 2014, Brandon Graham (PROPHET, ELEPHANTMEN) will team up with four different creators to bring a series of science-fiction/fantasy miniseries set in a world ruled by eight houses to life titled, 8HOUSE: KLIEM, 8HOUSE: ARCLIGHT, and 8HOUSE: MIRROR. 8HOUSE is a new series of sci-fi/fantasy miniseries coming to Image Comics in 2014.
Brandon Graham described this as sort of a gathering of "The Magic Illuminati". Graham's Prophet didn't do much for me, but I am interested in this 8House concept, considering the "world-building" aspect and the fact that he's teaming up with other writers and artists to develop said world.
Frequent collaborators Rick Remender (BLACK SCIENCE) and artist Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Last Days of American Crime) will bring readers on another high-octane science fiction adventure, this time to the lowest depths of Earth after it has been ravaged by the sun’s radiation. LOW is a new, ongoing science-fiction action series coming to Image Comics in 2014.
How great does this sound? Anything with a Sci-Fi twist from Rick Remender is worth reading. As great as his mainstream work is, his indie titles tend to be stronger. He described the book as a "futuristic, aquatic, Sci-Fi fantasy" which is pretty intriguing. Definitely looking forward to this one and can't wait to see what Remender and Tocchini do in an underwater world.
Joshua Williamson (GHOSTED, MASKS AND MOBSTERS, Captain Midnight) teams up with artist Mike Henderson (Venom, TMNT, MASKS AND MOBSTERS) to bring readers a serial killer mystery they won’t be able to tear their eyes away from this May 2014. NAILBITER will be a new, ongoing crime-thriller series with Image Comics. The projected launch is May 2014.
Does this look cool or what? I'm not always that into straight-up horror stories, but this concept is crazy enough to work: what if someone you knew or loved was a serial killer (who kills and eats people that chew their nails)?
Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham have teased a new series titled, NAMELESS.
That's a whole lot to go by, huh? The Morrison/Burnham team-ups have always been solid, and there's no reason why this would be any different. Very little information was given out about this title, other than it's a "crazy horror comic". Chris Burnham started at Image with Officer Downe, but I'm fairly certain his only work with Morrison has been on Batman, so I am keen to see what to the two do together when not under editorial mandates.
In 2014, Nick Spencer (MORNING GLORIES, BEDLAM) will team up with three different artists and launch three new thriller series sure to capture readers’ imaginations. PARADIGMS, CERULEAN, and GREAT BEYOND will all be forthcoming Image Comics series.
Three new titles from Nick Spencer, while still working on Morning Glories and Bedlam. Well done, sir. Spencer's known for his unique look at the Sci-Fi genre, and the concepts behind these books are certainly outside the box. A Game of Thrones-type story set in our time, a post-apocalyptic, planetary adventure, and an afterlife murder mystery. That's a large appeal range. Where do you stand there? Check back on MightyVille soon for our interview with Nick Spencer about his new Image title and more!
Bill Willingham (Fables, Elementals) and Barry Kitson (Batman, Fables) reveal that the magic and gods of legend and lore are not just oral history, but real...and now they’re back in the forthcoming series RESTORATION.
Well, that was a bit of a surprise. While it makes total sense, it never dawned on me that Willingham would go to Image. I dig the idea of a story where mankind is fed up living in a world ruled and destroyed by magic. And Kitson's art has always been a joy.
Marvel Knights: Hulk and Glory writer Joe Keatinge teams up with artist Leila del Duca for her Image Comics debut in an all-new ongoing series combining urban fantasy and globe-spanning adventure, SHUTTER.
Who else loved Keatinge's Glory? While Shutter sounds nothing like that title, a modern day, fantasy pulp is going to be a lot of fun. Both Keatinge and del Duca are very passionate about this book, so I expect some pretty awesome things. Check back on MightyVille soon for our interview with Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca about Shutter and more!
The fan-favorite series TECH JACKET, returns with an all-new three-issue digital miniseries. Written by Joe Keatinge (GLORY, HELL YEAH) and drawn by Khary Randolph (Spider-Man, Hellboy), this miniseries is the perfect introduction to Robert Kirkman and EJ Su's exciting superhero.
A return to the world of Tech Jacket is sure to be fantastech (boom!). But what I found most interesting regarding this announcement is the fact that Image decided to release all the issues on the same day, digitally. And not on a Wednesday! That's quite a long time to keep a secret, so kudos to the team. It's the comic book equivalent of TV Show binge-watching. Check back on MightyVille soon for our interview with Joe Keatinge about Tech Jacket Digital and more!
What if every 90 years the gods were reincarnated? Coming this 2014, Kieron Gillen (THREE, PHONOGRAM, Young Avengers) and Jamie McKelvie (X-Men, Young Avengers, PHONOGRAM) team up to infuse new life into the old mythological characters in THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE. The new ongoing series will feature guest creators and surprise arcs with alternate endings that will bring the gods of mythology to life.
The creators described this as "What if God was a Pop Star?" Gillen and McKelvie are certainly a creative duo who play with interesting concepts in everything they do. Does the concept of mythological gods being reborn as modern day teenagers or twenty-somethings sound pretty intriguing to anyone else?
Scott Snyder (Batman, Superman Unchained, SEVERED) and Jock (Batman, Wolverine, SNAPSHOT) will team up for a new, ongoing horror series called WYTCHES. Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying.
Ah, if you were there, you would have heard the collective gasp when Snyder was brought on stage. This is a no-brainer: Scott Snyder is a horror master. Who's reading The Wake? It's brilliant, right? By all indications, Wytches will not disappoint. And re-uniting with uber-artist Jock is the gourmet icing on the cake. Can't wait!
Also at the Expo, Robert Kirkman and artist Paul Azaceta previewed their upcoming horror title, Outcast. Dealing with the long-term ramifications of demonic possession, the title will debut in June. Based on the preview pages, it looks like we can expect the same quality as Kirkman's other Image books. Creepy stuff! There were quite a few horror titles announced at Image Expo. It's an interesting trend...
And that's pretty much it ladies and gentlemen. Another exciting Image EXPO this year for fans, retailers, and creators alike. What did you think of all these new titles? Let us know below!
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