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Old February 18th, 2016   BrianT is offline   #1
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Default How Image Comics can break up the Big 2

Ahead of DC's "Rebirth" announcement today, I contemplate Image Comics having a "rebirth" of its own with the Image partners reviving their launch titles. As well as some "The Walking Dead" spin-off suggestions:

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-...k-up-the-big-2
 
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Old February 18th, 2016   Mr. Wrong is offline   #2
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Ahead of DC's "Rebirth" announcement today, I contemplate Image Comics having a "rebirth" of its own with the Image partners reviving their launch titles. As well as some "The Walking Dead" spin-off suggestions:

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-...k-up-the-big-2
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Great piece. While I really don't care about any of those early Image superhero properties (except Giffen's "Trencher" ), if they could knock the Big Two off their pedestal it would be a good thing. Having a strong competitor whose success comes from attention to quality and a commitment to creative freedom as opposed to speculator-pandering marketing gimmicks might change the current practices of DC & Marvel.
 
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Old February 18th, 2016   Amentep is offline   #3
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I'm a bit of an oddball, I guess, but nothing suggested there would get me to buy more Image titles.

But then I only read Spawn and Savage Dragon of the original Image founders titles and I have no interest in going back to either (not that I'm saying either aren't worth reading, but my brother is reading Savage Dragon and it still has all the stuff that ultimately turned me off the title - but it still works for him).

All that said, I would totally read Giffen's Trencher again though. Then again, I liked PunX, so what do I know? :P
 
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Old February 18th, 2016   HushedRuin is offline   #4
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Good read.

That said, I disagree. I think Image has built up a readership that's not really the "capes" brand. Their superhero successes seem more in spite of the brand (that they seem to have).

'Spawn' has enjoyed success over the years and certainly has its own fanbase. It's going strong now and has some buzz thanks to Larsen joining the creative team.

Larsen's 'Savage Dragon' actually seems to have been gaining buzz recently as I see it pop up here and there. Usually, it's, "If you like superheroes and want some change/growth, SD is for you."

I'd love for Fortress to return as I thought he looked hella cool. Then that whole 'Image United' thing went off the rails...

The original 6 could be interesting if you could get them all... but the 6 have kinda become notorious for delays. Some have fixed that reputation (see: Larsen), some have moved on to other things (see: McFarlane), some have moved onto other companies (see: Lee, Silvestri), and some don't seem as busy as others (see: Portacio).

That's fine, as well, as I think Image has evolved past their original "cape" offerings. They were kinda the answer to comics of that day and wouldn't have the same ring to them today.
 
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Old February 18th, 2016   RoseWilson is offline   #5
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I prefer the current image which seems to be more along the Vertigo line to strictly super hero stuff.
 
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Old February 18th, 2016   BrianT is offline   #6
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For the record, I'm not suggesting Image veer away from their current wide selection of offerings. Those efforts most certainly must continue. This would be in addition to those books as kind of a counterpoint to the way the Big 2 do superheroes.
 
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Old February 19th, 2016   starks is offline   #7
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I'm going to make three main points:

1. Yes, there are a lot of comic books out there but I think one of the biggest problems is that there are a lot of crappy comics out there, especially outside of the Big 2 (since we're talking independents here).

I've tried a good number of comics in the last four to five months, from DC & Marvel, but also from a lot of other companies, including Image. And I'm dropping them just as quick (I order online) because they're just so craptastic. When I'm reading them, I wonder to myself, "Who in heck said -- 'Yeah, we should publish this!' ?"

Honestly, I think Image & the like would be better served if they said "no" a little more and if they aren't going to do that, then they really need to edit better (side note, there are so many errors nowadays in comics too) & guide these creative teams along. From unknowns to "names" -- they all need some help. The writing is so bad on so much stuff. The story within the titles are sometimes nonexistent. You could have a good first issue, but then things fall off a cliff the next, etc.


2. Stop doing miniseries! You want your readership to grow? Make your titles monthly ongoing titles. You want readers to commit to you and your product, then show the same level of commitment.

I absolutely hate finding out after, say three issues, that something is actually a miniseries. They all say "try this new monthly title" when they know it's only going to be five issues or something along those lines and don't say anything at the outset.

It's called a lie of omission. Publishers shouldn't be in the business of lying to their customers.


3. And this is for Image specifically: What is Image?

I think they need to define themselves as a publisher. What they publish, specifically.

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Old February 19th, 2016   Mr. Wrong is offline   #8
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I'm going to make three main points:

1. Yes, there are a lot of comic books out there but I think one of the biggest problems is that there are a lot of crappy comics out there, especially outside of the Big 2 (since we're talking independents here).

I've tried a good number of comics in the last four to five months, from DC & Marvel, but also from a lot of other companies, including Image. And I'm dropping them just as quick (I order online) because they're just so craptastic. When I'm reading them, I wonder to myself, "Who in heck said -- 'Yeah, we should publish this!' ?"

Honestly, I think Image & the like would be better served if they said "no" a little more and if they aren't going to do that, then they really need to edit better (side note, there are so many errors nowadays in comics too) & guide these creative teams along. From unknowns to "names" -- they all need some help. The writing is so bad on so much stuff. The story within the titles are sometimes nonexistent. You could have a good first issue, but then things fall off a cliff the next, etc.


2. Stop doing miniseries! You want your readership to grow? Make your titles monthly ongoing titles. You want readers to commit to you and your product, then show the same level of commitment.

I absolutely hate finding out after, say three issues, that something is actually a miniseries. They all say "try this new monthly title" when they know it's only going to be five issues or something along those lines and don't say anything at the outset.

It's called a lie of omission. Publishers shouldn't be in the business of lying to their customers.


3. And this is for Image specifically: What is Image?

I think they need to define themselves as a publisher. What they publish, specifically.

If you're everything, you're nothing.
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Well, in Image's case, their business model is a lot like the DIY/indie record labels: The artist(s) produce the content themselves, the way the artist(s) want it, and the artist(s) own that content. Image acts as a distributor, doing a large portion of the business side of publishing the comic. Image isn't there to edit or direct the content, though.

IMO, the quality of most comics published by Image, Dark Horse, Oni, IDW, Boom!, Dynamite, etc., is on par with, or, especially in terms of creativity and innovation, well ahead of most of the corporate spandex soaps produced by the Big Two. It's still amazing to me to look at the production quality of today's indie comics, and then think back on how raw and rough-edged a lot of indie comics were in the '90s and into the early-'00s. It is annoying to see typos or out-of-place word balloons, etc., in a comic. But I'd rather eat a raw oyster than a polished turd.

I don't understand a mini-series being a turnoff. I love starting a story knowing that it might actually have an ending. Some stories just don't need to drag on and on and recycle themselves over and over for 75+ years.

But, with today's comic market being as tiny as it is, and with a depressingly high percentage of that market being focused on nothing but one genre as published by two companies, practically every new title (even at the Big Two) starts off with a story that can be wrapped up in 4-6 issues if sales are not there to sustain it. After all, what sucks WAY worse than a miniseries is a series that just vanishes from the shelves mid-story. And, apparently, the notion that a series is in fact a limited series from conception IS a drag on sales. I do not know why, but it is what it is. (I'm fine with a couple of dates and a good time, I don't need every one to turn into a marriage, but that's just me.) But you can't expect, for example, DC to label "Prez" or "Omega Men" as "PROBABLY A MINI-SERIES." They're hoping it won't be, but if the sales aren't there, they at least want to give the readers who bought it something resembling a conclusion.

I think the worst possible thing Image (or any other publisher) could do is pigeon-hole themselves as "Brand X." They are not trying to get you to buy a comic because it has an Image logo on the cover. They are hoping you will buy it for the story and the art inside. They are hoping you will appreciate a variety of genres, styles, and ideas. I think maybe they are hoping that they can reinforce the idea that comic books are as viable a medium for storytelling in any genre as they are for the one genre that an overwhelming majority of people automatically associate them with.

What is Image? It's a publisher of creator-owned comics. That's a pretty simple idea. The reason they were laughed at by so many for so long was precisely because, in their early years, they were "Most Extreme producer of Super-Extreme-Superhero Comics with GIGANTIC MUSCLES & tiny, tiny heads!!!". They were "Who needs writers, anyway? LOOK AT HOW MY LEG CAN GO!" "WHY DRAW FEET WHEN IT'S ALWAYS FOGGY SOMEWHERE??? Bigger guns! MORE POUCHES!!!"
I think they're better off without a schtick.
 
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Old February 19th, 2016   Mr. Wrong is offline   #9
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I can't believe I failed to type, "ADVANTAGEOUS!!!"
 
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Old February 25th, 2016   BrianT is offline   #10
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Since posting my article Rob Liefeld has posted that he is continuing work on the BLOODSTRIKE and BRIGADE revivals and Erik Larsen posted an upcoming SAVAGE DRAGON cover with Ant on it.

Let the Rebirth begin!
 
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Old February 26th, 2016   Trevor is offline   #11
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ugh, I'd hate for Image to ruin themselves with anything like their initial dreck.
 
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Old February 26th, 2016   BrianT is offline   #12
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Since posting my article Rob Liefeld has posted that he is continuing work on the BLOODSTRIKE and BRIGADE revivals and Erik Larsen posted an upcoming SAVAGE DRAGON cover with Ant on it.

Let the Rebirth begin!
ddf
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Add the cover to SPAWN #265 with Ant on it. Looks like Larsen is starting to (re)build awareness ahead of the launch of her solo title. Smart move.
 
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