The GeeksverseNEWS | Highlights from the Image Expo 2013 opening address

NEWS | Highlights from the Image Expo 2013 opening address
Published on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 by
[UPDATED with more cover images and issue information] Publisher Eric Stephenson announces slate of newly-signed creators and forthcoming titles, reveals the company’s impressive gains in the trade paperback/graphic novel market, launches a new DRM-free digital comics distribution and retail platform.

The one-day Image Expo launched this morning at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco with a keynote address by publisher Eric Stephenson. Below are some of the highlights of Stephenson’s talk.

On Image Comics’ emergence as a major player in the trade paperback market:

For the second year running, we were the #2 supplier of trade paperbacks and graphic novels to the comic book store market…

Image Comics had 7 of the top 10 trades in ’12, 14 of the top 20, & 22 of the top 50. Our market share went up by 80% since ’09…

New titles slated for launch in the coming months, some of which have been previously announced in Image’s publicly circulated solicitations:

  • Velvet by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting: Set to launch in October 2013. Described by Brubaker thus: “Velvet Templeton is the personal assistant to the head of one of the world’s largest intelligence agencies, a Moneypenny kind of character… She leaves her desk job and has to go on the run into the field against her own agents. Imagine Bond or MI done in a true Cold War scenario.”


  • Sidekick by J. Michael Straczynski and Tom Mandrake: Scheduled for an August release. From the Image Comics Twitter feed: “The Red Cowl is a hero and Flyboy is his sidekick. What does Flyboy do when Red Cowl is assassinated?”


  • Rat Queens by Kurtis Wiebe and John Upchurch: Out this September. “… [is] like a rated-R [Lord of the Rings] starring about four mercenary women who kill monsters & then use that money to throw parties.”


  • Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue Deconnick and Emma Rios


  • Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky: Due out in September. “A girl finds out that time stops when she ‘makes whoopee.’ She meets a boy with the same power. They start robbing banks.”


  • ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward: Due out in 2014. An adaptation of The Odyssey, but “the male characters are women and the female characters are male, a gender-swapped super-cosmic take on Greek myth.”
  • Black Science by Rick Remender, Matt Scalera, and Dean White: Scheduled for November. “If you enjoyed Fear Agent, I think this’ll be right up your alley. It’s about a member of the Anarchist League of Sciences…”


  • Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wesley Craig: “Deadly Class is about a high school for assassins AND about the things Remender has seen while growing up hardcore… drawn by Wesley Craig, who Remender found by surfing the net and digging through blogs and portfolios… Craig was a scenester in the mid-’80s and he know exactly what Remender was getting at in Deadly Class… Remender and Craig want to avoid the cliches of the era and instead approach the truth of the time.”


  • Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour: “The elevator pitch is Dukes of Hazzard x Coen Brothers or The Untouchables vs. Boss Hogg… The main bad guy is the local high school football coach, a character Aaron came up with during Scalped but saved for this series: ‘He won a lot of trophies and also buried a lot of bodies under the bleachers.'”


  • Noah by Darren Aronofsky(!) and Niko Henrichon: Due 2014. “An OGN that is unbelievably pretty and very Biblical.” [NOTE: Noah is a four-part graphic novel miniseries. The first two installments have been previously published in French and German by Le Lombard—ed.]


  • The Book of Lost Souls by J. Michael Straczynski and Colleen Doran (title previously published under Marvel’s Icon imprint)


  • Dream Police by J. Michael Straczynski and Mike Deodato (title previously published under Marvel’s Icon imprint)


Other announced titles of note:

  • MPH by Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo
  • Ghosted by Josh Williamson and Goran Sudzuka
  • Three by Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly
  • Rocket Girl by Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
  • Zero by Ales Kot and Michael Walsh
  • Umbral by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten
  • Alone by J. Michael Straczynski and Bill Sienkewicz

Perhaps the biggest story from the Image Expo opening however, was the launch of Image Comics’ new Digital Comics initiative. Image will be offering select titles for sale on its website as digital comics which can be downloaded as DRM-free PDF, ePub, CBR, or CBZ files. The first title to be made available is Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Scatterlands #1, available now for 99¢.


Keep checking back here, as we will be posting updates as they are announced from the Expo.

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