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Image Comics: The Rise of A New Giant?

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

If you follow me on Instagram (@lifeofageekymind), you must’ve realized by now how big of a fan I am of Image Comics. My feed is 95% Image Comics. The thing is, I don’t even do it on purpose. I always browse in stores and pick up books that attract my curiosity either because of the story or the art… And 9 times out of 10 they are published by Image Comics.

Last month, Image Comics became the first publisher to dominate an entire category for the Eisner Awards. Every nomination for Best New Series come from my favorite publisher… And I’m not surprised.

The nominees are:

  • BITTER ROOT by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene

  • CROWDED by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt

  • GIDEON FALLS by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino

  • ISOLA by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Msassyk, Aditya Bidikar

  • MAN-EATERS by Chelsea Cain, Lia Miternique, and Kate Niemczyk

  • SKYWARD by Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett

That is without even considering all their other nominations in different categories (19 nominations and 11 shared).

Then, I started to wonder…

They definitely proved they were playing in the big leagues for a while now, are we witnessing the raise of a new giant?

This game changer for this used-to-be-small company led me to reflect on the matter:

We live an era surrounded by great publishers. In this world where the comics industry is dominated by two omnipresent giants, how is it possible for a former tiny Indie publisher like Image to be the first to win an entire category?

It sure is not a coincidence either if I’m always drawn, like many other readers, by their products.

Actually, let me ask you a question:

What makes a good comics series?

  1. Great Variety in contents

  2. Innovation, pushing the boundaries

  3. Quality of the story and the art

For me, it’s d) all of the above.

And that is exactly what Image brings to the table. 

I think the strength of a publisher reside in their capacity to open their repertoire and offer their customer what they didn't know they needed.

In the past years, Image Comics successfully published comics:

  1. Multiple genres – Crime, Fantasy, Humor, Sci-Fi, Drama, Adventure Side notes: I have a favorite comic in all their categories!

  2. Opening themselves to political/engaged content. Either helping with women empowerment, LGBTQ+ movement or Black History month, they have something to push the boundaries and promote tolerance. And how can I leave out my favorite ongoing series LITTLE BIRD, also promoting tolerance and identity quest.

  3. With great collaboration with some of the best (in my opinion) writers/artists, they have some of the most beautiful and breath-taking comics/ graphic novel to add to your collection. Don’t believe me? Check out MONSTRESS (for the story AND the art – honored with 5 Eisner Awards last year), SAGA (a must read), DESCENDER (Beautiful watercolors!)… And so many more!

This year’s nominations are also incredible and proof of their success. I’m predicting some wins for some of their recent publications, including:

MIDDLEWEST, who conquered Instagram and the hearts of many, including myself. Nominated for Best Publication for Teens, I think it’s safe to say anybody, young or les young, will appreciate this masterpiece.

ISOLA is also one of my new favorite on-going series, nominated 3 times for Best New Series, Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team (I must say the art and coloring are gorgeous) and for Best Covert Artist (shout out to Karl Kerschl). +5 points for including diversity in their characters.

And if you’re looking for some LGBTQ+ love, I strongly recommend reading TWISTED ROMANCE, in nomination for Best Anthology (and 2 shared nominations for Best Writer and Best Lettering). You will find anything you need to realize that love has no color, no gender and no universe. Love is love.

With all that said, I genuinely appreciate how much effort they (and of all the writers/artists out there) put in producing good content. Not only are they less expensive than some other big publishers (you know whom I’m talking about. I know you do.), they are also a gold mine for talent.

I am thrilled to see them climb to the top. I want more diversity, more quality, more innovation. I want everything Image has to offer. Watch out you big giants, because Image Comics is coming for your crowns…. And they are riding gracefully at high speed!

#ImageComics #Comics #ComicBooks

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