Waiting for the Image Expo to begin, the screen on stage read “Comics in your Image”. An interesting statement when you consider the crowd in the room was largely comprised of white males. It’s no secret the comics industry has a diversity issue. The keynote address by Imge publisher Eric Stephenson tactfully commented on the need for diversity, all without ever actually saying the word. He emphasized that “Nothing is impossible” in the realm of comics. It’s a common enough saying told to children, “you can be whatever you want to be”, but it’s not always obvious in our daily reality. Girls used to be told that comics are for boys and people of colour rarely see others like them in media or politics. But “it’s not enough to believe in change, you have to do the hard work”. That hard work is certainly showing in the upcoming releases from Image.
Glitterbomb by Jim Zub
A young starlet, but nonetheless past her prime, has a rage fuelled vendetta to take Hollywood down.
Afar written by Leila Del Luca, art by Kit Seaton
Artist of Shutter, taking inspiration from her childhood love of Star Trek and wishing it were real, is now taking on the new challenge of writing with her story of two teenaged sisters in a fantasy sci-if story involving astral projection.
VS by Ivan Brandon
Set in a future at war, one man has to deal with ever changing technology..
Black Cloud by Ivan Brandon and Jason Latour
Described as “Jessica Jones meets Roger Rabbit”, get the bourbon ready for this one.
Winnebago Graveyard, artist Alison Sampson
A family is on holiday when their Winnebago breaks down launching them on a “gross” journey with a group of satanists. But really it’s just a good family story.
Horizon by Juan Gedeon and Brandon Thomas
After an alien visit, examines “How many second chances humanity is allowed to get”.
The Hunt by Colin Lorimer
A story of fairies, but not the Tinkerbell variety. Based on Irish folklore these are the murdering kind of fairies.
Lake of Fire by Nathan Fairbairn
A “low concept” story of Crusaders meet aliens. Fighting ensues.
The Divided States Hysteria, written by Howard Chaykin
A paranoid look at the world on the brink of collapse due to terrorism. No longer dealing with nationalism but ideologies instead, how do you know who is responsible? One person’s hero is another’s villain.
Prince of Cats, by Ron Wimberly
First published by DC/Vertigo, Image is re-releasing this Shakespeare B-side about one of Romeo and Juliet’s prideful characters the Prince of Cats.
Prima by Jen Van Meter
A story about the lead ballerina (prima) and her sister caught up in action, adventure, espionage and ballet. Expect artwork to be done in the style of 50s fashion illustrations.
Rock Stars written by Joe Harris
A supernatural investigation story into the myths surrounding music legends. Each issue will focus on a different musical style. Chances are if you like Wicked + Divine you ‘ll be interested in this.
Romulus by Bryan Hill and Nelson Blake II
Romulus, a secret society of female assassins going back to Roman times, one assassin “has a change of heart” and tries to go down the path of the hero, but it will not be easy.
SurgeonX by Karen Berger and Sara Kenney
The year is 2036 and the world is on the brink of medical collapse. One Doctor believes that life is a privilege, not a right.
Kill or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker
Brubaker’s take on vigilante justice, the story of a man who has to choose one bad person to kill a month, how will he choose who lives and who dies?
The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman
What if the Black Monday Crash was caused by magic, and why?
Seven to Eternity by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena
A fantasy tale focusing on the compromise between ideals and reality faced by all youths as they venture out on their own.
Moonshine by Brin Azzarello
Hillbillies, werewolves, prohibition and mobsters. Love it when a comic title pairs itself wth a drink.
Motor Crush by Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart
The team behind Batgirl brings us a futuristic bad ass motorcycle racing warrior story where everyone is after the racing narcotic “crush”. The team has great chemistry and Babs Tarr can’t wait to show off her future warrior fashions. And the preview cover has what resembles a Sailor Moon Luna Ball?!
Isola by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl
A lovely fantasy epic drawing inspiration from Miyazaki films, the Captain of theGuard must protect her Queen after being transformed into a tiger. Unfortunately she killed the only man that can change her back. Thus begins their quest to Isola the island of souls to find the spirit that can change back her beloved Queen.
As far as protagonists go, there is a shift towards having greater female representation. It’s difficult to determine how well different races are being represented but some covers do feature protagonists that aren’t white. It feels as though Image is following through making “comics in your image”
Image Expo continues through the afternoon with panels and special signings. A screening of the first episode of Outcast will be shown this evening followed by the spring formal dance with Image creators DJ’d by Wicked + Divine creators Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.