Image Expo

Image Expo happened yesterday in a chilly San Francisco, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. All I can say is, we’ve come a long way from the ‘dark,’ angst-ridden vanity projects of the 90s.  Image is turning out some of the best creator-owned books in the business today, and  the event provided a lot of hope for an exciting 2014. Some takeaways:

  • Kirkman and Adlard’s The Walking Dead is the number one bestselling book for the second year running. No doubt the book’s success owes more than its share to the epic ratings of the television show, but so what?  Marvel and DC have become subservient to their TV and movie products as well. It’s fantastic to see someone give the big houses a run for their money.
  • Publisher Eric Stephens delivered a keynote address packed with announcements. Lots of potential here: Matt Fraction’s Ody-C, Brandon Graham’s 8House collaborations, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet and the resurrection of Robert Kirkman’s Tech Jacket by Joe Keatinge.
  • Image continues to expand its storefront offering DRM-free digital comics in PDF/CBR/CBZ formats. I love seeing more publishers offer actual ownership for the cost of purchase rather than the crappy, provisional rental licenses of third party comics sellers.

The comics industry seems to be on the upswing this year, and I’m looking forward to the new output. I suppose that’s the definition of a successful event.