In the beginning of Image Comics during the early nineties, I read it all. I couldn’t get my hands on enough of them. Image was known for it’s awesome art, foil covers, Image 0 coupons and gobs of books with the word blood, strike or force in the title. Some of it was great, some of it was terrible, but I think the ultimate goal for the greater good was reached. Creator-owned comics not only hit it big, they thrived. The big pubs couldn’t push creators around anymore and not only did that benefit the creators, but us readers won big as well. Today Image has matured into a comic book story power house. Uniquely original content that includes tales of surviving a zombie apocalypse, a story of an FDA Agent who solves crimes by getting psychic impressions from the things he eats (including humans), an underground company that erases tragedy for a nominal fee, by time traveling and a story about an oil tycoon heir who decides to settle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and declare it his own sovereign nation… just to name a few. Today Image is ripe with great stories just waiting to be read. Here are my 5 Reasons You Should be Reading More Image Comics.
The Second Print Rule:
Having a hard time finding something new to read? Follow my one simple rule for finding good Image titles to read. If an Image book gets a second printing… I should probably be reading it. This rule is true for everything I’m currently reading from Image. Saga, Happy!, Manhattan Projects, Great Pacific, Walking Dead, Revival and Comeback. Unlike the other big publishers where multiple printings can be issued pre-sales!.. (Before anyone reads a single issue!)… When Image books get a second printing, it’s because people like it. Multiple printings indicate that the populace has spoken and that the book is worth your time. The more printings the book gets, the more likely it’s going to kick ass. Saga for example. My favorite title for nearly a year now. I got the fifth printing of issue 1. The collect-ability of first print is still there, with the ability for the reader in us to get ahold of it pre-trade or without dropping $20 on the first ish. In fact, as we speak, there is one that has just come out called East of West. Watch it for it. It will get a second printing and I’m telling you now… you should be reading it.
Everything is New:
Everything is fresh. You don’t have to deal 50 or 60 years of continuity or someone trashing your beloved Batman by giving him a son or get angry and quit reading comics when you find out Spider-Man has been a clone for the last decade. When you have no expectations of status quo for the characters you are engaging, you tend to lighten up your fan-boy sphincter and let yourself enjoy what you read. When you stop and think about it… your expectations of what Batman IS or Should be… severely cripples a creator or potential creator’s possibilities for expanding upon new Batman stories. If they go outside your expectations of status quo and you are a level headed person, you stop reading the title or if you are a less balanced person you send death threats to them through the many public channels available to people today. If breaking the mold is lost readership and death threats, what incentive do creators have to break the mold? At Image you have creators doing whatever they want, with whatever character they want and it doesn’t fuck with your preconceptions of your momma’s Batman.
Image is the place of 100% creator owned comics. You can support your favorite creators directly. Part of every dollar you spend goes to cover the expenses of creating and distributing the comics and then whatever is left goes to the creators. Because Image stays creator owned, it will continue to draw top talent back, to write, draw and create whatever they want. This is why you get such a smorgasbord of stories from The Walking Dead to The Manhattan Projects to Invincible. From Saga to Savage Dragon to Great Pacific to Witchblade. Super-heros, historical fiction, sci-ci/fantasy, drama, survival horror and back round again. Image is where creators can go to create without boundaries.
While many of my favorite Marvel and DC comics are creeping up to $4 a book, every Image title I read is still $2.99. This is an important point to note. Entertainment today in it’s many digital forms is always readily available at our fingertips. I have a set amount of monetary units to spend on entertainment. Movies, video games, reading… yatta yatta. I can read 4 Image titles to Marvel and DC‘s 3. More bang for your comic buck. Let’s look at cost increase percentage. In 1992 Spawn and Savage Dragon were $1.95 an issue and today they sit at $2.99. That’s a cost increase percentage of 53%. Now lets compare that to Marvel and DC titles that I read today. In 1992 Avengers sold for a $1.75 and today it’s at a whopping $3.99 with a cost increase percentage of 128%. Thats not even the worst. Batman… my boy… was going for $1.25 and today it goes for $3.99 for a crazy cost increase percentage of 219%! In another 10 years, if the trend persists, I’ll be dropping $8.75 an issue on good ole bats.
Want to check out a new title? Want more than just a free preview? Well here yah go. Image Comics offers several free full comic issues via comixology. I’ve personally grabbed over three dozen FREE digital Image Comics issues. Marvel and DC are offering free digital comics with the purchase of the physical copy, oh wait they are actually charging you an additional dollar for the free digital issue. Image is offering FREE digital comics. Several of Image’s titles have FREE first issues and/or FREE #0 issues. This allows you to actually try out a title before committing any money to it. Here are some links to titles that offer FREE issues. America’s Got Powers, Angelus, Alpha Girl, Aphrodite IX, Artifacts, Wolfman, Battle Hymn, Bedlam, Berserker, Bulletproof Coffin, Chew, Comeback, The Cross Bronx, Cyber Force, Darkness, Epic Kill, G-Man, Girls, Halcyon, Hell Yeah, Invincible, Jersey Gods, Killing Girl, Madame Mirage, Manhattan Projects, Marineman, Memoir, Mind the Gap, The Mission, The Perhapnauts, Peter Panzerfaust, Planetoid, Prophet, Red Wing, Reed Gunther, Rising Stars, Saga, Sam Twitch, Savage Dragon, Skull Kickers, The Sword, Thief of Thieves, Walking Dead & Witchblade.
Until Next Time… Wow… I’ve been on a major sabbatical away from comics. I’m glad to be back in action. Life balance has put comics dead last in the list of priorities. My must-read-pile is nearly 2 feet high. Good news is that I’m back in the race! Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook/opencbdb and let me know what Image books you have been reading.