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View Full Version : Image Comics exodus of the 90s


Mark Bertolini
08-15-2008, 09:30 AM
Quick question:

Does anyone think that a mass exodus of artist from one of the big companies would make even one-tenth the difference it made back in the day? I don't know there are enough superstar artists that could make a sizeable enough impact.
Writers, on the other hand, could potentially cripple one of the big companies if enough of them moved on to greener pastures.

Thoughts?

SatyQ
08-15-2008, 09:47 AM
I think at the moment, the writers are the ones in the drivers seat of the comic book industry when it comes to talent. I think a "Big Seven" style exodus of Ed Brubaker, Warren Ellis, Robert Kirkman, Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Slott, Mark Millar and Jeph Loeb would get some attention.

But writers still aren't bulletproof, as witnessed by what happened with Chuck Dixon.

Moonrider
08-15-2008, 10:23 AM
Wasn't that what Crossgen was all about? It didn't work the way Image did, still it's pretty close to what you'd call a 'writers exodus'.

I think writers are always in a better position than artists, because they have less media limitation and more well organized. Writers like Warren Ellis can just shift between his work for hire and his creator owned projects. So as far as I know, there is no real need for an Image counterpart comprised of talented writers.

Mark Bertolini
08-15-2008, 12:16 PM
Yeah, I get what you're saying. I'm just trying to figure if the Image crew had done what they did, 16 years later, would the impact have been the same? Image changed the face of the industry, I don't think there's any denying that, but, as stated above, writers are the bread and butter for the Big 2 nowadays. I don't think artists jumping ship would cause much of a ripple.

Architect
08-15-2008, 12:37 PM
Yeah, I get what you're saying. I'm just trying to figure if the Image crew had done what they did, 16 years later, would the impact have been the same? Image changed the face of the industry, I don't think there's any denying that, but, as stated above, writers are the bread and butter for the Big 2 nowadays. I don't think artists jumping ship would cause much of a ripple.

Yes, I think it would have the same impact today, assuming they are still the superstars that they were. There are fewer artists today that stand out the way they did, but I'm not really sure why that's the case. I also agree that the writers are what's bringing the heat these days, but I think they are in a less visible position as far as the ability to gain notoriety, fame, etc. It is not as difficult for an artist to adopt a signature style and apply it across multiple characters, books, etc., as it is for a writer to do that, because a writer has to address canon and other issues, while telling stories that haven't yet been told. A writer can have a world view or a tone that s/he is known for, but I think any attempt to create a signature story would be met with criticism of the writer being a one trick pony

Deadfish07
08-15-2008, 01:41 PM
Personally, I find the situation of a mass exodus of writers to be far fetched.

For one thing, writers are capable of handling more than one series at a time. Which means they can do Marvel or DC or both, some indy work and their own personal projects at the same time. Most artists can't do that. Look at Garth Ennis, he has 5 or more books a month from multiple publishers.

Another thing is it's more work. When the Image guys left, they wanted to write and draw their own stories. Writers can only handle half that game. Now they have to find artists and pray they're timely at drawing. If they are solely depending on their creator owned work and they have an artist that's slow as shit, they're screwed.

And Marvel and DC wouldn't miss them for long. The scary thing with the big two, they are looking more and more at Hollywood screenwriters or novel writers than they are indy guys. Hell, Joe Q loves nobody screenwriters, that's why he gave a hack like Ron Zimmerman his own original Ultimate title. And for those that don't remember, I'm not talking Ultimate random Marvel character, I'm talking "brand new" characters (in quotes because it was Batman and Robin, with different names). Mark Millar couldn't give enough reach arounds to get his own original Ultimate title.

Lastly, X-men will continue to sell. Spider-man will keep chugging out tens of thousands of copies. Batman and Superman will always be there, because in the long and short of it, most casual readers follow the characters, not the creators. Sure, some will look at the issue without the big name writer and go, "This is crap!" But it doesn't matter if it's Warren Ellis or me writing, Wolverine will be in the top 25 of Diamond's selling list.

L Jamal
08-15-2008, 02:06 PM
It's not advantageous for any writer to just leave WFH when writers can write more than one monthly series.

It's not in Marvel's and DC's best interest to build superstar artists any more. Those that we now consider superstars are all under contract so they will not be leaving as long the Big 2 are battling over them. Image was only created because Marvel and DC would not let the Image 7 "play with other toys." Now even the exclusive contracts allow for creator owned work, so there conditions that created Image no longer exist.

Moonrider
08-15-2008, 02:25 PM
My take is, if the Image guys hadn't done it 16 years ago someone else would have done it. If nobody hadn't done it until now, the impact would be pretty much the same as 16 years ago because the today's contract conditions that ljamal said would not even exist, because everybody was happy the way it was back then for another 16 years.

Calloway
08-15-2008, 02:43 PM
Legend failed.

Back then you also had the top selling artists (a couple of which broke records) to pull their weight around. Jim and Todd essentially got that.

I think it would work today but not as well because the speculator market is tiny now. Take Joe Mad, Ramos and whoever else is popular and give them their own company and it'll do good.

As far as writers leaving they'd still need to find top notch artistic talent. The big two would be hurt for a second but there are talented writers out there that could perhaps take the place of those who left.

Claremont, David didn't really hurt Marvel when they stepped away. If anything better writers were found for their respective series'.

Wasn't Images united front also a statement for creator rights? What is the thing to revolt against now days?

I'd like to hear Lee's opinion on this.

Eugene Selassie
08-15-2008, 06:50 PM
Claremont, David didn't really hurt Marvel when they stepped away. If anything better writers were found for their respective series'.



I will admit that it didn't hurt Marvel, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that there BETTER writers afterward.

With X-men, MAYBE Morrison and Ellis.

Hulk, I think Pak was great, but none have been as good as David since.

Calloway
08-15-2008, 07:02 PM
I think David ruined the feel of Hulk and really screwed it up for me by putting a definite ending for the Hulk. Before I even got into his run I was reading the Sal Buscema drawn ones of the 70s and the whole beast/ man thing was pretty good. David made Hulk smart and then, with Green Hulk, flawless. A superhero comic character without some kind of internal troubles doesn't interest me.

Bruce Jones did a great Job getting Hulk back on track. Honestly, until my book comes in I have no clue what Pak is doing. I heard he's pretty damn good at keeping Hulk at his monster roots though.

That's just my opinion.

Eugene Selassie
08-15-2008, 07:09 PM
I think David ruined the feel of Hulk and really screwed it up for me by putting a definite ending for the Hulk. Before I even got into his run I was reading the Sal Buscema drawn ones of the 70s and the whole beast/ man thing was pretty good. David made Hulk smart and then, with Green Hulk, flawless. A superhero comic character without some kind of internal troubles doesn't interest me.

Bruce Jones did a great Job getting Hulk back on track. Honestly, until my book comes in I have no clue what Pak is doing. I heard he's pretty damn good at keeping Hulk at his monster roots though.

That's just my opinion.

I understand you like classic Hulk man, but they had been doing the same shit for 25 years prior to David. He had to do SOMETHING different, and I applaud him for doing so. Issue #377 he did with Dale Keown was THE BEST ISSUE of Hulk I have ever read to date. It is just a psychiatric evaluation and Bruce dealing with the different fractured parts of his psyche. EXCELLENT read.

Bruce Jones run started off good, then meandered, kinda like season 2 of LOST. By the end of the run it was obvious Jones had no clue where he was going, so when he pulled the Mr Blue-Ex-Machina by making the Leader the responsible party, of all people, I wanted to dump his entire run into a fire and watch the single issues burn.

Calloway
08-15-2008, 07:18 PM
I dropped off while he was still good then. I just remember thinking this is what Hulk is.

David did explore and bring Hulk into new territory at the beginning of his run but when he turned the Hulk Grey it seemed it wasn't Hulk anymore.

Some characters are still popular and have done the same thing for longer then 25 years (much to my dismay Superman comes to mind).

It's all about how the story is told and how the character is handled for me.

This is just the way I feel about it. Obviously different people pull different things from it. I just can't wait to start reading planet hulk when it gets here.

Paul Sanderson
08-15-2008, 09:27 PM
It's not advantageous for any writer to just leave WFH when writers can write more than one monthly series.

It's not in Marvel's and DC's best interest to build superstar artists any more. Those that we now consider superstars are all under contract so they will not be leaving as long the Big 2 are battling over them. Image was only created because Marvel and DC would not let the Image 7 "play with other toys." Now even the exclusive contracts allow for creator owned work, so there conditions that created Image no longer exist.

Yeah, I think you're right. I don't think the conditions exist today for the same situation to occur as before.

Moonrider
08-16-2008, 12:05 AM
But what if Image didn't get found 16 years ago? Would intellectual properties in comic book industry be more respected as it is today?

Paul Sanderson
08-16-2008, 12:57 AM
Who can tell.

Eugene Selassie
08-16-2008, 06:18 PM
Some characters are still popular and have done the same thing for longer then 25 years (much to my dismay Superman comes to mind).



This is where I disagree.

Sometimes, it's all about the alter ego. Clark Kent had been doing a myriad of journalistic pursuits during that time. Bruce Banner was curled up in the fetal position for the previous 25 years. I remember Joe Casey once commenting on how Banner was familiar with military protocols, is a nuclear physicist, yet when shit gets tough, and he can't change into the Hulk, he is curled up in the fetal position. Pathetic really.

JamieRoberts
08-16-2008, 06:44 PM
I doubt an exodus would work anything like as well these days. The fans are still there, but I'd describe them as less rabid than during the speculator boom. There's no 'gotta have it' mentality anymore, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The thing about the industry today is that we all remember the origins of Image and the fall from grace, so we'd be very wary of putting that amount of trust into a fledgling company with big ideas and a load of promises, no matter how popular the creators were. Rightly so. Creators may totally nail a certain project, but that doesn't mean they don't have to impress on their next.

Anyway, remember Cliffhanger? Remember Gorilla? Yeah, they were imprints rather than publishers in and of themselves, but the same thing happened with Cliffhanger as happened with Image, and Gorilla sank despite actually having some good titles and being more writer-orientated.

jimmybott
08-16-2008, 06:55 PM
From the point of an aspiring creator wouldn't we all love to see a mass exodus of any kind from the big 2. At present it can be a struggle for even some of the seasoned, tested talent to find steady work at the big 2 let alone the guys trying to get their foot in the door.

If we take a look at this board for example, if a mass exodus of artists did occur, there are guys and gals like Jake Bilbao, Drewerd, Hardinart, Joh James, quones, eliseu gouveia, MDiPiscale, Neil Edwards, scherzo, SJames (sure I missed a bunch of people out too) who I personally believe have the skill level to compete alongside creators currently working at the big 2.

I have to admit I haven't had that many dealings with the writers on this board. Writers who I would love to see working at marvel regularly after a writer exodus would be guys like Joshua Fialkov, Alex Grecian, Tony Lee (did I really just say that?), Dwight Macpherson, Doug Wagner, David Atchison, Rick Remender, Keiron Gillen, Jonathon Hickman, Sal Cipriano and Rick Spears.

So, for the love of god, I hope the top notch talent all take heed of what Robert Kirkman said recently and go do their own thing. Because I want to see Sal Cipriano and joh james kicking ass on genertation X or new warriors bloody soon (I think those 2 guys working together would be a blast) :har:

jimmybott
08-16-2008, 06:58 PM
Quones: Man I loved Gorilla, Shock rockets by Busiek and Immonnen was great. I heard that their publisher bullshitted about the funding and they ended up funding the book themselves at the end. I never did manage to get my hands on that one shot of superstar :(

JamieRoberts
08-16-2008, 07:09 PM
Dude, I'm starting to organise my collection to flog on eBay, and I picked up Shockrockets, thinking I'd sell that first. Then I remembered it was pretty much the first non-superhero book I bought, and now I love it again.

How much has Immonen changed since then? Jeez!