Tag Archives | Image Comics

Bay Area Zack Kaplan “Eclipse” Signing Times Two

Eclipse01_review-1One of the many wonderful things about being a comic book reader in the Bay Area is we have a steady stream of creators passing through the region. Another one of the many wonderful things about the Bay Area is that our 6900 square feet in all likelihood contain more local comic shops than any other 6900 square feet in these United States. These two wonderful aspects of the Bay Area occasionally combine to create a delightful phenomenon of multiple opportunities in a single day to meet a creator.

Although I’m consistently inconsistent about updating this website when I do update it I think I do a reasonable job of capturing all of the appearances a creator might be making in the Bay Area. However, due to this being more of a casual side project I occasionally make mistakes. I made one of those mistakes on Monday when I posted Zack Kaplan’s appearance at Cape and Cowl in Oakland but overlooked his appearance at Fantastic Comics in Berkeley. So it goes. I revise.

Kaplan will make at the least two appearances on the East bay Comic Book Trail tomorrow. The first stop will be at Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Kaplan will follow that appearance with a visit to Fantastic Comics, 2026 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Both of these appearances will celebrate the release of Kaplan’s Top Cow and Image project Eclipse. Bleeding Cool has more on the title plus a sneak peek at the comic featuring the  brightly haunting artwork of Giovani Timpano.

Signing: Zack Kaplan at Cape + Cowl on September 7

What if the Earth’s sun became a life extinguishing force?

Eclipse01_review-1Writer Zack Kaplan and artist Giovanni P. Timpano will explore that dystopian question when Eclipse hits comic store shelves on September 7. According to an Image press release:

Not long from now, Earth will be a very different place. The sun won’t be a source of life and warmth—instead, it will be the deadliest killer the world has ever known. Following an electro-magnetic solar flare cataclysm that alters our sun forever, most of the world’s population will be dead. Exposure to the sun’s immolating rays threatens to instantly kill the rest. The only choice for humanity’s survival is to adapt, living in nocturnal societies.

“We’ve all thought about droughts or food shortages, but consider what would happen if we lost a precious environmental companion like the sun,” said Kaplan. “ECLIPSE explores that catastrophic possibility, and whether we as people can survive with hope or succumb to our darker nature.”

In ECLIPSE’s recovered New York City, solar engineer David “Bax” Baxter ekes out a disillusioned existence. But the world gets even darker when the daughter of a solar industrialist is targeted by a mysterious killer, one who burns his victims in the sunlight while he walks away unscathed. When Bax agrees to protect this girl, he’s forced to confront a past he’s spent years trying to hide from.

Bleeding Cool has a sneak peek at the title and an interview with Kaplan.

Kaplan will be celebrating the launch of his new title at Oakland’s Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street, on September 7 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Zack Kaplan
Twitter: @zackkaps
Website: zackkaps.com

Giovani Timpano
Twitter: GioTimpano
Website: giovannitimpano.blogspot.it

Cape and Cowl
Twitter: @capeandcowlcomics
Website: www.capeandcowlcomics.com
Facebook: CapeCowlComics

OPB confirms Image Comics moving to Portland

FLymyoRc_400x400Oregon Public Broadcasting has confirmed Image Comics will move from Berkeley, Calif. to Portland, Ore. by early next year. Image publisher Eric Stephenson told OPB that a big part of the decision was due to the culture of the Bay Area changing so much. He said, “it’s become a lot more of a very corporate place.”

The arrival of Image, the third largest comics publisher, will further establish Portland as an important hub of comic-focused creativity. The City of Roses is already home to Dark Horse, Oni Press, and Top Shelf. Portland also welcomed the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in June of this year.

Portland provides access to a pool of creators who are already part of the Image roster. “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, but hopefully better, thanks to our proximity to creative people,” Stephenson said.

Dozens of creators call the city home including Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Greg Rucka, Joshua Williamson, Kurt Busiek and many others.

The move makes a great deal of financial sense. In the interview, Stephenson said the consideration of rent, wages, and healthcare all played a role in making the decision. The cost savings could allow the company to do more as it seeks to solidify its double-digit market share.

Image Expo unlikely to return to San Francisco

San Francisco has hosted four Image Expos over the years, but this year the company chose to try a new city and partnered with Seattle’s Emerald City Comic Con. Stephenson said Portland could be in consideration for the next Image Expo but, in the interview, was careful to note the city already has two successful comic conventions. These factors combined with San Francisco losing a significant amount of convention space in 2017 as the Moscone Center enters a significant renovation phase likely means Image Expo won’t return to our backyard anytime soon.

Signing: Wonder Woman trio Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp at Fantastic Comics (Aug 14)

Fantastic Comics, 2026 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, has lassoed the creative team behind DC’s rebirthed Wonder Woman series. The DC trinity of Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp will join forces for a wonderful signing event from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on August 14.

Women may return to Fantastic Comics at 8 p.m. for an exclusive Q&A with Rucka and Scott. The discussion will focus on the duo’s Image title Black Magick. It’s a follow-up to the Fantastic Ladies Comics Club discussion of the trade paperback which will take place one week prior.


Signing: Marjorie Liu with Sana Takeda at Comix Experience (July 27)

One of the most anticipated announcements to come out of Image Expo 2015 was Marjorie Liu teaming up with Sana Takeda on a new creator-owned series called Monstress. Monstress_01-1When Monstress hit shelves later that year the comic more than met expectations. It received high praise and sold out going straight to a second printing (and quickly to a third).  The extensive world-building and breath-taking illustrations establish Monstress as a rare beast in modern comics.  Not only is it well-written and visually-striking but it deftly tackles complex issues like struggles with inner demons, social stratification, and gender inequality, and racial discrimination. At first glance, it might look like a pretty fairytale but the story is dark and brutal at the core.

It should win all of the awards.

Bay Area fans of Liu and Takeda are in for a rare treat thanks to Comix Experience at 305 Divisadero in San Francisco. The comic book store is hosting a joint signing with the Monstress team on July 27 starting at 5 p.m. The signing will run until 7:30 p.m. when it will become an exclusive meet-and-greet with members of the Comix Experience Graphic Novel Club. Members of the club will additionally receive a signed bookplate (see below). If you’re not familiar with the club you can read about it and the numerous benefits here.



Around the Bay: Cape and Cowl hosts Image+ release party

Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, celebrated the release of the first issue of Image+ with a well-attended event on Wednesday. In addition to introducing comic readers to the new Image preview magazine the comic shop featured signings with Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex).

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

Cape and Cowl is the highlighted shop in this first issue of Image+.  The magazine also features interviews with Marjorie Liu, Nick Dragotta, Jordie Belaire, and others. Readers will see sneak peeks into forthcoming releases from the Berkley-based comic company including Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s Snotgirl, Steven Sanders and Caitlin Kittredge’s  Throwaways, and Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire’s A.D. After Death.

Signing: Greg Hinkle and Jason McNamara at Mission: Comics (April 29)

The Rattler prismatic

The Rattler prismatic

In 2014, I was excited to contribute to a Kickstarter for Jason McNamara and Greg Hinkle’s horror graphic novel The RattlerCombining horror and comics isn’t an easy feat and is rarely done well but McNamara and Hinkle nailed it with this graphic novel. They effectively built suspense and delivered on true moments of fright. It was one of my favorite reads in 2014 but due to the limited nature of Kickstarter I couldn’t share with friends. Thankfully, Image Comics stepped up and has republished the graphic novel in a fancy new edition that’s now available at local comic shops smart enough to carry it. One of those smart comic shops will be hosting a signing with McNamara and Hinkle on April 29. Mission: Comics and Art, 2250 Mission Street in San Francisco, will be celebrating the release of The Rattler and Hinkle’s collected collaboration with James Robinson, Airboy, starting at 6 p.m.

Maybe they’ll bring some of the super-cool The Rattler prismatics (see image to the left) they made for the Kickstarter. You know your trapper-keeper could use a new accessory.

Launch: Cape and Cowl present Image+

image+ launch partyImage Comics is launching it’s newest promotional publication at the Bay Area’s newest comic shop. Cape and Cowl Comics, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, is hosting a launch party on April 27 for the new magazine Image+. The monthly magazine will be distributed alongside the Diamond Distributors publication Previews. In addition to promoting up and coming Image titles, the magazine will feature exclusive content. The first 12 issues of Image+ will tell the backstory of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead big bad Negan. Each issue will contain four pages of an overall 48-page story. The first issue of Image+ will feature a profile of Cape and Cowl as well as interviews with creators like Marjorie Liu, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Leslie Hung.

According to an Image Comics press release:

Image+ will clock in at 64 pages and feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.

Customers who purchase Previews will receive Image+ as an add-on. The title can also be purchased independently for $1.99.

As for the kick-off event, Cape and Cowl announced special guests including Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex). Side note: Should I start listing creators as if their titles are nicknames? Jimmie “Five Weapons” Robinson! Brad “Sex” Simpson! Justin “The Fuse” Greenwood!


The party starts at 6 p.m. Food will be provided by El Super Taco Man food truck and the store will host a cash bar.

Image’s Eric Stephenson says only two things matter “good comics and bad comics”

This morning Image Publisher Eric Stephenson gave a speech at ComicsPro, the annual comic retailer meeting, that should be required reading for anyone interested in strengthen the foundation of the industry.

ComicsPRO Logo

ComicsPRO Logo

The Beat has text of the entire speech, but I wanted to dig in and pull out some interesting bits.

Stephenson told the retailers they should see a growing graphic novel section at Barnes & Nobles and increasing sales on Amazon as an opportunity.

And it’s our job – yours, mine, all of ours – to figure out how to reach that growing audience and drive them to the Direct Market, because as bookstores continue to close and chains continue to disappear, the best place to get comics in the future will continue to be the best place to get comics now:

Your stores.

He encouraged the retailers to not see the industry as being about the “big two” or “big three” and instead to focus on the only thing that really matters: “good comics and bad comics.”

Are $4.99 and $7.99 comics going to help our industry in the long run?

No, but they sure help the bottom line at the end of the year.

Same with gimmick covers and insane incentives to qualify for variants that will only have a limited appeal for a limited amount of time.

Of course, Image publishes variant covers, but Stephenson said that’s only because retailers keep ordering them. He said variants and other gimmicks are detrimental to the long-term health of the industry.

Constantly re-launching, re-numbering, and re-booting series after series, staging contrived events designed to appeal to a demographic destined only to a slow march toward attrition, and pretending that endless waves of nostalgia for old movies, old toys, old cartoons, and old video games somehow equals ideas or innovation will not make us stronger.

One of the most important parts of his speech was pushing the retailers to look beyond superheroes and to accept that there are new demographics coming into comics. He notes that one of the most important demographics is women.

There is a vast and growing readership out there that is excited about discovering comic books, but as long as we continue to present comics to the world in the Biff Bang Pow! context of Marvel and DC, with shop windows full of pictures of Spider-Man and Superman, we will fail to reach it.

The biggest problem with comic books is that even now, even after all the amazing progress we’ve made as an industry over the last 20 years, the vast majority of people have no idea whatsoever about how much the comics medium has to offer.

While he’s kind to give a nod to other publishers by mentioning non-Image titles like Love & Rockets and Rachel Rising he comes down hard on publishers of licensed properties that come from film, television, or toys.

TRANSFORMERS comics will never be the real thing.

GI JOE comics will never be the real thing.

STAR WARS comics will never be the real thing.

Those comics are for fans that love the real thing so much, they want more – but there’s the important thing to understand:

They don’t want more comics – they just want more of the thing they love.

I personally don’t agree with this assessment as it’s disingenuous to the writers and illustrators who invested ink and sleepless nights into expanding those Universes. Larry Hama’s GI Joe comics, not superheroes, were my gateway drug. There is a place for such content if you’re truly trying to build a strong foundation. I do understand the greater point he’s trying to make that the comic book industry should strive to be a new idea factory and not build it’s foundation solely on what Hollywood and toy companies churn out.

There’s much more to the speech than the quotes I pulled out. If your LCS wasn’t at ComicsPRO it might not hurt to print a copy out and leave it on their counter.

Image Publisher Eric Stephenson talks Image Expo with Multiveristy

imageexpoFor the third year in a row comic news site Multiveristy named Image Comics “publisher of the year.” To coincide with granting the honor Multiversity’s David Harper sat down with Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson to talk about the past, present, and future of the company. In the interview, Stephenson discusses the successful Image Expo which will be returning to the Bay Area on January 9, 2014. While no news about what may be announced at the 2014 Image Expo is revealed Stephenson discusses how the event came to be and how it was Robert Kirkman’s enthusiasm that set everything in motion:

…my initial reaction was essentially a cross between unbridled revulsion and abject despair. It all sounded like considerably more trouble than it was worth, frankly, but as typically happens, I got caught up in Robert’s enthusiasm for the ideas, and what do you know? Everything was fine. Better than fine, actually, because what we quickly learned was that there’s real value in making big announcements outside the circus atmosphere of the regular convention circuit.

Since I last wrote about Image Expo a number of new creators have been added to the already robust slate: Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Bedlam), Joe Keatinge (Glory), Wes Craig (Deadly Class), James Robinson (The Saviors), Paul Azaceta (Outcast), and Joshua Williamson (Ghosted).


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