Back in 1992, a group of comic artists and writers from Marvel became dissatisfied with the company’s practice of retaining the rights to the characters they wrote and created. That was twenty years ago and, to put it in perspective, I had just graduated high school the year prior. Hard to believe two decades have come and gone between then and now. In the intervening years, I have grown up, matured and become established. The same applies to Image.
Jim Lee (X-Men), Todd McFarlane (Spider-Man), Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy), Erik Larsen (Amazing Spider-Man), Chris Claremont (Uncanny X-Men), Whilce Portacio (Uncanny X-Men) and Marc Silvestri (Wolverine) formed Image as equals with a mandate that all contributors retain the rights to their own creations. They had the freedom their former employer didn’t grant. At the risk of quoting a popular phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Image started strong, but faltered in the mid-90s as it struggled to meet deadlines and a tumultuous high-profile departure of one of its founders, Rob Liefeld.
In this week’s podcast, I’m joined by Mark Poulton who has been writing Avengelyne for Image and Hawkman for DC. Mark brings some insights to Image from his ongoing work with Rob Liefeld while writing Avengelyne. We discuss the past, present and future of Image from their foundation to their current partnership of Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. Working for both DC and Image, Mark offers a first-hand account of the differences between the companies. He also sheds some light on Rob and what it’s like to work directly with one of the original founders. We go on to cover the recent success Image has had bringing The Walking Dead to the small screen and speculate on where they are heading in the next twenty years.
The podcast is available here and on iTunes.