The Image Expo has kicked off in Oakland, and there is certainly no shortage of big and exciting comic announcements. As many creators have been hinting at for months, 2012 is indeed shaping up to be the year of creator-owned comics. In a keynote address from Publisher, Eric Stephenson, some big titles were announced that will be released later this year. Let’s see what Image has in store for us, shall we?
Perhaps the biggest announcement was about a new comic titled Happy! from superstar writer Grant Morrison (Action Comics, Batman) and artist extraordinaire Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan, The Boys, and who has been interviewed here on Comic Booked) is set to release at the end of the year. There aren’t many solid details about Happy! at this time, but with the level of talent involved, this title is likely to be a hit with fans. Fed by cryptic comments made by Morrison himself, Happy! might not be the only new Image title in the works on which Grant Morrison is involved.
Do you like comic writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, the upcoming The Nosferatu Wars) work? I know I do. Niles has long been an advocate of creator-owned titles, so it is no surprise that he has two new projects in the works for Image. The first title is Chin Music, with artist Tony Harris. Harris described the title as “…a 1930′s Noir, Gangster, horror story!!” on his Twitter account, and posted the cover image below. In exchanges on Twitter, Niles and Harris seem elated to be working together, and fans are excited for them to be as well.
The other Steve Niles title that was announced is called Crime and Terror, and will be done with artist Scott Morse.
A third volume of Phonogram from Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Journey Into Mystery, and who was nice enough to do a NYCC interview right here on Comic Booked ), Jamie McKelvie and Mathew Wilson is on the way, with a tentative November release date. This volume will be a six-issue miniseries titled “The Immaterial Girl.” On Kieron Gillen’s Work Blog, he had this to say (check out the blog for even more info):
“It’s primarily about the war between coven queen witch Emily Aster and the half of her personality she sold to whatever lies on the other side of the screen. It’s about identity, eighties music videos and further explorations of Phonogram’s core “Music = Magic” thesis. There is horror. There are jokes. There are emotions. There may even be a fight sequence. It also takes A-ha’s “Take On Me” with far too much seriousness – which, for us, is the correct amount of seriousness.”
The always awesome Brian Wood (Demo, Northlanders, Conan the Barbarian) is writing a new six-issue miniseries titled Mara. He will collaborate with Jordie Bellaire and Ming Doyle on Mara, which is rumored to be a sci-fi/superhero endeavor.
Nick Spencer (Morning Glories, Thief of Thieves) will be working with Riley Rossmo on a new project titled Bedlam.
And finally, a title called Planetoid from Ken Garing, that has only been available as a digital comic on Graphicly up to this point, will see a five-issue miniseries release starting in June.
Details on many of these new titles are in limited supply at this time, but that doesn’t make the announcements any less exciting. It looks like Image Comics has big things in store for us, and it looks like many creators feel more comfortable bringing their new work and ideas to companies that support the creator-owned concept. When that happens, fans and creators win. Check back in for new Image Expo news as it becomes available, right here on Comic Booked.