The main founders of Image Comics, minus Jim Lee plus Robert Kirkman, sat in on a special panel at the first Image Expo. Though the founders’ relationships with each other and the business have often been contentious, this discussion was largely drama-free… at least on the surface.
Todd McFarlane said: “Jim ‘DC’ Lee will not be here today.”
Rob Liefeld remembered McFarlane saying: “Well, we just told Marvel we are never going to work for them again, and we thought we’d just give the same courtesy to you, because we aren’t working for you either.”
Rob Liefeld didn’t say: “Can we wrap this up soon? Jim Lee is breathing down my neck about getting DC the latest Hawk and Dove pages.”
Rob Liefeld did say: “The reason Image worked is because it was a collective. We were all jonesing to do our own thing. We loved our time at Marvel, I’m just speaking from a place of honesty, and I was just excited to do something else. It wasn’t like ‘I’m done with Marvel’ or ‘Marvel’s treated me wrong.’”
Rob Liefeld didn’t say: “Sure, Todd keeps calling Marvel ‘the plantation’ and implies people who work there are ‘slaves,’ but he means it with affection.”
Todd McFarlane did say: “Image Comics has never owned anything, ever. Image owns nothing,” explained McFarlane. “20 years ago we thought we had the best deal for creators and, 20 years later, bar none, we have the best deal for creators… You don’t have to work for the same two guys over and over if you don’t want to. If you want to, fine. God bless you.”
Todd McFarlane didn’t say: “That ‘bar-none best deal,’ of course, refers strictly to the comic-book periodicals market, and the real threat to Image’s ongoing relevance isn’t those ‘same two guys,’ it’s a hundred new companies, including many sole proprietorships, some of which are following Image’s model closely, and some of which seem far better-adapted to the new challenges of a more digital age. Bless those guys too. I mean, in principle.”
Apart from the founders’ panel and the previously-covered announcement of many new titles, the most intriguing news to emerge from the show is that Daniel Corey’s Moriarty, the series following the adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ arch-rival, will be getting a musical adaptation.
Todd McFarlane, on media rights in other properties: “It’s your game. “You get to raise your baby the way you see fit.”
Todd McFarlane didn’t say: “As well, or as poorly, as you see fit. Anybody remember the Spawn movie? I’m not saying a detective story that plays itself entirely straight can’t be a great musical. It’s just very unlikely, statistically speaking. Video games, Daniel! That’s where the hockey card-buying money is!”