Monday, July 28, 2014

SDCC 2014: Image Comics Huge Image Expo Announcements Kicks Off San Diego Comic Con 2014

While San Diego Comic Con 2014 has wrapped up, we are finally recouping from the crazy, exciting weekend. Image Comics would kick off this year at SDCC just right with their Image Expo event which was held right before Preview Night and we were there for the exciting news that would be revealed. 

Only a handful of SDCC attendees were lucky enough to get their tickets for the Image Expo kick-off and press and media would be invited to see what Image Comics would have planned in big announcements. The event began with the Image Expo symbol lit up on the screen. 

Eric Stephenson, publisher of Image Comics would kick off the event with a terrific speech about how he got into comics and how important Image Comics really is versus other comic companies. He mentioned the difference between Image Comics and the others is that their comics are completely "Creator Owned", meaning if the creators are in charge of every aspect of their comic from creation to publication. This is why Image Comics is truly our favorite comic company out there, and we have been fans since the beginning in the 1990's. 

Eric Stephenson would then lead into talking about what Image Comics has planned in its future with new comic series coming in 2015 and making huge announcements of comic creators either returning with new series or joining Image Comics for the first time. 

There would be twelve announcements made for new series coming to Image Comics and the first would be by Rick Remender and Sean Gordon Murphy, titled Tokyo Ghost

TOKYO GHOST welcomes readers to the isles of New Los Angeles, 2189. Humanity has become nothing more than a sea of consumers, ravenous and starving wolves, sick from toxic contamination, who have to borrow, beg, and steal for the funds to buy, buy, buy their next digital fix. Getting a thrill, a distraction from reality, is the only thing left to live for. Entertainment is the biggest industry, the drug everyone needs, and gangsters run it all. And who do these gangsters turn to when they need the "law" enforced? Led Dent and Debbie Decay, constables of the law, which is a nice way to say “brutal killing machines." The duo are about to be presented with an assignment that will force them out of the decay of LA and into the mysterious lost nation of Tokyo.

 The second announcement would be for From Under Mountains created by Marian, Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong. 

Set in the isolated country of Akhara, rival houses face off in the struggle for political power and military security in FROM UNDER MOUNTAINS. Three unlikely figures—a lord's daughter, a disgraced knight, and a runaway thief—will change the fate of their world, but the only hope of peace may lie with the mystery shrouded goblins and witches, and the ancient powers they command.

Joe Casey returns with another series titled, Valhalla Mad, and he is teaming up with Paul Maybury. 

 VALHALLA MAD introduces a set of brand new characters: the Glorious Knox, Greghorn the Battlebjorn and Jhago the Irritator. The series depicts this particular trio of fun-loving gods' return to Earth—Manhattan, specifically—to drink and party and revel in their resplendent godhood after many decades of being away. Needless to say, they find a very different world than the one they last visited.

The fourth series coming to Image Comics announced was from John Arcudi and James Harren (the team who helped with B.P.R.D.) and titled, Rumble

RUMBLE is a strange book, that’s for sure—like a scarecrow-Conan fighting in a Louis C.K. TV show directed by David Fincher—with a supporting cast of odd characters, many of whom aren’t even human.  
Ray Fawkes Intersect would hold the fifth comic series announcement at the Image Expo kickoff event. 

Bodies shift and merge, warring with themselves. Blood rains from the skies. A child’s song is translated into toxic, thought-destroying whispers. Everything is changing. Everything is wrong. This is the world of INTERSECT.

The Humans would be the sixth announcement made and created by Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely.

Apart, they are nothing… deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas and chrome.
 The amazing team of Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko has created another sci-fi series, The Invincible Republic. Hardman will also be releasing his digital only collection of Kinski

 KINSKI, previously a digital-only collection, both written and drawn by Hardman, promises to be a quirky crime thriller about Joe, a down-on-his-luck salesman who finds a cute puppy. The thing is, this puppy already has a home. What starts as a simple rescue mission from neglectful owners quickly escalates into a righteous crusade. Hardman announced a second project to be executed with frequent collaborator Bechko (HEATHENTOWN, Savage Hulk, Star Wars: Legacy). Described as a gritty sci-fi series, INVISIBLE REPUBLIC explores the secret history of one man's rise to power after an unspeakable act of violence elevates him to folk-hero status on a war-torn planet seeking independence.

A surprising announcement would come from the amazing artist Becky Cloonan who would announce her own story that she will be writing, Southern Cross. The art will be by Andy Belanger. 

Now boarding: SOUTHERN CROSS, tanker flight 73 to Titan. Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—How did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched?
Another huge announcement would come from Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen who are creating Descender

DESCENDER will explore one young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet.

 Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein would introduce their series coming to Image Comics. Drifter

Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless in DRIFTER. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.

 One of the biggest announcements for the Image Expo kick off would come from Astro City's own, Kurt Busiek who would introduce his series, Tooth & Claw. The series will be written by the great Kurt Busiek and the art will be by Ben Dewey, who Busiek mentions to create very amazing animals. 

In TOOTH AND CLAW, a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences. Swords, sorcery, animal-wizards, gods, empires, golems of radioactive decay, crystalline badlands, con women, ancient armories, young love, mystery, blood and death and treachery and destiny...TOOTH AND CLAW is an epic story you won’t want to miss out on.

The last announcement for Image Comics Image Expo kickoff event would come from Declan Shalvey and Warren Ellis himself, well at least from a Skype call. Declan Shalvey and Warren Ellis would introduce their series, Injection

 INJECTION explores how loud and strange the world is becoming, and the sense that it's all bubbling into chaos—a chaos poised to become the Next New Normal—and that we did this to ourselves without thinking for a second about how we were ever going to live inside it.

“Each and every year, it is our goal to grow the comics marketplace with new creativity, and this current slate of talent is intent on doing exactly that,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “It’s nothing short of thrilling to be involved with so much unique and inventive talent, and I couldn’t be more proud of the work these amazing men and women are developing as we finish out this year and head into the next. We don’t pass out assignments or dictate directions here, we ask writers and artists what they want to do and let their creativity guide us. For some, relying on so much new material might seem like an uncertain way forward, but I prefer to look at every venture into uncharted territory as yet another path to the future. Thanks to these creators and more, that  future is looking brighter than ever.”

 Image Comics Image Expo event was definitely the greatest way to kick off the 2014 San Diego Comic Con right before Preview Night with huge announcements. We just have to thank Image Comics for the opportunity to attend the event. 

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