There’s a great thread over at Millarworld about the debt that the comic industry owes the original Image Comics founders:
Looking back on the founding members of the Image 7 it is easy to dismiss what a monumental moment it was in the medium. As a direct result of their actions creators are in a much better position financially and creatively. Despite this fact I have yet to see any of their peers or notable predecessors thank them for their boldness and courage.
What is most striking is that the most creative of the seven is the most hated. That being Rob Liefeld. Despite the jokes and the scorn his legacy is clearly established in Previews every single week.
So, just what exactly is the debt that current creators owe to the Image founders?
The thread that follows runs the gamut from “They created a viable alternative to the Big Two” to “No-one owes them any debt, they’ve all sold out,” but it’s an interesting point: The founding of Image Comics nineteen years ago – God, I’m old – was a major shift for the mainstream industry, and one for the better, but it’s one that doesn’t seem to really get the attention or respect that it deserves. Is that because we’re still too close to it, or that it gets lumped in with the rest of the 1990s craziness? Or maybe it’s just that fandom as a whole really can’t get over the fact that, of the Image Seven, only Todd McFarlane and Jim Valentino didn’t eventually go back at Marvel in one way or another.