Tom Spurgeon has a quick conversation (part one, part two) with Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson about how things are going for the publisher, amid big-name creator signings and new hits like Saga and Fatale:
I see [the publisher's recent announcements] as a continuity in terms of what Jim and Erik were doing, and I see it as a continuation of the original purpose of Image was. That was to bring more people into the world of creator-owned comics. Those guys didn’t just set out to make a company for themselves. They very much wanted it to be a lot of people joining them. I feel like… until a couple of years ago there was a major focus on finding new talent. What we’re trying to do now is trying to get more well-known writers and artists to do work for us… I think the [Image Comics] package sells itself, and I think that having books like The Walking Dead and now Saga and things like that make it even easier for the package to sell itself. They’re sterling examples of successful books. On the other hand, I’m not bashful of talking about what our strengths are and why I think it’s important it’s important to do new, creator-driven comics. And I’m also not sorry for talking about that.
Image’s success – and the focus it puts on creator-owned comics – is spreading to the mainstream; the publisher got profiled in the New York Times this past weekend.