20 Years of Image Comics

Yesterday Image Comics celebrated twenty years of existence. There’s a lot that can be said about the company’s legacy and history, but I’m going to talk about my experience as a fan with the publisher.

It went something like this. It was summer 1992 and was around nine years old. We had a neighbor in high school who I would pester about comic books and such. Anyway, he had a copy of Spawn that he showed me and we had a brief conversation about it:

HIM: It’s by the guy who does Spider-Man.

ME: Really?

And then he went on to explain the whole reason why they left Marvel. This was really the first time I paid attention to who was creating the comics and the business side of things. I mean at that point, I had a certain affinity for certain creators like Frank Miller, John Byrne and even the Pinis thanks to reading Comics Scene magazine. But like most people into comics in the early 1990s, it would be Wizard that fueled my interest in Image.

Image teamed up with Wizard, and made their whole line cool. Unfortunately, they were a harder sell to my parents, who at that point were still purchasing comics for me. I actually got my first Image books probably in the mid 1990s as part of some post-speculator boom three-for-a-dollar packs at Cost Cutters discount store. It boggled my mind how someone could pick up such valuable treasures as Brigade and Cyber Force comics at such a low price.

As a much more well read comics fan, I now look at these with a certain nostalgia. That first wave of Image has some fun stuff, lots of great artwork, and generally has the excitement that makes super hero comics fun.

To me what is most important about Image that they’ve grown as a company. Today’s product line is much more diverse in subject and genre. And that is a good thing.