We’re starting Fan Art Fridays here at the Image Comics Tumblr! Each Monday we’ll pick a title that’s coming out on Wednesday, and you have until Friday to submit your fan art!
This week’s title: HACK/SLASH, created by Tim Seeley. The iconic independent series is wrapping up its run this week with issue #25. Submit your art on our Tumblr submission page and be sure to use the hashtags #Image Fan Art Friday and #HackSlash!
Preview of CHIN MUSIC #1 by Steve Niles and Tony Harris. In stores on April 17 — tell your retailer to pull a copy for you TODAY!
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How can you refuse? He brought you a posy!
From THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #6 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Pitarra, and Jordie Bellaire
FIVE GHOSTS #1 DISAPPEARS FROM SHELVES
Miniseries debut sells out, gets second printing
In an astonishing debut, the first issue of the Image Comics series FIVE GHOSTS: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY by Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham has sold out the same day as its release, March 20. The issue will immediately go back to press, and the second printing (Diamond Comics code FEB138330) is available to pre-order now and will be in stores on April 17, the same day as FIVE GHOSTS #2.
FIVE GHOSTS tells the story of Fabian Gray, a treasure-hunter haunted by five spirits of literary archetypes: the Wizard, the Archer, the Detective, the Samurai, and the Vampire. Gray draws on the talents and abilities of these five spirits as he embarks on the most important mission of his life — to save his twin sister Silvia, lost to him ever since the ghosts became part of him.
The issue was received with great critical acclaim:
“Five Ghosts: the Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 is an outstanding start to what promises to be a thrilling miniseries. Barbiere’s characters are interesting, with believable dialogue and interactions, and his plot is utterly compelling. I’m genuinely looking forward to reading the next issue. With 32 gorgeously illustrated story pages, this comic represents excellent value….”
“People looking for that next big thing, you might want to gaze this way. Five Ghosts has everything in it that a comic should have and then some.”
“Five Ghosts is one good looking pulp adventure comic, on a par with Franceso Francavilla’s The Black Beetle…. This is great storytelling and Barbiere weaves plot strands which will bear delicious fruit. “
“Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray is a great new series with a fresh and clever twist. This is what comic books are supposed to be fun, action packed and dripping with cool.”
-Sound on Sight
Every week, Image Comics sends a newsletter about our upcoming releases to retailers with a letter at the beginning. This message, by Image Comics PR & Marketing Director Jennifer de Guzman, was in the January 10, 2013 newsletter.
This week brought with it some news that confirms just what kind of sea change the comics industry is experiencing. Diamond Comics announced its top 500 issues and top 500 trades and graphic novels. As we expected, THE WALKING DEAD #100 was at the top of the issues list. All in all, sixteen Image titles made the top 500 issues, all of them issues of either THE WALKING DEAD (including the Michonne Special) or SAGA. Of the trades and graphic novels, THE WALKING DEAD took seven of the top ten spots, and SAGA VOLUME ONE just missed the top ten, coming in at 12. Fifty-five Image titles are on the list in total, just over 10% of the titles listed, with CHEW, FATALE, and THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS also making appearances in the top 100. (CHEW made five appearances total, all in the top 200.) We were also confirmed, in Diamond’s Market Shares report, as the number-three publisher in the country, leading all other independent publishers in both market and dollar share in the direct market. And to close out 2012 and set the stage for 2013, in December, those shares were just about 9% for both and eight of the top ten graphic novels for the month were Image titles.
Needless to say, we are extremely pleased and extremely grateful. Yes, the numbers for THE WALKING DEAD are staggering, and most everyone points to the television show tie-in or the variant covers for issue #100 (though there were fewer than the 20 covers that #2 on the list, Uncanny Avengers #1, had), but those facts in no way diminish what Robert Kirkman, Image, and Skybound have accomplished with this comic. It has done what Marvel and DC have struggled with for decades: It has translated success in another medium to sales in the comics market. In terms of being an ambassador for our industry and our community, there is nothing doing that good work as well as THE WALKING DEAD.
SAGA is coming up pretty close, though. At this point, I don’t think “beloved” is too tender an adjective to use to describe this series. The devotion it inspires has been truly gratifying to witness (and, I admit, experience).
I think this much is obvious: Comics growth isn’t happening in the re-booting and re-telling of superhero comics. As Mozart said in Amadeus, just before unveiling one of the most popular operas of all time, based on new ideas rather than old myths, “Old dead legends — why must we go on forever writing only about gods and legends?”
The superhero universes are the comic book medium’s legacy, yes. But what is new and what is exciting, what is bringing in more new and lapsed readers, what has people buying comics out of enthusiasm rather than out of habit, are creator-owned books that speak to a new sensibility that values storytelling that comes from individual vision and drive.
It’s the creators’ world. We’re just living in it. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.