Boom Has Its Eye On Image Comics

Lumberjanes 001 - Cover AIn the last couple of years, Boom Studios has been increasing the number of original creator-participant comics from the likes of Mike Carey, George Pérez, Sam Humphries, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Clive Barker, Max Bemis, Brian Stelfreeze, Si Spurrier and Paul Jenkins.

This year has seen announcements of new series from James Tynion IV, Cullen Bunn, Christopher Sebela, Jason Starr, Michael Moreci, Tim Daniel, Frank Barbiere and Noelle Stevenson.

As well as publishing books from creators associated Marvel and DC, Boom is starting to draw creators closely associated with Image Comics.

A year ago in March 2013, Image launched East of West #1 at 49,518 copies, Sex #1 at 23,630 copies, and Lost Vegas #1 at 15,273 copies. The next month, Jupiter's Legacy debuted at 105,437,

Six months ago in November 2013, Image launched Pretty Deadly #1 at 45,833 copies, Velvet #1 at 41,897 copies, Rocket Girl #1 at 20,287 copies. But last month in March 2014, Image launched the high profile titles Starlight #1 at 34,080 copies, Real Heroes #1 at 23,716 copies, and Sovereign #1 at 13,204 copies.

By comparison, in April 2013, Boom launched Polarity #1 at 7,459 copies. In December 2013,  The Midas Flesh #1 at 7,907 copies. And last month Evil Empire #1 at 9,296 copies. As reported earlier this month Dead Letters #1 sold through a 9,500 copy print run immediately and went to a second printing. Also launched this month, I understand Lumberjanes has sold over 16,000 copies and Translucid #1 has sold through over an over 11,000 copy print run. Lastly, I understand next month's The Woods #1 post-FOC numbers are over 13,000 copies making it the highest initially ordered Boom original series under their core Studios imprint with a $3.99 cover price since Irredeemable #1.

Boom has a ways to go before they're approaching the top tier Image launches, and Image has been successful at keeping a number of books selling well month after month, including Lazarus, Sex Criminals and East Of West often remaining in the Bleeding Cool Bestseller top ten sellers of the week.

But as Boom original series launches trend upward each month and Image launches appear to be trending downward. And that's certainly the spin that Boom! are pushing on inquisitive creators.

That's not the full story though. Image are about to restart their returnable promotions to stores that so successfully launched so many books, that they haven't used in recent months.

Also Boom! offers creator-participant deals to writers rather than the creator owned deals of Image Central. And Image has a stronger trade paperback programme thanks to The Walking Dead – though Boom is no slouch with Adventure Time. But the odds are a creator's book is likely to be closer thematically to the former than the latter.

And while Boom! take a stake in the ownership of work, they have also been active in selling them in to multi-media, with produced and optioned films to their name with more on the cards.

This might go some way to explaining why some creators have chosen Boom! over Image Comics of late. Though if you have a knock-it-out-of-the-park hit, Image Comics is still the place to give you the best deal…

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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