Image Comics Also Moved Offices, Now A Remote Working Publisher

Bleeding Cool ran a couple of news stories on how DC Comics was moving location around the Warners lot, moving to an interim location and then on to new offices, and employing a hot-desk model where people come in for meetings but don't have a permanent location or desk within the office – certain executives aside – and spend the rest of the time working from home.

On Facebook, Image Comics founder and Chief Financial Officer Erik Larsen talked about how Image Comics had also moved locations for similar reasons. "During the pandemic a LOT of companies rethought their expensive workspaces when employees were forced to work from home. Image comics moved to a smaller office and most employees work from home now. It's not the end of the world. It makes good economic sense when you can't be physically in a space for a couple years. But Image is hardly closing up shop–we had a terrific year–made even MORE profitable because we didn't have to pay for a huge, empty office in a prime location… We had a nice space that was sitting empty for months and moving out was a huge benefit for the company. And the readers don't care. They don't see the office. It means nothing to them. Getting rid of that space didn't hurt our sales in the least… If DC can have everybody working from home–great! Granted, if you can, it can be great working in an office, shoulder to shoulder, and being able to easily spitball ideas and such. But I've worked at home for most of the 40 years I've been making comics and it's worked out just fine."

After a little detective work, indeed it seems that after Image Comics went fully remote in 2020 during the pandemic lockdowns, they moved from Portland's Montgomery Park which had been their home since 2016, to East Portland in the October of that year. The new place, over three miles away, or an hour's walk is a lot smaller, as it is basically just there to house the company's files and archives. Though it didn't make the news, until DC Comics' own move got people talking.

As it stands, I understand that the Image Comics office is basically just a popping in place for very local staffers, Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson, Director of International Sales & Licensing Dirk Wood and Director of Specialty Sales Alex Cox. A place to receive mail and store stuff, everyone else at Image Comics now works from home, and that's the way they plan to be going forward. Image Comics is now a remote working company, including three full-time staff in other cities other than Portland.

And this is a change being felt across the industry. IDW has closed their San Diego offices, their sales manager is in New York, and their production manager just moved to North Carolina. Marvel Comics has also continued to encourage remote working amongst its editors. While fellow Portland publisher Dark Horse Comics has got more of their staff back into the office, but remote working is still a thing there too. I think I'll ask around…

But as for Image Comics, remote working didn't seem to hurt them much. The Spawn Universe took over the direct market and reinvigorated longtime fans of the series. Spinoff series, CGC'd variants, and Todd McFarlane's Spawnmania ground the heel of his boot into Keanu Reeves' eye and kept walking. The Department Of Truth Vol 1 was the top-selling collection in the direct market in 2021, by far. While Department Of Truth #1 still made the top fifty of the chart despite having been published in 2020. While 2022 has already brought (inhale) an exclusive announcement from Jeff Lemire (who pumps out so many bestselling series he makes everyone else look like they're moving in slow motion), an expansion of the Radiant Black universe (which I'm told is the most successful new superhero series since Invincible, has a number of upcoming spinoffs, and everything from a Threadless store to bath bombs), and, speaking the return of Saga. Which everyone worried would fizzle out after being on hiatus so long, was overshipped to retailers and still sold out in less than 24 hours. Spawn will keep bumping up the sales for Image too which, I am told, will include the long out-of-print trade collected editions finally becoming available. Also, there's the 30th Anniversary Anthology full of creative powerhouses, more Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips hardcovers, Negan in Crossover, and ( exhale )… sorry that's all you are getting from me for now.

Image Comics Removes Oral History Of The Warren Ellis Forum

But this situation might also shed some light on the Comic Book Workers United union demands for "the continuation of remote work for any employee who requests it and the creation of a detailed policy outlining how the company provides reasonable accommodations and supplies for remote employees. The pandemic has removed the necessity for the company to pay for a central office space, utilities, etc. With employees in some cases now shouldering one hundred percent of costs that should be shared by the employer, costs such as internet, power, furnishings and other office supplies, computer hardware and related maintenance costs to work from their own personal devices, the company must outline an equitable arrangement for sharing a reasonable percentage of those costs."

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Rich JohnstonAbout 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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