SDCC 2014: The Image Panel After The Image Expo Panel

Image_Comics_logo_largeAnd if they really want to do a job, they'll do a post-con panel on Monday too. Because if you're still standing and functional and able to perform comiconing on Monday after San Diego, then you're serious.  But anyway, here's an archive of Joe Glass's Image Panel liveblog:

The first Image panel of Comic-proper, featuring Nick Dragotta, Rick Remender, Richard Starkings, Jason Latour, Stuart Moore and Ryan Burton. Follow the panel live here!

Also at the panel we have Declan Shalvey, who's new title with Warren Ellis was announced yesterday at the Image Expo.  Tom Neely and Stuart Moore are also in attendance, just waiting on Rick Remender, we'll be discussing genre and comics here and why Image has the broadest range of comic genres.

We have sci fi fantasy, in Dark Engine, with a powerful strong female protagonist, where they see how far they can push things.

Moore's Egos title includes HBO style characterisation, superheroes and hard sci fi. On hiatus now, the next issue is turning into a crime story, a constantly evolving book.

Starking's Elephantmen is a crime book with science fiction elements which he says are basically stories of the human condition extrapolated. Feels that superhero books like Hulk, early issues were like The Twilight Zone, which could be anything.

Declan likes superhero stories when drawing them as he sees them as basically like science fiction, and thinking about those elements. He thinks the attraction and increase in sci fi at Image may be due to the kack of original sci fi stories in current other media of pop culture.

Neely describes Humans as like a 70s exploitation biker movie, including bikers and apes in Bakersfield, California. A world where apes are the dominant race and humans are slave animals.

Dragotta discusses his howtoons comics which include how to project elements in the comics included as part of the stories. Its been going on for ten years now.  A great way to see the evolution of the artist too.

East of West obviously is a very different, broad canvas, more violent book, which kind of vaguely looks at current culture in high sci fi western settings.

Latour describes Southern Bastards as being about watching dogs poop…which is where Rick Remender finally comes in. Latour is asked if it comes from experiences from his past, and he mentions how it sort of is in as much as anything is informed by your experiences and life.

Remender talks Black Science and Low, both high science fiction, and then Deadly Class, which draws from his experiences in the 80s as a punk kid, and the dangerous scenes he saw in the era. Taking all those teen experiences and turning it into real violence, no science fiction elements, though the high concept being an assassins guild based underneath San Francisco.  It's set in San Francisco as its Remender's favorite city in the country.

Are the creators influenced by sci fi in other media?
Dragotta says he uses everything, using it to paint on their own canvas, whilst Neely would say his influences come more from underground comics and art. Moore takes influences from everything to media to real life conditions, and European influences.

Advice to someone who wants to submit to Image Comics? NEELY: "Do it yourself first", he's been making these comics for 15 years, and then Image took notice. Do it because you love it. Build relationships with other writers and other artists.

How do you adjust for the success or lack thereof of to your plans for length on a project? Success is easy, lack of it is harder, and just keep making them no matter what.

How many of the books have a planned end game? DRAGOTTA: East of West is looking at 60 issues.

Injection is designed to be a certain length, Shalvey wanted to do something longform and Warren Ellis has designed it to hopefully last around 2 years.

How much does the way that fans and the public react to your work affect what you do, which the questioner aimed mainly at one panel member who has been embroiled in recent controversy? REMENDER: Fuck them…if you're allowing other people to affect the purity of intention of your story you'll end up with something watered down and why do this. He suggests the allegation made against his recent Captain America story was libellous, completely false and not something that was in the story at all, but read into it.

Have any of you got a genre you'd love to work in but haven't done yet, or are scared to? Examples have included sci fi, spaceship stories, werewolves and erotica. STARKINGS: "Its very difficult to attract a young audience".

These stories you want to tell, why these stories? LATOUR: part of the reason he does Southern Bastards is to work out why he wants to do that book.

Black Science comes from articles he was reading when researching the singularity for another project. The choices branching off realities theory fascinates him. Plus the visual possibilities are attractive. Theres an aspect of personal life involved too, but "any work you do if you don't dump yourself into it you're missing something."

Do you find your artists or do you get paired up by Image? Seems many find artists themselves and descriptions of the multitude of places they've come from. Image does not tend to out people together that often. Declan had been approached before, but he was waiting for tne right thing, so when Ellis came in with Injection, it was kismet.

Did anyone have a character first before the story? NEELY: he loves one of the characters so much that he talked with the writer on the humans to maybe do skmething spinning off with that character down the line.

REMENDER: any good character should have a piece of yourself, lean into the things you find difficult to face.

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About Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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