Frequently Asked Questions
What is Image Comics?
Image is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by seven of Marvel Comics’ best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become the third largest comics publisher in the United States.
Who are the Image founders?
Image Comics was originally founded by seven artists: Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. Of those seven founders, only six opted to become full partners: Larsen, Lee, Liefeld, McFarlane, Silvestri, and Valentino.
Who are the current Image partners?
There are currently five partners in Image Comics: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino.
Are Todd McFarlane Productions and Top Cow Productions part of Image?
Image is currently divided into three major houses: TMP - Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow, and Image Central.
“Partner studios” is how we refer to TMP and Top Cow. This means that they are owned and fully controlled by an Image partner. As such, they are fully autonomous from Image Central and are not bound by the rules and regulations thereof (consider it like this: you do not tell your boss what to do. The partners own Image. Therefore, they are “the boss”). TMP and Top Cow are not “imprints” of Image, they are, for all intents and purposes separate publishing companies that are in partnership with Image.
TMP publishes Spawn-related books including Spawn, HellSpawn, and Sam & Twitch. TMP is also the home of McFarlane Toys. Any inquiries about TMP products should be directed to Spawn.com.
Marc Silvestri’s Top Cow Productions publishes Witchblade, Tomb Raider, Fathom, Joe’s Comics (Delicate Creatures, Midnight Nation, and Rising Stars), and Battle of the Planets, among others. Inquiries about Top Cow products should be addressed to TopCow.com.
Is WildStorm Productions part of Image?
Jim Lee’s WildStorm Production separated from Image Comics in 1998. WildStorm (along with its imprints Homage Comics and America’s Best Comics) is now part of DC Comics.
What does “creator-owned” mean?
“Creator-owned” means exactly that—the trademark and copyright of the work in question is wholly owned by its original creator. The majority of the comics and graphic novels published by Image are creator-owned. While Image as a company does have some say in the promotion and distribution of the titles it publishes, it is done with non-creative interference to protect the company and maintain responsibility for our public image.
What’s a miniseries?
A miniseries, sometimes referred to as a finite or limited series, is essentially a finite comic book series, generally running between two to eight issues.
What’s the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel?
Comic books are typically 32-page periodicals. Graphic novels are published in book form and are generally much longer than a standard comic book. Some graphic novels compile serialized comics stories, while others feature completely new material.
What kind of comics and graphic novels does Image publish?
Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable. Image offers science fiction and romance, horror and crime fiction. Historical fiction, humor. You name it; Image has it—and all by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today.
Where can I buy Image comics and graphic novels?
Image comics are primarily sold in comic book specialty shops. To find a comic book shop near you, we recommend using Diamond Comics Distributors’ free Comic Book Locator. Image graphic novels are also sold at bookstores. Check your local Yellow Pages for a listing of bookstores near you.
Can I buy Image graphic novels at my local bookstore?
Yes, and if a title isn’t on the shelf at your local bookstore, most Image graphic novels are available for backorder.
Can I find Image graphic novels at my local library?
Not at every library, but more and more Image graphic novels are finding their ways into libraries across the country. If you library doesn’t carry graphic novels yet, let them know you’re interested! Ask them to order graphic novels for their YA section.
Are Image comics and graphic novels distributed outside the United States?
Yes. Image comics and graphic novels are available in over 50 countries, in over 20 languages, and that number is growing all the time.
Have any Image properties been turned into movies or television series?
Yes. The Walking Dead is the best-rated cable television show on television, now in its third season on AMC. An adaption of Top Cow Productions’ Wanted was a major motion picture that came out in the summer of 2008. Top Cow Productions’ Witchblade was a live-action television on TNT from 2001 to 2002 and a feature film is scheduled for a 2009 release. Todd McFarlane’s Spawn was a major motion picture in 1997, as well as an Emmy Award-winning animated series on HBO, running from 1997 to 1999. A sequel to Spawn is presently in development. Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon was an animation series on the USA Network from 1994 to 1996, and Sam Kieth’s The Maxx ran on MTV from 1994 to 1995. Numerous Image series have also been optioned for television and film, including Chew (with Showtime), Thief of Thieve (with AMC), Noble Causes, Area 52, and Aria.
Have Image characters crossed over with characters from other comics publishers?
Yes. Image has done crossovers with publishers as diverse as Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Archie, Harris, and Mirage, among others. In particular, Spawn has crossed over with Batman. ShadowHawk has crossed over with Vampirella. Savage Dragon has crossed over with Superman, Hellboy, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Atomics. Top Cow’s characters (including Witchblade) have crossed over with Wolverine, Silver Surfer, Shi, and Darkchylde. All of the above Image characters have appeared together with Sonic, the Hedgehog. Most recently, Invincible has crossed over with Spider-Man.
Can I read Image comics and graphic novels online?
Image presently offers five-page previews of past, present and future Image titles online. Complete versions of Image titles are also available in our features section.
How often is the Image Website updated?
Nearly daily! There’s always something new on the site, ranging from the latest news to updates of our five-page previews or shipping schedules.
Do Image comics run paid advertisements?
Not in all instances, but occasionally, yes.
Does Image ever reprint material previously published by other companies?
Yes. Image frequently reprints material that has been published elsewhere. Some examples include The One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts, The Monolith, Liberty Meadows, our Zorro books, Hammer of the Gods, Nowheresville, andMadman.
Does Image hire writers and artists to produce its comics?
No. Since the overwhelming majority of Image comics and graphic novels are creator-owned, Image does not operate like a typical comics publisher. We do not assign writers and artists to the titles we publish; the creators determine who will be involved with the production of their individual titles.
Does Image accept proposals for new comics and graphic novels?
Yes. Please read our submissions guidelines for more information.
Who decides which submissions get approved?
Publisher Eric Stephenson personally reviews every proposal. When he finds one he likes, it is passed around to the office staff for their input. The proposal is then reviewed at our weekly staff meeting.
On what criteria is a book reviewed?
There are several. First, we determine if the story and art reflect our standards. Is it professionally executed? Is there an interesting concept or an interesting, new take on an old concept? Is there a perceived audience for the work? Do we have a high degree of confidence that we can reach that audience.
Is there any particular genre Image is looking for?
No. Image publishes a wide variety of comics. We are looking for good, well-told stories and exceptional artwork that run the gamut in terms of both style and genre.
Will someone reply to my submission?
We do our best to respond to submissions. However, due to the high volume and the amount of manpower required, there are no guarantees every submission will be responded to.
Will my submission be returned?
No. This is why we ask those submitting proposals NOT to send original art. Please 8 1/2 x 11 photocopies only. Please DO NOT send your submission floppy or compact disk. We only accept hard copies. Please DO NOT send a self-address stamped envelope.
Can I submit a proposal to Image via email?
Yes. Proposals are accepted through email. Please read our submissions guidelines for more information.
How do I know if my submission got there?
Check the address carefully prior to mailing your submission. Put “ATTN: SUBMISSIONS” above the Image address on your envelope. Be sure to also include a cover letter with a current email address clearly typed at the top.
Should I make a follow up call?
No. Please be patient. We look at ALL submissions and will eventually get to yours. Please make sure a you provide a current email address along with your book proposal.
What if I only write and I don’t have an artist?
Please read the submissions guidelines and note that we do not assemble creative teams. If you are a writer and cannot find an artist to work with (or vice-versa), we suggest you submit your samples to Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, or any of the other publishers who hire freelance writers and artists.
How does publishing a comic book or graphic novel through Image work?
Image was set up so that creators could do what they want with their creations, and reap the benefits financially. When a book is published by Image, creators are not paid up front. It can sometimes be two or three months before one sees money from a book. It sounds rough, and it most definitely can be. But if it’s done right, the payoff can be far more rewarding than producing a book in the conventional manner.
When the creator does finally get paid, they get paid on what their book makes after the cost of printing and Image’s modest office fee, which covers solicitations, traffic, production, and some promotion of the book. We make no more money off of our highest selling book than we do our lowest.
Does Image take my film and television rights?
No. You own ALL of your rights.
Can I “rent” or “lease” the Image “i” for my comic or graphic novel?
No. The Image “i” is not for “rent” or “lease” under any circumstances. A submission must be approved prior to publication.
How do I get a job at Image?
There are presently no positions available, but when a job does open up, we will post a listing here on the site.
Does Image Comics offer subscriptions to its titles?
For a variety of reasons, Image does not offer subscriptions, but if you’re interested in receiving your comics through the mail there are a number of online comics retailers who can provide a similar service.
What does “TPB” stand for?
“TPB” stands for trade paperback.