Today at the Image Expo in Oakland, California, Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson kicked off the independent focused comic convention with several new announcements of projects at Image Comics. The climax of his speech was the announcement that Image Comics would be working with acclaimed writer Grant Morrison.
Stephenson announced that Grant Morrison would be teaming up with artist Darick Robertson (The Boys, Transmetropolitan) to bring the comic Happy! to Image Comics. No other information was provided at the con, but we were able to chat with Grant Morrison briefly about the move to Image Comics and what we can expect from Happy!
iFanboy: After years of working with DC Comics and Vertigo, why the move to work with Image Comics?
Grant Morrison: Well, I’m still writing Batman and Superman stories at DC for the foreseeable future and also doing new creator owned stuff for Vertigo – the final volume of Seaguy and at least one other series too be announced – but over the last couple of years I’ve been developing a range of new titles and characters, not all of which would necessarily suit Vertigo. I liked the idea of doing different types of books with different publishers, hence things like Dinosaurs versus Aliens with Liquid/Dynamite, and the rawer, more…unrestrained work I’m doing with Image.
iF: How did you get connected with Image?
GM: Joe Casey introduced me to Eric Stephenson and Robert Kirkman, both of whom were overflowing with enthusiasm and creativity. We got on well over dinner in Los Angeles and agreed on a few projects we’d like to do together. They seem to be having a lot of fun and I’m very excited to join the party.
iF: Can you tell us about any of the projects you’ll be doing at Image and what can fans expect?
GM: So far, I’m only able to tell you that the first one is set around Christmas, it’s called Happy! and it’s drawn by Darick Robertson an artist I’ve had plans to work with for a long time. Happy! is in a genre I’ve never really tackled before – but with a bizarre twist, of course.
Beyond that, there are big plans to do more books at Image and I have several ideas lined up – but I have to wait until the ink dries on the contracts before I’m allowed to say another word!
iF: Image Comics has been very active in promoting creator owned comics and new ideas, as someone who’s made a name for big, new ideas, how do you feel about the creator owned movement in comics and bringing something new to the table?
GM: As much as I enjoy contributing stories to long-running franchises and work-for-hire superhero universes, I’ve made a point of owning my own stuff all the way from when I started out as a teenager in the ‘70s doing Captain Clyde and the strips in Near Myths to Joe the Barbarian just last year. For numerous reasons, I think it’s important for any writer in the comics business to maintain a healthy portfolio of creator-owned material and IPs and I’m encouraged and inspired by the fact that companies like Image exist to provide that platform and permit a level of creative self-expression that’s hard to find in other media.
Everybody knows we need new, contemporary characters and stories that are relevant to the world we live in; I’m delighted that 2012 is shaping up to be a banner year for fresh and original comics.