While Marvel and DC Comics have been busy the past 2 weeks making announcements and news to discuss, it's important to remember that there are indeed other publishers in comics, and many of them also have had news to share. As I was reviewing my iFanboy inbox, I noticed that Image Comics has been very busy as well making some very cool announcements, especially if you're an Image fan. I thought I'd take some time today to catch up and share with you some of the more notable news.
Spawn #10 Back in Print!
One of the landmark issues of that first year of Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Spawn #10 was a collaboration issue between McFarlane and Dave Sim that featured a crossover between Spawn and Cerebus in a very metatextual laden story that represented both creators views and beliefs around creator owned work. It really was a temperature gauge for the time, in 1994, where creator owned comics and independent publishing was just beginning to surge.
Personally the issue holds a special place in my heart, as it was my frist issue of Spawn. Imagine me, a teenager raised on X-Men and Spider-Man comics, hearing that McFarlane left Marvel to do his own book, and this is the issue I start on. I had no idea what was going on, or who Cerebus was. But the art was down right beautiful. The paper stock used was top notch and immediately I knew that this was something I should be paying attention to. I poured over every page, trying to absorb every detail and understand every reference. I went out and discovered who Dave Sim and Cerebus was, and at the end of this adventure, I was fully ingested into the indie comics scene. Spawn #10 opened doors in comics to me that I didn't even know existed. It's great to see it back in print.
Spawn #10 is going to be re-printed in the upcoming HUGE hardcover collection Spawn Origins Collection: Deluxe Edition Volume 1, which collects the early work of McFarlane on Spawn, including his collaborations not only with Sim, but Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Frank Miller. For any comics history fan, it's a must see.
Image United #2 Variant Cover by Greg Capullo
Keeping with the Spawn theme, Image also announced the cover artists to Image United #2 (which ships next week, on time) is former Spawn artist Greg Capullo. Capullo moved from working for Marvel on titles like X-Force back in the mid-1990s to take over penciling duties on Spawn from McFarlane and defined the look of Spawn for for years, and is now currently working on the Robert Kirkman/Todd McFarlane jam Haunt, doing layouts for Ryan Ottley.
My first thought upon seeing this cover was to be immediately reminded of how good Capullo is. I dropped Spawn when it hit issue #100, and I haven't seen much of Capullo's other work, but after seeing this cover, I have to admit, I'm impressed.
Savage Dragon Jumping On Point
Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon has been one of my favorite comics since it started in the early 1990s. It's had a wild ride of a run, up to issue #156 now, but admittedly it's been a bit continuity heavy, which is natural after 156 issues and almost 15 years of publication. That said, earlier this year, Larsen set Dragon on a course that also served as a great jumping on point for new readers. If you missed the opportunity to jump on in issues, now's your chance as the trade paperback collecting those issues is being release on January 20. 144 pages at $14,99, Savage Dragon: Back in Blue is the perfect opportunity for you to check out Savage Dragon.
Chew Sells Out – AGAIN
We don't normally like to cover the numerous "sell outs" of comics, given all the issues with the Direct Market and Diamond, but when I saw the news that the latest issue of Chew, issue #6 (which also is the first issue of the second story arc – JUMP ON NOW!) sold out, I just shook my head in disbelief. Is there a better success story for 2009 than Chew? I mean really. This book that no one was expecting jumped on the scene this summer and not only has been one of the hottest selling titles in a long while, it's one of the best comics of 2009. It's great to see that people have been paying attention to people like us singing Chew's praises and that even the 6th issue can sell out. We haven't seen activity around an indie book like this since The Walking Dead, so in this particular case, an issue selling out is worth noting.
If you haven't experienced the awesomess that is Chew, you can jump on not only with issue #6, but grab the first volume of Chew in trade paperback for just $9.99. I've been pushing this on my friends, like Augie DeBlieck Jr. at Comic Book Resources and David Brothers over at 4th Letter, and even they've enjoyed it. So I strongly recommend you check out Chew and grab issue #6 while you can!
UPDATE – Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards on TURF
Image Comics just posted on their twitter account a link to Time Magazine's Techland blog with a teaser image for a new book called Turf, shipping in April, 2010. With art by Tommy Lee Edwards, Turf is interesting because it's written by Jonathan Ross. Now that name may not mean much to many of us in the United States, but over in the UK, he's a big deal. A famous host of a late night talk show as well as a radio show, Jonathan Ross is also a huge fan of comics. So much so that he hosted a documentary about Steve Ditko! I'm pretty sure this is his first stab at writing comics, but he's pals with Mark Millar, so I'm sure he's been getting tons of tips from Millar.
This will be worth looking out for to buy for Tommy Lee Edwards art alone. I really fell in love with his work on Marvel's 1985, which he did with Mark Millar. He's got a great style and if this teaser image is any indication, this looks like it's going to be a pretty book. Who knows what it's about though, but with issue #1 coming in April, I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this soon.