Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

July 02, 2013 | 3:30 p.m.
blackscience 01 cover a dressed1 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

blackscience 01 cover b dressed1 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

blksci 01 011 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

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A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

blksci 01 031 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

blksci 01 04 051 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

deadlyclass 01 cover a dressed1 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Deadly Class," from Rick Remender and artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge. (Image Comics)

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A preview of "Deadly Class," from Rick Remender and artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge. (Image Comics)

deadlypreviewpg21 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

A preview of "Deadly Class," from Rick Remender and artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge. (Image Comics)

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A preview of "Deadly Class," from Rick Remender and artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge. (Image Comics)

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A preview of "Deadly Class," from Rick Remender and artistic duo Wesley Craig and Lee Loughridge. (Image Comics)

jcbols000promodone doran lo1 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

J. Michael Straczynski's Joe’s Comics imprint is overseeing the revival of "Lost Souls," which he started at Marvel / Icon. Colleen Doran is returning as artist. (Image Comics)

jcdp000promodone kotian lo1 Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

J. Michael Straczynski's Joe’s Comics imprint is overseeing the revival of "Dream Police," which he started at Marvel / Icon. The artist is to be determined. (Image Comics)

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Preview art for “Southern Bastards,” by Jason Aaron and North Carolina-raised artist Jason Latour. (Image Comics)

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Preview art for “Southern Bastards,” by Jason Aaron and North Carolina-raised artist Jason Latour. (Image Comics)

A correction has been added to this post, as indicated below.

A female Ulysses on an odyssey home through outer space, an evil high school football coach and an ex-intelligence field agent turned executive assistant on the run from her former agency are among the characters that figure into new creator-owned titles announced Tuesday at Image Expo.

“ODY-C,” by Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward; “Southern Bastards,” by Jason Aaron and North Carolina-raised artist Jason Latour; and “Velvet,” by Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting — who previously teamed on Marvel’s “Captain America” — were among the top-tier titles touted at the special one-day media event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center.

But the gathering also afforded Image Comics to announce new projects from J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Millar — who already have current series with the company — and from surprise guests Fraction and Rick Remender. All appeared onstage except the U.K.-based Millar, who sent along a prerecorded video.

J. Michael Straczynski's Joe’s Comics imprint is overseeing the revival of "Dream Police," which he started at started at Marvel / Icon. The artist is to be determined. (Image Comics)

J. Michael Straczynski’s Joe’s Comics imprint is overseeing the revival of “Dream Police,” which he started at Marvel / Icon. The artist is to be determined. (Image Comics)

Publisher Eric Stephenson set the tone for the confab in his early remarks to the crowd of more than 500 at the Lam Research Theater: “Image was founded by and for creators. Whereas the dominant conversations at other companies are licenses and franchises and executives steering properties toward success, the conversation at Image — the only conversation at Image — is our creators, and word is spreading.”

Discussing those creators, he said pointedly: “They prove … that there’s more to entertainment than simply sucking every last drop of life out of  ideas born in the 20th century.”

Straczynski said that his Joe’s Comics imprint, which already has two issues of the horror noir / tragic love story “Ten Grand” out and is debuting the what-happens-when-the-big-hero-dies “Sidekick” in August, would also oversee the revival of two projects he’d started at Marvel / Icon: “Dream Police” and “The Book of Lost Souls.”

Of “Sidekick,” he said, “When you work for the major companies, you learn there are certain things you can’t do to your characters…. The appeal to me was going out and saying, ‘Well, out of all those things that I can’t do, let’s now go and do them.'”

Straczynski also announced “Alone,” a six-issue miniseries with renowned artist Bill Sienkiewicz doing covers and interiors. The goal: “Let’s re-imagine and reinvent how a comic book works.” To do that, he said he needed Sienkiewicz, who he joked not only thinks outside the box but lives “five blocks down from the box.”

A preview of “Velvet,” by Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting. (Image Comics)

A preview of “Velvet,” by Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting. (Image Comics)

Brubaker, in announcing “Velvet,” said it’s “kind of like my version of trying to take a Bond or ‘Mission: Impossible’ movie and mash it into a realistic Cold War scenario that’s kind of a meta-textual examination of … how to not sell comics onstage,” to audience laughter.

The writer, whose “Fatale” with artist Sean Phillips for Image is nominated for five Eisner Awards this year, added that he’d waited years for his former partner Epting to become available to tell this story.

“The Walking Dead” creator and Image Comics Chief Operating Officer Robert Kirkman revealed details about an upcoming arc in the zombie title —  Issue 115 begins “All Out War,” a 12-issue saga that will be published over seven months. The story sees civilization beginning to coalesce, but with that comes trouble as people are split into factions.

It marks the 10th anniversary of the series that spawned the hit AMC television show.

In revealing “ODY-C,” Fraction said of rereading Homer’s epic, “It’s all told out of order. There’s large gaps of narrative and chronology. It’s dependent on you understanding and  knowing two or three other stories … to understand what’s happening to the characters.” And he half-jokingly added, “It’s a lot like comics.”

Fraction has two other Image projects closer at hand: “Satellite Sam” No. 1 with artist Howard Chaykin hits stands Wednesday, and the sex comedy / sci-fi / bank robber series “Sex Criminals” with artist Chip Zdarsky starts in September.

A preview of "Black Science," from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

A preview of “Black Science,” from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White. (Image Comics)

“Black Science,” the new series from Remender debuting in November, is a “spiritual sequel to ‘F.E.A.R. Agent,'” he said, referring to an earlier title he wrote at Image.

Remender returns to Image after years away — in addition to “F.E.A.R. Agent,” his projects include “Strange Girl.” He, Aaron and Fraction also write prominent titles at Marvel; the last is an Eisner nominee this year for his work on that company’s “Hawkeye.”

Latour said the pitch he and Aaron had been tossing around that became “Southern Bastards,” a crime story set in a fictional county in Alabama, was “‘The Untouchables’ versus Boss Hogg” or “‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ by the Coen brothers.” It’s scheduled for early next year.

In his video appearance, Millar announced “MPH” with artist Duncan Fegredo, scheduled for January. The writer wants it to be like a “Fantastic Four” in kicking off his ambitious plan to create a sort of “Marvel universe for the 21st century.”

Image also announced that it had just relaunched its website, and that it was offering digital comics that were downloadable — in a variety of formats — storable and DRM-free, beginning with “Jupiter’s Legacy” No. 1 by Millar and Frank Quitely and “Scatterlands” No. 1 by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, the latter for 99 cents.

Expo attendees could get special variant editions of current issues and early copies of “Satellite Sam” No. 1 and a black-and-white look at “Sidekick.”

The event includes panels, signings and an after-party with the expo’s special guests.

[For the record, July 5, 2 p.m.: A previous version of this post said that Jason Aaron's "Scalped" was published by Image. That series was published by DC's Vertigo imprint.]

– Blake Hennon | @BlakeHennon

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Comments


3 Responses to Image Expo: New projects from Brubaker, Straczynski, Millar, more

  1. @NetDaddy says:

    Blake

    Jason Aaron did "Scalped" at DC under the Vertigo imprint from 2007-2012

    This is his first IMAGE title

  2. blakehennon says:

    Thanks for the catch! The error has been fixed, and a correction has been added.

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