As a rule, I don’t post news on SKTCHD, and certainly not news that other sites will run. My objective is for everything I run to come from my own work. However, I’m going to break that rule for the first time today because of an announcement fresh from the ComicsPro event in Portland: Image Comics is rolling out its own Previews Catalog called Image+. While they’re hardly pioneers in that regard – Marvel has its own book and rumor is DC’s launching its own at least for Rebirth – what is different is how Image is handling it.
The whole gig is going to be managed by David Brothers, Image’s Branding Manager, and designed by their Sales & Marketing Production Designer, Sasha Head. It’s going to be different than its peers in the sense that it will be built to not just sell, but inform, entertain and excite. Each issue will be 64 pages long and will feature interviews, spotlight features, previews, editorials and more from Image, its creators and staff. The first twelve issues will also include brand new four-page stories from The Walking Dead about Negan’s backstory, all created by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. So instead of it being an absolute mess of covers and variants and a litany of other things, it’s going to be a cool, streamlined experience built to entice retailers and customers.
Here’s the reason I’m writing about it, though. When I was researching my recent variant covers article, I dove into Previews and the Marvel Previews magazine to extract information for the piece. The experience was, frankly put, a nightmare. Some sections are almost impossible to understand, and the book itself is a phone book sized monstrosity. I cannot imagine ever looking at one again, let alone dissecting one every month. Granted, I know that there are limitations, and the way things are has worked for years now. Previews is as Previews always was. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way to do it.
While this new book won’t be built around solicitations – it will have solicits for new books but not the old ones – it still has a ton of value. It will be an additional experience that will be an event almost unto itself, and one that will have an exciting read for everyone at a cost of only $1.99. While this isn’t likely to generate ton of hoopla, I could see a lot of people being interested in this. Hell, I might even buy it every month now. One note from a retailer, though: this won’t be free for shops, so there’s still much to be determined whether or not this will be a success. I do enjoy the idea quite a bit.
Image+ launches in May at just $1.99 per issue, or its free when you purchase the full Previews catalog. Give the press release a full read below, and well done by Image on striking out in a new direction on this topic.
Image Comics announces PREVIEWS Catalog magazine: IMAGE+
Image Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors are pleased to announce Image+, an all-new monthly magazine which will feature Image’s upcoming releases, as well as bonus creator-owned comics content. Each issue will be distributed with Diamond’s PREVIEWS Catalog each month, with the first issue of Image+ available in May.
Each of the first twelve issues of Image+ magazine will feature an original, four-page THE WALKING DEAD story concerning Negan’s origins, and created by New York Times bestselling team Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard, for a total of 48 pages of backstory.
PREVIEWS has long served as a sales tool meant to guide retailer orders, inspire customer pre-orders with new solicitations, and provide product listings for the months to come.
“PREVIEWS is a useful tool for retailers and customers alike,” said Corey Murphy, Director of Sales at Image Comics. “With the Image+ magazine and the new and original content each issue, month in and month out, we hope to bring fresh eyes and excitement to our PREVIEWS product listings once again.”
Image+ will clock in at 64 pages and feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.
David Brothers, Branding Manager added: “Comics are exciting, and it does them and their creators a disservice to give them rote, by-the-numbers coverage. I cut my teeth on video game magazines before writing about comics professionally, and I’m excited to push that experience in a new direction alongside our Sasha Head, our Sales & Marketing Production Designer. From my perspective, comics have always been cool, and this is a chance to show everyone exactly why I feel that way.”
Image+ will be available for free to customers who purchase a PREVIEWS Catalog each month or can be purchased separately for only $1.99.
“We’re pleased to be working with Diamond on this exciting addition to the monthly Previews catalog,” said Eric Stephenson, Publisher at Image Comics. “We look forward to sharing news about our upcoming titles and the creators that both entertain and inform retailers and fans alike.”
The first issue of Image+ will appear in the Previews Catalog with July releasing solicitations and will be available in stores this May. The standard Image Comics solicitations for each month will continue to appear in PREVIEWS Catalog as usual.
ABOUT IMAGE COMICS
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.