Despite being in the game for almost a quarter of a century, Image Comics still seems to have trouble grasping how to do comics. Case in point, the company just sent out a press release announcing a news series called The Goners in October. From the press release:
Writer Jacob Semahn (Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man), artist Jorge Corona (Teen Titans Go!) team up for GONERS, a bold new historical fantasy mystery about a very peculiar family, the Latimer Family, who have been humanity’s lone defense against paranormal assault throughout history, due from Image Comics on October 22.
Sounds like a cool concept for a book. So what's the problem? Image announces new series all the time. Well, that's exactly the problem. Image is wasting a ton of resources by announcing new number one issues that are actual new series, when everyone in the industry knows that new number one issues are supposed to be sales gimmicks repackaging an existing book with a barely distinguishable "new" concept, sometimes with the same creative team even, to trick people into buying them based on the still-prominent-for-some-reason idea that a #1 issue is somehow worth more than a #458 issue. I mean, think of the resources Image is wasting coming up with new concepts like this one, when they could just release Walking Dead #1 every six months and reap the neverending profits:
From the colonization of Roanoke to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Latimer Family throughout the centuries have been the famous first line of defense against all that go bump in the night. The modern-day progenitor, Raleigh Latimer, and his wife, Evelyn Latimer, have turned the family tradition into a profitable brand. Selling life rights and starring in their own reality show, the Latimers have found a way to fund their endeavors against those that would try to overthrow humanity. But on a routine case, Raleigh and Evelyn are murdered on live television, while their children, Josiah and Zoe, are left helpless to watch. With a widening power vacuum, devils and opportunists alike hunt the ill-prepared child detectives for a sound byte or simply… a chomp.
Sure, I know what you're thinking. That sounds like an interesting book you'd like to read. But that's bush league thinking, my friends. Sure, this series might tell a story you'll actually remember a year from now, but will it rock the Image Universe to its very foundations? Will it shake Image Comics to its core? Will a prominent character die or return from the dead after dying three months earlier to usher in this new status quo? Is there any reason to outfit the book with 3D holofoil die-cut variants? We think not. And Rob Liefeld co-founded this company! What a waste!
The fact is, Image may put out great comics that, by virtue of the quality of the books themselves, rather than marketing voodoo and sycophantic press coverage, have developed a readership that is willing to give any new series from Image, no matter how "out there" the concept is, a chance. But are they publishing exactly 52 titles every month to fulfill some weird arithmomaniac obsession of a high level executive? Will they dominate the market share with meaningless event comics that will be available in the twenty five cent bins for decades to come?
No, they aren't, and they won't. And it just shows what a naive and inexperienced company they are. Here's what the creative team, who, mind you, will unfortunately not be subjected to idiotic editorial mandates to make their book fit into a larger publishing paradigm designed by accountants and publicists (another missed opportunity), have to say about the book:
“‘Oh, God. I’ve become my father.’ This is a line we’ve all heard before. Something that creeps up in the back of one’s brain and surprises them with the familiarity of the actions taken,” said Semahn. “Goners explores the themes of commitment and family. How far should one blindly follow those that came before? Be it soldier. Radical. Socialite. We all bear the weight of lineage. Some more than others. But it’s there. Waiting to bubble up.”
"It’s an epic adventure wrapped in ghosts and monsters,” explained Corona. “It takes me back to my childhood, to the movies and cartoons I grew up with. And that is exactly where I’m taking inspiration for the art. Jake did a beautiful job plotting and orchestrating this story, as soon as I’m done with each issue I can’t wait to get the next script. From the beginning Jake and I agreed that we wanted to give the story more than just a narrative style but also a very specific look for the art. It’s a modern day story with a lot of classic horror and science fiction imagery to create a world that resembles ours but hides secrets behind every wall."
Add do you want to know the worst part of it all?
GONERS invites readers into a world where the mythic co-exists with the mortal, and offers an alternative history where wars, civil rights, and scientific innovation are shown through a warped supernatural mirror.
GONERS #1 arrives in stores on 10/22 and is available for only $2.99. It can be pre-ordered with Diamond Code AUG140543.
That's right. $2.99. Is Image even paying attention?!
Pick up Goners #1 from your local shop in October, while you have the chance. Who knows how long Image can keep up this senseless behavior in the face of proven industry tactics.