Last time we took a look at Vertigo comics and what books I thought you should read ASAP. This time around we are going to look at the other publisher that I think deserves as much attention as the Marvels and DC’s of the comic’s world.
After becoming frustrated with many different policies and practices of Marvel comics, a group of their top illustrators went straight to the president of Marvel and demanded that the company gave them creative control over their works and creations. After having their demands fall on deaf ears, 8 creators responded by leaving Marvel and forming their own company: Image Comics.
Since being formed in 1992, Image has gone on to be one of the largest comic book publishers in North America and continues to produce amazing material whilst drawing in many a writer and artist. Once again there are many Image titles that warrant coverage in this article and are more than worth a read but I am going to focus on my personal top two, the first being Spawn.
After being murdered by his boss, assassin Al Simmons is sent to hell to serve penance for his crimes. Needing to see his wife one last time, Simmons makes a bargain with the being known as Malebolgia to become his hell spawn. Returned to life badly disfigured with little memory but with new powers, Al discovers that the World has changed in his absence and five long years have passed. Discovering that his wife and best friend are now married with a daughter, Simmons is destroyed emotionally and fully embraces his life as Spawn. Fantastically brought to life by Todd Mcfarlane, Spawn saw a huge surge of popularity during the 1990s but has been hit and misses since the early 2000’s. He is still an amazingly complex character that has a many exciting and daring stories under his belt.
The next one you may have heard of as it is currently one of the most watched shows in America that draws in millions every week and has just finished its fourth season; The Walking Dead is a black and white comic book that follows cop Rick Grimes as he tries to carve out a life in a World filled with the living dead.
The comic, which has recently celebrated its 100th issue, was created by writer Robert Kirkman who wanted to see a story about zombies that has no visible ending. What we end up with is a series that has a real punch to its stories and has characters that you love one minute and dislike in another. But every character that graces the comic, no matter how small their part is, is someone that you can imagine existing in this terrible World. Add in the feeling that anyone could die and anything could happen at any moment and you’re left with the kind of tense, on the edge of your seat story telling that is so rare these days.