Anthologies have always been fertile ground for some of the most exciting and entertaining ideas in fiction, providing an opportunity for talent both new and old to introduce something fresh or put a different spin on an existing concept. Comic book anthologies have been more of a hit or miss affair over the years, giving birth to industry success stories as well as laughable failures that are best forgotten.
Now Image Comics enters the fray with a series titled IMAGE INTRODUCES... The 32 page full color bi-monthly comic will showcase new ideas by constantly changing creative teams. Each issue will also feature a five page preview of the next installment.
With talent like Beau Smith, Pat Lee, Ben Raab (making his Image debut), and newcomers Rob Schamberger, Rob Hunter, and RV Valdez, IMAGE INTRODUCES... will "allow both fans and retailers a chance to 'test drive' a concept prior to being asked to make a commitment to it," according to Image VP-Publisher Jim Valentino.
The obvious inspiration for this title is the venerable DC Comics series SHOWCASE, credited with jump-starting the Silver Age with the first appearance of the Barry Allen Flash in 1956. Valentino evidently hopes that IMAGE INTRODUCES... will make history as well.
"Each issue will demonstrate the wide diversity of genre and stylings Image Central has become known for," says Valentino. "Everything from horror to manga, sci-fi to urban drama, and some that just defy classification."
Valentino also addresses the now standard industry concern of scheduling and shipping dates. "We are scheduling the features on a first-come, first-served basis, so the entirety of each succeeding issue must be in hand before we will preview it in the preceding issue. This will keep the title on schedule and on-time," says Valentino.
Six issues are planned so far and include the following features:
Individual issues of IMAGE INTRODUCES... will retail for $2.95.