Friday, October 08, 2004

Image check: Newsarama checks in with Erik Larsen about the state of Image Comics after eight months at the helm:

"I don’t know what Jim said to people, so I can’t really speak to how things went, and how those relationships developed or how they went sour. I don’t know why policies were implemented, but it seems to me that a good book is a good book, and if somebody’s got a good book, I don’t really care if they’re saying they’re part of a studio or whether they’re on their own.

"But, I let people know that if they’re coming to Image Comics, and they have six good books, and two lousy ones, it’s not in our best interests to be publishing the two lousy ones. The impression I was getting was that people were using their position and abusing their position by kind of insisting that if Image was going to publish a studio’s good, commercial books, we had to take their three books that were really uncommercial and awful. I’m not going to embrace that – that’s counterproductive.

"But it’s a good thing to talk this stuff through with whoever you’re dealing with, and get them to realize that ultimately, if they’re trying to establish their own studio as an entity that is making books, it’s in their best interest to not publish their dreck – it says nothing good about anyone involved with it. We don’t want to be publishing crappy books, and they shouldn’t want to be publishing crappy books. The interesting thing is, some of these guys who were part of Image and had studios, and were doing books through us, and were also doing crappy books – I notice that as soon as they went away and did stuff on their own, the crappy books immediately went away. They took the books that weren’t good, and we didn’t particularly want, and they weren’t publishing them on their own either. I mean – what was the point of that? They could’ve not done them here, and everyone would have been happy.

"In some other cases, people left Image to do stuff on their own, and they’ve never recovered – they’ve never seen the kind of numbers they were getting when they were doing business with us. For some of those guys, it makes sense to come back and to come back to a place where we can get the word out there."