Image Comics marks 25th anniversary on Wednesday

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It was 25 years ago this week that the comic book world changed a bit with the formation of Image Comics.

The new company brought us Spawn, The Savage Dragon, WildC.A.T.s. and Youngblood in its earlier days and The Walking Dead in later years.

As part of that anniversary, comic book shops around the country are celebrating Image Comics Day on Wednesday with some new arrivals from the company, which was created by Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. 

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Chief among those new arrivals will be a new issue of The Walking Dead with a 25-cent cover price available at all shops, while more than locations in the U.S. will have guests at their shops for signings, giveaways and other events. (See a list of locations here.) Also available will be  Image Classics 25th Anniversary Edition, which will highlight notable runs and titles from the company.

“Image Comics wouldn’t have succeeded without the tremendous creativity and passion of its creators, the unwavering support of retailers, bookstores, and libraries, or the unbridled and unrelenting enthusiasm of the fans who show up each and every Wednesday to purchase Image titles,” read a company statement. “On Image Comics Day we celebrate together, nationwide, the exciting legacy that Image’s creator-owned publishing model has cultivated as we prepare for the next 25 years of amazing creator-owned comics to come.”

The artists at the time were largely Marvel-based workers who didn’t hold rights to the characters that they helped create. As part of Image’s creation, the artists would retain ownership of their creations and creative control. Liefeld, for example, helped create Deadpool, back in 1990 with The New Mutants and X-Force, while Lee was responsible for the new X-Men launch in 1991 — the top-selling comic book of all time. McFarlane and Larsen handled a number of Spider-Man books at that time with McFarlane helping create Venom and Larsen helping create Carnage.

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