Today brings yet another Image Expo, and like the ones in years past, we trust that Image Comics will shock and awe us with a litany of surprise guests on top of the previously announced Brian K. Vaughan, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, Marjorie Liu, Emma Rios, James Robinson, and Brandon Graham. They always do, but due to their nature, we never know who they’ll be until they walk out onto the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts stage.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t hope to see certain creators.
In anticipation of that event, we’re going to share five creators we’d love to see work on a creator-owned project in 2015, and potentially walk on that stage today. The only rule for this list is simple: they can’t currently be working on a creator-owned project. We’re not going for viability, as some people on this list have obvious reasons they won’t do creator-owned projects. We’re just going for people we’d be intrigued to see a creator-owned book from.
So let’s get to it, and please, share the people you’d love to see work on a creator-owned project in the comments.
Why He’s a Pick: The simple answer is he’s maybe the most widely loved by other creators artist working in comics today. He is the artist’s artist, the artist that make more artists (lovingly) say “damn him” because he’s simply so good. His work on books like “Daredevil” and “Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom” earned him an Eisner Award, his gifts as a cartoonist constantly amaze fans, and he even is – for all intents and purposes – available for a gig. Could that next gig be on a book at Image? I’m not sure. But it’d be pretty amazing to see what he could accomplish on a book that’s all his own. We bet it’d be something spectacular.
Why He’s a Pick: Given his aesthetic and the work he’s done, it’s easy to forget that David Aja, the Eisner winning artist we know and love from “Hawkeye” and “Immortal Iron Fist” has never worked on a creator-owned book. But he hasn’t, even though he gets about as much leeway to do things his own way as any artist at Marvel. How amazing would it be if he and his collaborator on both of those books Matt Fraction took their talents to NorCal for a book at Image? Really amazing, and it doesn’t seem that far fetched. Fraction is clearly all about working with Image right now. He and Aja have a great creative partnership. Maybe we’ll get more from the two of them. If we did, we’d be very lucky as comic fans.
Why He’s a Pick: I’ll admit right from the start: this will never happen. Never ever ever happen. Not only is he pretty locked in as the architect of the DC Comics universe, but he’s the Chief Creative Officer there as well, guiding much of their TV universe as part of that. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’d love to see this dude unleashed doing his own thing. People forget quite often, but Johns is a very good writer, and before he was known as Mr. Justice League, he did incredible work on smaller books like “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.” and even a memorable “B.P.R.D.” story. He’s a capable guy with a lot of talent, but I highly doubt we’ll ever see this. It’d be interesting just to see what this would be like, good or bad.
Why He’s a Pick: I think you could make a pretty good argument that Coipel is the most talented artist in comics. While I don’t think we get that version of him all of the time, and when we do get his work it’s a bit on the slow side, when he’s on, there are few artists who can match his gifts. He brings so much power and emotion to the page, and he equally excels at moments both big and small. What if he just needs a project to be properly invested in? I think if Coipel took his work to a creator-owned project of some variety, we could see some of that untapped potential fully realized. And that, my friends, would be good for comic fans everywhere.Continued below
Why He’s a Pick: I’m going to phrase this as a question because I genuinely don’t know the answer: has Peter David ever written a creator-owned book? I don’t think he has, or at least I haven’t found any evidence of it. I know he came up through Marvel in the sales department and then as a writer, and is a lover of Marvel through and through, but I’d love to see David unleashed on a creator-owned book, doing his own thing and still bringing his incredible character work and trademark humor to the page. Maybe he doesn’t want to do that, and at this point, he should do whatever the hell he wants. But I would love to see him bring his own dreams to life for once, rather than the ideas that belong to one of the Big Two. It doesn’t really matter though. Whatever Peter David we get is good Peter David.