So much of a readers experience is based on how well the creators of comics handle world building. I’m sure you have a list of comics that transport you away from your everyday life to a fantastic unique world. Image Comics is an excellent publisher to rely on for that type of experience, so it makes sense for them to have a panel entitled: Image Comics: Where Creators Own Worlds. Creators Bryan Edward Hill (Postal), Antony Johnston (Codename: Baboushka), Marjorie Liu (Monstress), Declan Shalvey (Injection), and Jim Zub (Wayward) graced the stage to share their perspectives on the worlds in their own books.
Some of the creators, like Jim Zub and Declan Shalvey, write books that take place in real locations. They both emphasized how important it is to create an environment that is factual as a good foundation for the story.
“All of the environments, I take extra time to make them immersive. I feel that the real world needs to be established to make a good product.”
Jim spoke about working with his artist Steve who lives in Tokyo:
“You want the supernatural stuff to feel fantastic, so we want the real world to be extra grounded. I want this to be the real deal. It means something to us to get it right.”
The panel continued with Marjorie talking about the world in her upcoming release Monstress:
“We wanted to go totally art deco. The visual theme of the entire series is art deco, and it was inspired by a trip to Japan…this one museum in particular. It was really beautiful and inspired me.”
The topic moved from world building to writer/ artist collaboration in comics. Antony Johnston expressed that most of the time the most powerful moments in comics happen when there’s no text or dialogue on the page. He assured the audience that, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the writer wasn’t involved. I have to agree with him there. There have been many moments in the comics that I’ve read where I was taken back by the power of certain art based panels. However, as a reader, you know that those images were developed in a collaborative effort.
Overall the panel was incredibly informative, and definitely gave an in-depth perspective on world building. There’s a reason Image Comics publishes some of the best comics in stores today, and Jim Zub probably put it best when he said:
“This isn’t just about hit the deadline…get the paycheck. We’re creator owned, and we want to proudly put our names on these projects.”
Image Comics = passion projects.