Robot 6

Quote of the day | ‘Who’s going to be talking about AvX ten years from now?’

“Part of what we do is make good comics, and we want to be the best version of Image Comics. But part of what we do is create a sustainable market. It has to be a part of what we do. Things like Saga and Walking Dead and Fatale, these are things that people want to return to. People can recommend these things to their friends, even people that don’t read comics. As opposed to tailchasing events, these yearly spike makers, but who’s going to be talking about AvX ten years from now?”

– Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson, on how the company contributes to the health of the industry



Who? Dedicated hardcore comic fans who can’t let things go and don’t try new things.

Well people still talk about Civil War so yeah, they will be talking about AvX. Doesn’t mean hes not right about the idea of trying to come up with original concepts and comics. But that last sentence is a failed observation.

I enjoy Walking Dead and Fables and I enjoy say Fantastic Four and Daredevil. There should be all types of comics out there.

Unfortunately it doesn’t matter. As long as things like AVX sell big numbers like they do – that is all Marvel cares about

Every event will be rehashed in some way or form, be it for TV, movies or alternate comic universes. AvsX brings it back the event that got the ball rolling, House of M, which was 7 years ago.

Who’s going to be talking about AvX ten years from now? Marvel, as they promote XvA.

@ Eric nobody here could have said it better! Thank you.

Eric and Bully, you both hit the nail on the head.

Clearly the Gentleman from Image hasn’t seen the graphic novel shelf at Barnes and Noble. Along with the Walking Dead it’s filled with Civil War, House of M, Messiah Complex, and lots of Marvel stuff that’s rounding the 10 year mark and yes, while Walking Dead is a huge mainstream hit nobody has given a damn about Spawn in over a decade.

Fans will be talking about it. Thats why its on its 6th printing. There the ones that want big events.

Who’s going to be talking about Eric Stephenson in ten years?

it’s funny how larsen has done nothing of note except bait the “BIG 2″ other than savage dragon. His work peaked in the 90’s. Image however is simply revolutionary, and he does them dissearvice with his loud mouth bullshit.

Ten years from now I definitely won’t be talking about AvX. But then, I also won’t be talking about any of Image’s comics either.

It’s nice being the “little” guy though, I suppose. You can say anything you want about the big guy and everyone will agree with you or won’t reprimand you because you’re the “underdog”. Even though that’s a misconception since Image does quite well for itself. Just saying–if Marvel said “Who’s going to be talking about Trinity War ten years from now?” this thread would look completely different.

I rarely hear anyone speak in glowing terms about the “big events.” People talk about Secret Wars (and the sequel) mainly because of how bad it was. Civil War? They make fun of Cap giving up at the end.

Sure, the events stay in the consciousness of fans, but that’s not always a good thing.

Marvel promoting XvA ten years from now. Too funny! but a sad commentary regarding the output from today’s Marvel Comics. The massive crossover events from Marvel wore out this long time collector about a decade or more ago. Only Fantastic Four and FF remain. DC massive crossover events took a bit longer within the past few years, but the reboot clinched it for the entire line except for Legion of Super-Heroes.

“I enjoy Walking Dead and Fables and I enjoy say Fantastic Four and Daredevil. There should be all types of comics out there.”

I don’t think he’s claiming any different. Just saying that, in regards to creating a sustainable and healthy comics market, Image’s methods can be more effective than Marvel and DCs constant rehashign of events. Stuff like Siege and Fear Itself have already been forgotten. And series like he mentions are also more likely to be returned to by readers or recommended to newbies who might be interested in reading comics.

Sustainable growth is something Image Comics appears to be able to achieve and which Marvel and DC are currently failing at. That’s not to say they can’t achieve this but their current methods (random spikes in sales due to the newest “big” event) deomnstrably does not lead to sustianed growth in the market.

I’m against a lot of things Marvel’s been doing lately but I do not think Image is any better just because they publish indie comics. That was a cheap shot by Eric.

Who’s to say they wouldn’t be doing the same shady things if they were as big as them?


July 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

I’m not talking about AvX now, except to spit on the floor whenever it’s brought up.

Probably more than the number of people talking about the Viltrumite War, fat Atom Eve, or that breast-feeding Rihanna-fairie.

Not that I’m big on AvX; I just think it would be nice if creators could produce good stories without bashing others in the industry or its fans.

I love the walking dead and I don’t count Kirkman in this group because he’s been pretty nice in interviews for the most part, but a lot of these indie creators/publishers are pretentious assholes.

I’m over trying to make it out like their product is somehow infinitely better because they are serving a different model. Can a fan truly not enjoy both the Walking Dead and the X-Men. When he says things like this, and it’s not the first time, it’s purely marketing. It’s bipartisan politics type horseshit.

^over Image ;)


July 17, 2012 at 9:50 am

What a foolish quote. All Stephenson has done is serve to alienate more potential Marvelites from giving his books a chance. Other than The Walking Dead, what does Image really have in their stable? And honestly, I much prefer the TV show to the comic.

In 10 years from now will anyone remember Saga, Skullkickers, Carbon Grey, etc. Probably not, but they wil remember the Avngers and the X-Men. Do people still remember DC’s The Killing Joke, Watchmen, Kree-Skrull War, Days of Future Past, etc.? You bet they do, they are classics! These were all produced by the Big 2 who will always shape the industry of comics and allow companies like Image to even exist.

I see where hes coming from and i get what hes saying but I probably would have phrased it differently. Hopefully Image will have the longevity that Marvel and DC has had.Then that will truly be saying something

Yes, Badmotorfinger, but what in your opinion has Marvel or DC produced within the last ten year period that you think will actually measure up to Killing Joke, Watchmen, Kree-Skrull War, Days of Future Past, etc? All of those storylines you mentioned were published at least a quarter of a century ago.

Yeah, not sure why Image has to constantly insult other companies while patting themselves on the back. Reeks of insecurity. I like a lot of what Image is doing, but I’m enjoying AvX too, it’s OK to have both books on the market, and not every comic book on the stands needs to be “evergreen” or socially relevant in order to justify its existence. 95% of entertainment is disposable by its very nature, doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Also not convinced anyone will still be talking about Saga or Fatale ten years from now either.

I’m not sure why everyone is getting so offended by what he said. Was he condemning DC and Marvel for everything they do? That’s not at all what he said. He was mocking the very event-heavy mentality I’m sure most of us are sick of. I would love for the big companies to go a year without having an event. Try 12 uninterrupted months of just storylines and done-in-one issues. Maybe even go 18 months. Build up that elusive new reader base. Then maybe have a few brief six issue events or even a maxi series that doesn’t interrupt the current flow of issues. I think that’s my biggest problem with event comics. Everything gets put on hold to service the bloated, overhyped event and storylines suffer.

I remember when Marvel and DC put out Image-style books via Epic and Vertigo imprints (I guess DC still does to some extent via what’s left of Vertigo). Anyone remember Alien Legion? Marshal Law? Shade the Changing Man? Doom Patrol (hell, remember Grant Morrison?)? Too many other great, indy-style books cultivated and published by the Big 2. It’s a shame making a little money off that side of the artform is viewed as not worth the time by the major players in this industry.

Both publishers obviously see the benefit of other genres and styles of comics, as they both (but especially Marvel, recently) rapidly pull hot, new talents (particularly, writers) into the stable from indy ranks (Bunn, Humphries, Wood, Snyder, Lemire, etc., etc.). If image keeps advancing their market share with Indy titles, the Big 2 WILL get back in that business (aside from Icon mega-sellers like Millar – who I love, BTW – really, read Supercrooks).

I fail to see how some theoretical future people are better than hundreds of thousands of people now. And if you want to talk sustainability, it seems silly to denigrate characters who have managed to entertain since the thirties and sixties.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Image and creator-owned comics in general, but I’m tired of Image representatives putting down others in every quote from them about the company I see.

And honestly, would I recommend any of the event comics to friends? Maybe Annihilation War or something like that, but otherwise…no. They’re too insular and confusing (yes, I realize a space opera could be described as such, too…but it’s a basic good vs. evil story).

I like things like Armor Wars, where it takes place within the book, and it bleeds over into other series…but overall, it is part of the narrative flow and doesn’t detract from it.

People still talk about Onslaught and the Clone Saga. Bafflingly, some people even seem to think those stories were actually GOOD.

AvX could be one of those events that falls by the wayside, or it could be infamous, or it could be one that’s still remembered fondly. Who knows?

As for what Image is putting out: yes, people will remember Walking Dead in ten years. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. As for the rest of their output, well, time will tell. I think this is a great time for Image, and I certainly HOPE that stuff like Saga sticks around and is remembered, but it’s a bit early to tell. And I’d say Dark Horse and, yes, Vertigo are giving them some pretty serious competition in producing great books that could, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, become long-lasting hits.

Many people commenting on his quote are failing to understand what he means. He is talking about sustainability. The comic book industry is not what it once was due to many factors. His point is that Image has a variety of comic books that if someone wants to, could give to someone who doesn’t read them and they could enjoy them without any knowledge of anything. AVX could not do that. Sustainability is what allows the comic book industry to be an industry. Marvel and DC are constantly doing events not because its what they people want but because it sells. But it does not sell sustainability. It does not promote organic storytelling either. The creator can not come up with his own vision of what he wants to see because of constant interruptions of events. If you knew someone who loves comedy and sci fi, would you give them Y The Last Man or anything by Bendis? The reason why the market is so miserable and scary to think about (just like any product in this world that does not have sustainability i e Gas, Fishing, Trees, etc) is because the big two are not creating sustainable products but irrelevant stories.


July 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

This thread is pretty sad. Marvel is doing just fine. Superhero comics aren’t going away anytime soon. God forbid that somebody offers an alternative to the same old stuff.


They are not saying they are infinitely better because they serve a different model. They are infinitely better because they do not rely on gimmicky bulls***, rinsed and recycled year after year, they tell more diverse stories, they find new talent and allow off-the-mainstream voices to be heard, and a score of other reasons

Saying what will and won’t be talked about 10 years from now is virtually impossible to judge and it takes an especially arrogant ass to make such a bold statement. Would anyone believe that Ultimate Spider-man Volume one would be one of marvels best selling trades of all time when it first came out?

I really hate it when people try to promote themselves by bashing someone else. It’s classless and says more about you than them

I think 10 years from now the MAJORITY of comic book fans will still be talking about Ed Brubaker’s run on CAPTAIN AMERICA, Jonathan Hickman’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR, Brian Michael Bendis’ run of AVENGERS, Matt Fraction’s run on IRON MAN, and so on… And, as an adjunct to that, they will be talking about AVX as the thing that lead to the finales of those runs AND as a kick off to new runs. So yes, 10 years from now people WILL be talking about AVX.

the big probleme with Avengers VS X-Men is the title, so stupid. the story is OK.

NO WHERE DID HE SAY WHO IS GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT AVX BECAUSE IT IS A CRAPPY EVENT AND MWAAHAHAHAHAA LOOK AT ME MARVEL BASHING. How can you people complaining about topics that were not the point of his quote fail to see what he means??!?!?! Its like Fox News reporting. OR MSNBC! Think critically. My god I have some land to sell you in Antarctica


What is really the definition of ‘talking about’ in his statement?
I don’t really think it is so much about someone discussing a particular story or series but more about whether anyone is still recommending it years later.
Does anyone talk about Mutant Massacre or Atlantis Attacks or Invasion or Zero Hour these days? Or how about House if M (to be a little more recent)? Does anyone recommend people track those down?
Y The Last Man finished up about five years ago (or thereabouts). That is a book people that people still recommend. The Unwritten will likely be another one of those projects people recommend years down the line once that run has been completed.
I think that is really more the meaning if the statement.
These events are just things of the day. Nobody really cares about them two years later. Even if something “big” happens like the death of a major character, it will be meaningless in two years because that character will be back (it might take a little longer if the character isn’t what would be considered top tier).

“Marvel and DC are constantly doing events not because its what the (edit) people want but because it sells. ”
I’m having a hard time reconciling the above quote. If it sells, people obviously want it.

Simon DelMonte

July 17, 2012 at 10:51 am

If anyone wants to talk about The Final Night, or Invasion!, or even Identity Crisis, I would be happy to join those chats. Events can sometimes resonate for years in ways that are not about sales.

Other than that…every other time there is a quote from Stephenson says something, he is out to diss the competition. Which makes him the perfect counterpoint to the people at Marvel who do that. I don’t see why, in order to prove your line is good, you have to say how bad the other lines are. It’s as if Stephenson and Brevort think you can’t like Marvel and Image and DC and anything else that you like. It all seems a bit immature to me.

Rewind ten years and review what Image was publishing then.
Top 300 Comics–July 2002
(rank, index, title, price, publisher, estimated sales)
3 208.6 BATTLE O/T PLANETS #1 $2.95 IMA 109,797
19 123.45 GI JOE #8 $2.95 IMA 64,978
71 51.06 POWERS #23 (MR) $2.95 IMA 26,875
75 50.92 TOMB RAIDER #23 (Note Price) $2.99 IMA 26,802
146 23.39 SAVAGE DRAGON #101 $2.95 IMA 12,311
152 22.68 LEAVE IT TO CHANCE #13 $4.95 IMA 11,938
164 18.32 GUARDIAN ANGEL #2 (Of 4) $2.95 IMA 9,643
168 16.72 FUSED #3 $2.95 IMA 8,801
173 15.9 NOBLE CAUSES #4* $2.95 IMA 8,369
190 11.69 ALONE IN DARK ONE-SHOT SPECIAL $4.95 IMA 6,153
201 9.26 CREED UTOPIATE #4 (Of 4) $2.95 IMA 4,874

Not to be argumentative, but does anyone remember what happened in Savage Dragon #100?
Are people still talking about that?

Meanwhile, I still occasionally talk about Leave It To Chance. I wish someone would publish an omnibus for libraries…

I’d say of all the big three publishers (and 3 is being generous to Image) DC is actually the worst as far as taking shots at the competition. Dan Didio has taken some pretty ugly shots at the competition. It does make the entire industry seem petty when editors and publishers of any kind do this.

Savage Dragon #100 recapped the history of the alternate reality that the Dragon found himself in after he altered history 25 issues earlier. Each of the flashback sequences had inks/finishes by a different artist over Erik Larsen’s pencils. Yes, I happen to be a huge fan of the series, so maybe that’s why I’m able to recall that off the top of my head. But it was a pretty cool issue.

Maybe Eric Stevenson just wants to be the new Dan Didio or Joe Quesada. Image would be better off if he was trying to be more like Ted Adams or Mike Richardson.

I’ll be talking about Bendis on Avengers ten years from now.

Mainly to say “WTF was going on with that guy?”


July 17, 2012 at 11:16 am

Ben Herman- Ok the last 10 years at Marvel/DC that people will still talk about; the new 52, Brubaker’s Captain America, No More Mutants, Spider-Man One More Day & Brand New Day, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Court Of Owls in Batman, Uncanny X-Force, Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run, Northstar’s marriage, Green Lantern – Sinestro Corps War, it goes on and on! In comparison; Image – The Walking Dead.

Secret Wars, Onslaught, and the Clone Saga are more infamous than anything else; Civil War will be well remembered for *why* they were fighting; AvX will be forgotten due to the blandness of execution. Mediocrity guarantees your lack of place in history.

He’s dissing an unsustainable model for comics as a medium, not your favourite capes & tights publishers.

New ideas = new readers. Consistently and solely retreading the same type of events = erosion.

This is important because people want to make and sell comics for a living long into the future. The industry needs to be healthy for that to happen.


July 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

Oh Wolverine & the X-Men, Waid’s Daredevil, Hickman’s reigniting of The Fantastic Four….

My point is that Stephenson should just shut the hell up in regards to other companies. To be Fair I feel the same way about the people at DC and Marvel. There is no need to bash your competition. Put out the best possible product and let it speak for itself, which all the companies appear to be doing.

Robert Kirkman is guilty of this as well. I have seen countless shots by him referring to mainstream (the big 2). He created a great IP in the Walking Dead and has a far superior TV show providing a boost to his comic series.

The other interesting thing about this is the way that events have become far less important than the change they’re supposedly heralding-like, he’s right, people will be talking about, if anything, the Marvel NOW! initiative rather than the comic itself, but even that is a humongous stretch. When was the last time you heard somebody bring up Dark Reign or The Initiative in casual comics conversation, frex? The whole point of these things is that they’re not supposed to be remembered-they’re marketing stunts that are designed to be as renewable as they are disposable, and they work very well for some readers and extremely poorly for others, such as myself. I can’t view them as sustainable.


July 17, 2012 at 11:26 am

Ben Rankel – Superhero comics have been around for well over 50 years, where is the erosion? How many times have plots been refitted and recycled? Does Image somehow have a magic box full of brand new ideas that the world is unaware of. Nobody has ever done anything zombie related before The Walking Dead?

Guess what? It has ALL been done before! That doesn’t mean that something can’t be good and stand on its own merits though.


July 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

Here’s a marketing stunt – 20 damn covers for The Walking Dead #100. Pot meet kettle.


July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

Honda Civic The Walking Dead car, marketing stunt.


July 17, 2012 at 11:29 am

Where is Will McAvoy to call bullshit on all the indie hypocrisy?

Badmotorfinger – Look at sales numbers. Since the spike in the 90’s things have been down hill for retailers and publishers.

The idea that publishing more than one specific genre of comic book would be beneficial to the industry is pretty easy to understand.


July 17, 2012 at 11:44 am

Let’s face the reality why sales are down. The industry strangled itself, readers grew up, comics became less new reader friendly, prices went through the roof, and it became harder to find comics in general. Once our generation gives up comics may be in REAL trouble unless they find ways to bring in new readers. What Image is doing isn’t the answer.


July 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

And, there s nothing wrong at all with multiple genres, I never said there was.

Hardman, the quote is from Eric Stephenson, not Erik Larsen. Please read the whole post.

I’m so fucking sick of Marvel & DC that even complaining about them doesnt do anything for me anymore. I just don’t care.

And no, no one will be talking about AvX, because the concept is so overdone and so overplayed that not even an industry focused on the rotting, smelly overtroden corpse of superheroes gives a damn.

If Larsen pushes just a few people towards making their own damn shit than clinging to the teet of corporate immortals who’s drama & depth are lost on their inability to die, than by all means go larsen, go.

I guess I would take the claims of “he’s always attacking Marvel and DC!” seriously if they weren’t followed up by a personal attack against either Mr. Kirkman or Mr. Stephenson.

People need to take a deep breath and actually think about what he’s referring to. The various butthurt reactions aren’t helping anything. Both of the big companies (regardless of the quality of what Image is putting out) are in a creative and economic pickle, all due to their own actions and the nature of fandom.

No one is putting down our (your) hobby….they’re mentioning something we’re already aware of.


July 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I agree with your sentiment, SAW08, but the quote is Stephenson’s, not Larsen’s.

AVX strikes me as just a new Contest of Champions. I flipped through Contest of Champions more than once – it never interested me. It was bland and contrived. And, since I don’t have to touch a hot stove twice to know that it is hot, I have not given AVX one second’s thought


July 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

SAW08 – trying to make an argument when you can’t even get the facts right defeats your argument. Besides what does making your “own shit” have to do with making good comics? More people will care about AVX than 99% of anything Image EVER puts out.

Image isn’t perfect in this regard either. That doesn’t mean that what Stephenson is saying isn’t correct.

It’s great that Image exists to go along with Marvel and DC. Let’s not forget IDW, Dark Horse, and other companies. Sure I’d prefer that Stephenson not take shots at other companies because it implies that he’s taking a shot at those people that buy those issues but the bottom line is if you like big name superheroes, those comics are produced. If you like something else, those comics are produced. Buy what you want.


The “every publisher is OK” argument ignores the effect that producing disposable comics for a quick sales spike has on the industry. If you produce these gimmicky comics, and there is a market for them, then what you are doing might be defensible. But if you take some of the industry’s better talent, and pay them well to squander their talents on watered-down, forgettable cape books – then perhaps that is not good for the art form of comic books, or for growing the industry and investing in its future and its sustainability

Which is saying in different words basically what Stephenson said above

People still talk about Secret Wars II and Acts Of Vengeance (not a lot but they do come up here and there). :p

I agree 100% comings are about great writing and great art coming together to transcend their individual mediums to become something more. It isn’t about how look now every superhero who was ever created is fighting each other in the street, it’s about smaller, more complex, more impactful story telling like Dark Phoenix Saga.

I quit talking about Avengers vs. X-Men when they replaced the creative team in issue #4 because they didn’t like the idea of turning Magneto into a bad guy again. Oops wrong one….

“But if you take some of the industry’s better talent, and pay them well to squander their talents on watered-down, forgettable cape books then perhaps that is not good for the art form of comic books, or for growing the industry and investing in its future and its sustainability”

I don’t disagree totally but I don’t know of any 9 year old that is going to walk into a comic shop and say “Where’s the new Brian K Vaughn book?” But (threoretically) a 9 year old will walk in and ask for a Batman comic. Eventually that 9 year old will turn into a 15 year old that may be interested in the new Brian K Vaughn book. Unfortunately, the Big Two don’t know how to get the 9 year old into the comic shop anymore. If Marvel and DC do their jobs right then it allows the rest of the industry a better chance to do their thing. As a kid, I got intoduced to comics with Star Wars by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin which in turn led me to buy X-Men by Byrne and Claremont which led me to Daredevil by Frank Miller which led me to Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons which led me to Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison which led me (eventually) to Hellboy, Fables, etc… My timeline is super simplistic but there has to be a gateway. I may want to give Fatale a chance because I love Ed Brubaker’s Captain America but to say that big name talent shouldn’t work at the Big Two because they’d be better served by doing their own thing is something I don’t agree with.

To clarify my last sentence, I think they should be do both if they want to.

Leave a Comment


Browse the Robot 6 Archives