Image Comics Employees Vote to Form Union

Image Comics employees voted this week to officially form a union. The National Labor Relations Board confirmed that a majority of eligible Image Comics employees have formally voted to unionize. The new Comic Book Workers United union consists of Image Comics employees working in a number of back office positions, including editorial, production, sales, and accounting offices. Please note that the new union does not include comics creators as they are considered freelance employees and thus not eligible for collective bargaining per US labor laws. Comic Book Workers United will be a part of the Communication Workers of America union, a national labor union representing approximately 700,000 workers in various media and communication companies. This marks the only current union at a US comics publisher. 

The group officially announced their intent to unionize last November and the ballots were mailed out in mid-December after Image chose not to voluntarily recognize the union. When the group first announced their intent to unionize, they stated that their goals included salary and workload transparency, better communication with staff, increased staff diversity, the continued option for remote work, and the inclusion of an option for staff to cancel publication of comics by creators who had engaged in abusive, racist, or otherwise harmful behavior.

With the unionization vote finalized, Image Comics management and the union will now work to form a collective bargaining agreement. This agreement would cover everything from wages and benefits to other workplace issues and is part of a process set by federal labor laws. There is no set timeline for the completion of a collective bargaining agreement.

"Earlier this morning the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and National Labor Relations Board vote results were tallied, 7 – 2, in favor of unionization," an Image Comics representative told ComicBook.com when asked for a statement. "Everyone at Image is committed to this process and we look forward to continuing to work together on this."

"Thank you once again to everyone who continues to support us through this ongoing process, from comics fans, comics creators, and from our peers both in and outside the comics industry," Comic Book Workers United wrote in a statement posted yesterday before the votes were tallied. "We draw strength not only from each other, but from all of you." The union did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

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Image Comics was founded in 1992 when a group of major artists broke away from DC and Marvel in the early 1990s to form an independent publishing house. Image Comics is currently the third largest publisher of monthly comics catering to the direct market (i.e. selling monthly comics publications at comic book stores) in the United States, trailing only Marvel and DC. The company's current hits include Spawn, King Spawn, Department of Truth, and Primordial. Several of the company's partners maintain publishing imprints within the company, including Top Cow Productions (which runs Jim Valentino's Witchblade line) and Skybound Entertainment, which published The Walking Dead. 

ComicBook.com will continue to provide up-to-date coverage of Comic Book Workers United and other labor stories within the comics and entertainment industry.