Rumors have been buzzing for awhile now that Image Comics wants to move out of The Bay Area. The company has been situated in California for over a decade, a city that partially houses other comic book heavyweights such as Marvel and DC Comics. However, the city’s creative climate has taken a turn in the past few years, prompting many creators to abandon the hub. Now, Image Comics is doing the same and making the move to Portland, Oregon.
Recently, Eric Stephenson spoke with OPB Radio and confirmed Image Comics has already secured a location in Portland’s Montgomery Park. The publisher said they plan to be completely relocated by next year, but the company did say they weren't sure how much of its current staff would make the 600-mile trek to Oregon. Considering Portland’s creator-friendly environment and rich comic book history, it’s safe to say many are probably excited about the move.
Charles Brownstein, the executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, was particularly pleased to hear Image Comics would be joining them up in Porland. “Image moving to Portland solidifies its place as one of the three major hubs for comics in the United States, with the other two being Los Angeles and New York,” he said. “And I think it makes Portland even more of a beacon for people that want to participate within the comic’s industry.”
When asked about the company’s rationale for moving, Stephenson cited how The Bay Area has changed. “The culture has changed a lot. It’s become more of a corporate place,” he explained. The publisher said the move was prompted by more than just economical reasoning. One of the company’s biggest factors in moving is that they want to be close to their creators.
“Since we have so many creators here, we’re going to be able to talk to them face-to-face instead of over the phone or email or at conventions,” Stephenson said.
Of course, Image Comics isn’t the first house to move to Portland. Dark Horse has operated out of the city for years since the publisher was created in Oregon. Oni Press was also persuaded to move to Portland, and dozens of comic book creators have also relocated to the area.
Currently, Image Comics stands as the industry’s 3rd largest publisher with annual earnings totaling more than $50 million. Some of today’s most popular comic books come from the house as series such as The Walking Dead, Saga, The Wicked + The Divine, and Black Magick are all Image Comics exclusives.
[H/T] OPB Radio