Image Comics to Relocate to Portland

. Prior to his tenure, the company was headquartered out of Anaheim, closer to other co-founders [...]

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(Photo: Image Comics)

While there is no official confirmation or comment yet, has learned from a number of sources that Image Comics is planning to relocate their physical operations from Berkeley, California, to Portland, Oregon, in the near future.

Image has been in its current, Bay Area digs for about a decade, since Erik Larsen was the publisher (Larsen lives nearby its current location). Prior to his tenure, the company was headquartered out of Anaheim, closer to other co-founders like Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld, who operate out of that area.

News of the move first broke at The Beat, though as writer Heidi MacDonald notes, there have been rumors circulating for those "in the know" since at least Comic Con International: San Diego last month. She further notes that the move's impact on the comics themselves should be fairly minimal, since Image Central is mostly a production facility. The company's business model revolves around creators handling all of their own content creation, most promotion, and other responsibilities, and Image primarily providing manufacturing and distribution. The size of the Image Central staff is relatively small and one assumes that they will all be welcome to move along with the company.

The move is likely driven by the cost of doing business in Berkeley, which is now dominated by tech startups. The choice of Portland itself was likely driven by the desire to join the comics community there.

Portland currently is home to a thriving comics community -- almost certainly the nation's largest -- which includes Bitch Planet's Kelly Sue DeConnick and Casanova's Matt Fraction, two key names in Image's current publishing lineup. Also headquartered in Portland are Dark Horse Comics, Oni Press, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Image Comics declined to comment for this story.