Hoping to counter the glut of show-biz razzle dazzle at Comic-Con in San Diego with some comic book firepower, Image Comics has announced the third Image Expo, an all-Image Comics media day.
The event will be held July 23 in San Diego, on the day known to attendees as Preview Night. Although the San Diego Comic-Con runs from Thursday to Sunday, the floor traditionally opens Wednesday evening, on Preview Night, for early displays and giveaways.
Image Expo will be held at 2 p.m. at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel, the day before the four-day San Diego Comic-Con extravaganza gets into high gear. Although details weren’t announced, previous Image Expos included major announcements of new series and exclusive creator agreements.
The last Image Expo was held in January at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. (Image Comics is based in Berkeley, Calif.) That Image Expo included the announcement of a five-year deal for creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, as well as new series by Scott Snyder, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Grant Morrison, Keiron Gillen, and Jamie McKelvie, among others.
"In the spirit of trying new things, we’re pleased to be partnering with CCI to bring Image Expo to San Diego this July," said Image publisher Eric Stephenson in a statement. "We want to get our message out to as many members of the comics community—and connect with Image fans outside of our San Francisco Bay Area home—and felt that taking Expo on the road would be a fun way to do that."
The event will be open to press and retailers, and a limited number of complimentary tickets will be available to the public. Those who have four-day passes to Comic-Con itself will be able to follow up at the Image booth on Preview Night for signings and exclusives.
While San Diego is the biggest pop culture event of the year with movie and TV announcements galore, comics news can be harder to come by—or it can get drowned out by celebrity stunts. Several publishers—among them Boom! and Dynamite—have gotten around this by making their announcements ahead of Comic-Con. Last year, Image held the first Image Expo at the beginning of July and got an uncontested news window for their announcements.
January’s event was criticized for lacking diversity—even though the Image staff is more than half female—so this one will be closely watched for creator announcements in that regard.