This was announced last weekend at Wizard World Chicago, but I hadn’t gotten around to writing anything about it until the official press release came out.
July 1 2008 (Berkeley, CA) – As announced at Wizard World Chicago this weekend, Image Comics Publisher Erik Larsen is stepping down from his current position and will be replaced by Executive Director Eric Stephenson, effective immediately.
“Being the publisher has been a blast, but it’s long past time I put my focus on what matters most to me – creating new comics,” said Larsen. “We accomplished the goals I set out for the company, and it’s long past time for me to go back to doing what I do best. Even more so, I feel Eric deserves the position as he’s completely instrumental in our company’s recent success. It’s an honor to hand him the reins.”
Stephenson’s background with Image goes back to the inception, as Jim Valentino’s assistant. He later went on to work as the managing editor of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Studios before returning to Image as Director of Marketing in 2001. Stephenson became Executive Director in 2004.
Stephenson added, “Even after over sixteen years of working with Image off and on, I’m more excited about the company now than I’ve ever been. The unprecedented variety of creators, genres and formats we’ve been publishing really reflects what I love so much about this medium, and I’m looking forward to carrying on and growing upon this tradition.”
Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Since that time, Image has gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There are currently four partners in Image Comics (Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today.