Image+, Comic Market Preview Magazine, Launches in May

Image Comics has announced that they will be shipping Image+, a monthly add-on promotional magazine to the Diamond Previews catalog, beginning in May, free with the catalog. If you don’t buy Previews, you can get Image+ by itself for $1.99 an issue.

The 64-page magazine, aimed at both retailers and fans, will “feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful, and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.” Brothers said,

“Comics are exciting, and it does them and their creators a disservice to give them rote, by-the-numbers coverage. I cut my teeth on video game magazines before writing about comics professionally, and I’m excited to push that experience in a new direction alongside Sasha Head, our Sales & Marketing Production Designer.”

Image Comics logo

The first issue will cover comics shipping in July 2016 and later. They’re springboarding off the popularity of The Walking Dead, as the first 12 issues of Image+ will include an original, four-page story by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard about Negan’s origins. (I assume that means something to fans of the zombie comic.)

The Image Comics section in Previews will continue as it has; Image+ is a bonus. This is a different strategy from Marvel, who moved all their solicitation content into their own “sidecar” publication. I’m also reminded of way back when, when Tokyopop put out their own magazine, except that was a direct-mail offering.

I do wonder how non-comic shop Image customers will be handled. With an exclusive story in the magazine, is Image trying to drive those buyers into comic shops? (Presumably, they’ll learn about it through editorial mentions or house ads in the comics they read.) Or are they expected to be satisfied with an eventual collected reprint?

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