Image Comics held its now annual Image Expo this past Thursday and the opening ceremony created a bit on an online controversy. When some of Image’s creators were lined up on stage, people couldn’t help but notice it wasn’t a very diverse group of folks. Of the 19 people on stage, all but two were white guys. There appeared to be only two women and no minorities.
Here’s a photo, via Bleeding Cool:
No doubt about it, that is a large group of mostly white nerdy men.
Here are just some of the comments on Twitter:
Sad to see Image just recycling the same white dudes + couple of ladies. They have a great opportunity to throw more diversity into comics.
— Janelle Asselin (@gimpnelly) January 9, 2014
I look at the talent on stage at #ImageExpo, and it's impossible not to notice that every creator is white.
— Joe Hughes (@JoeHughes28) January 9, 2014
By criticizing Image Comics for it’s apparent lack of diversity when it comes to its creators, the implication is that they discriminate against women and minorities. It’s important to point out that Image Comics is different than DC Comics and Marvel Comics. With the so-called Big Two of comic book publishing, they own the characters and the books that they publish. They hire creators, artists and writers, to work on their funny books. The fact that DC Comics and Marvel Comics seem to hire mostly white men to work on their comics is criticized, and deservedly so.
With Image Comics, it’s not like that. Image Comics doesn’t own the books they publish. Ownership of the books and the characters in Image Comics books are owned by the creator or creators who created them. Instead of Image Comics hiring creators, it’s more accurate to say that creators hire Image Comics.