As part of his promotion announced earlier today, long-time Image Comics staffer/creator Eric Stephenson will also become co-owner of Image Comics. Stephenson owns a stake in the company alongside company co-founders Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino, as well as Robert Kirkman - who became a owner/partner in 2008.
Stephenson has been a part of Image since before its formulation. In 1991, Stephenson served as an assistant to Jim Valentino. After Image's founding in 1992, Valentino recommended Stephenson to Rob Liefeld to manage the Youngblood creator's expanding line of books. As Liefeld's Image Comics titles grew, so did Stephenson's role, eventually becoming Editor-In-Chief of Extreme Studios. Stephenson eventually segued to Image Comics itself as its Director of Marketing, then Executive Director. In 2008, then-publisher Erik Larsen stepped down with Stephenson named has his replacement.
"Eric has proven himself loyal, dedicated, hard working, patient, tolerant, talented, and nearly unflappable," said Valentino. "His instincts and his leadership have proven a boon not only to Image Comics, but to the comics industry as a whole. He has made us all proud. His becoming our latest partner is, in my opinion, long overdue."
Stephenson plans to continue in his role as a Publisher, while also serving as Image's first Chief Creative Officer, a board member, and a partner.