Today’s New York Times reports that Robert Kirkman has been named a partner in Image Comics, which puts him on footing similar to the Image founders, and will have a say in what the company publishes.
According to newly-named Publisher Eric Stephenson, Kirkman was asked to join, in part, to reward him for his commitment to working through Image for several years, which have seen the creators’ Invincible and The Walking Dead become staples of the Image lineup. “Beyond that, Robert has a pretty strong vision of what he wants to do and what comics he wants to make,” Stephenson told the Times.
The article also notes that Kirkman’s exclusive contract with Marvel ended this month. From the article:
“I enjoyed my time at Marvel and I have an affinity for their characters, but they are their characters,” Mr. Kirkman said. “I wouldn’t feel creatively fulfilled if I was 40 and still writing Spider-Man and hadn’t done anything on my own.”
Besides being a fan of the Image founders — Mr. Kirkman said he had long followed their work after they left Marvel — he said he appreciated “the unprecedented amount of freedom that they offer.” He added: “If I wanted to kill Invincible, I wouldn’t have to get clearance. At the end of the day, the decisions fall on me and my creative team.”
Kirkman, 29, joins Image founders, and current partners, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino.