Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TimeTravelTuesdays: A brief history of The Wildstorm Imprint(And associated comic book imprints)

So, back in the late 80s, we have Todd Mcfarlane. That name sounds familiar to you either because you're thinking "Hey that's the guy that did that Soul Calibur stuff," or you're confusing him with the guy who does Family Guy.
I'm fairly certain this is him.
So, him and his buddies were drawing Marvel comics and were like, "Dude! More Pouches!" Or something like that. And Marvel was all like "These pouch guys sell so well!" and Todd said "Hey, I want some of that pouch money" and his friend Rob just kind of sat there with this big dumb grin on his face, and Marvel just stared at them for a second and then started laughing. Like, obscenely in how much they laughed. So, Todd was all like "Not cool dude. I'll just go make pouches on my own, and it'll have Black Jack and Hookers." And so he gathered up the mightiest team of early 90s Marvel Artists and somehow got Chris Mother Fucking Claremont. And so, they formed Image, the new comic shop on the block. And they had two Provisions to their company to keep them separate from those mewling savages over at Marvel. 1) Image would not own any creator's work, the Creator would, and 2) No outside food.
We know you have outside food on you.
We have all day to search your pouches.
Now Image was a weird little thing, since Image at the start wasn't all "Invincible" and "Saga" and "The Walking Dead". It was all like "Hey, Image, is just a logo, and everyone gets to do their own thing, with their own studio, and so long as they buy their food from the concessions in the front, everything will be just groovy" Only, that was a stupid idea, and you should never give Rob Leifeld his own studio. He'll just name it Extreme Studios, and forget to feed it. But one of these studios was Wildstorm, which some accredit to the saving and only worthwhile asset to Image comics. The others really like Witchblade.
I know what you're thinking, and you're
right. This would make a good anime. 
Wildstorm was Jim Lee's brainchild, and unlike Larsen who would occasionally remember to feed Highbrow Entertainment, Lee made certain that Wildstorm would only get the best of whoever thought Marvel were kind of pricks, with titles like WildC.A.T.S. and Stormwatch. And those books were criminally... okay. For the 90s. Then Jim had a great idea "I'll get that guy who just did Marvels and let him do stuff for me, under his own imprint under my imprint, under Image comics, an Imprint of Malibu comics." And so they made Homage comics, and Kurt Busiek was all like "I'mma go make-a-da-good-comics now" And Jim just kind shrugged and said "It's cool dawg" and then fist bumped him. And Terry Moore made stuff with lesbians, and James Robinson was there, but this was 90s Robinson who was hot offa doin' Star Man, not aughts Robinson, who did Gay For Justice and that recent thing with the gay Alan Scott. Basically, the only gay allowed in Wildstorm at the time was lesbians. But like, Leifeld and MacFarlane were making money, and Jim was like "How am I not makin' money? I've got trading Cards, and Pogs, and Cartoons, and I'm doing fuckin' Imprint-ception over here with Astro City and Lesbians. Fuckin' Lesbians! How dat shit not workin' dawg?" And so Todd and Rob told Jim that the secret to making great comics is throwing money at embittered comics legends who say they hate the idea of selling out but love the idea of taking money to the face like it's bukkake porn.
"I'm a legitimate artist"
And that ended up about as well as you think it did, and to ensure that Jim would never listen to their horrible advice ever again, he jumped over to DC who at this time was so rollin' in that Sandman dough that they were spending it like a NBA player 3 weeks into retirement. And then Todd was like "Oh Shit, what is Image gunna do now?" and Robert Kirkman was like "Hai Gais!" and everything was hunky dorey from then on. Then 1999 happened, and Super heroes were dark and violent and psychopathic, and just fabulous.
Pictured: The best gay characters in
comics pre Young Avengers.
And that's like, Batman and Superman, but less leather. And they're gay for each other. And I swear that Robinson had nothin' to do with it. And then Wildstorm just kind of sat there, and Jim was off drawing some Batman stuff, and some Superman stuff, but mostly Batman stuff. And there was some licensed stuff from Wildstorm, And Issue #2 of that Grant Morrison WildCats series'll come out any day now, and then in 2010 DC was all "That'll do pig" and shut down Wildstorm, and Jim Lee was like "I've got millions now bitches!" Cause he was named Co-Publisher of DC comics. And Stormwatch was made into one of those New 52 comics, and now I think Vertigo holds all the Homage comics stuff, and Alan Moore is done with Bukkake money since he's now indignant about doing stuff like that, and thinks less of creators that do, which totally doesn't make him a hypocrite, and Image comics has been successful and everyone lived happily ever after.
Especially Tony Moore
And that is all you need to know.

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