Fans may be surprised to learn that Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson has been added to the company’s Board of Directors, wondering what difference that might make to the company and his career beyond semantics.
Basically, the Board of Directors at Image Comics all hail from an earlier period in the indie publisher’s development, aside from Robert Kirkman, forming a kind of Pantheon of the original studios that made up the company.
For someone to be added to this Board is a big deal, and reflective of the current board’s perceptions of Stephenson’s success governing the publishing side of things.
Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino are the other members of the company’s Board of Directors. And in essence, by joining them, Stephenson has become a partner in the company.
In early 1992—right after we’d founded Image—the best piece of advice I gave my friend and occasional studio mate, Rob Liefeld, was to hire Eric to be his editor. In the years since, Eric’s been the editor-in-chief for Extreme Studios, he was first my right-hand-man and then Erik Larsen’s when we each served as Publisher, and then eventually the Publisher himself. Eric has proven himself loyal, dedicated, hard working, patient, tolerant, talented, and nearly unflappable. 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 has been acting as Publisher for 10 years, and Image Comics has risen from fifth to third-ranked publisher in the industry during that time, holding at that position for seven years. The honors garnered by the publisher in the last decade have been substantial, not least among them over 30 Eisner awards.
As publisher of Image Comics over the past decade, Eric has helped grow this company and helped attract the very best writers and artists this industry has to offer, and it’s that tireless pursuit of excellence that has now earned him the title Chief Creative Officer as our newest partner. We hope this move emphasizes the stability we will continue to bring to our company and more importantly, with Eric’s addition to Image’s board of directors, it will assure retailers and creators alike that the key person you have all grown accustomed to working with is going to be there for you for many years to come.
Our congratulations to Eric Stephenson for this becoming a member of the Board of Directors at Image!