Image Expo: 20 New Comic Projects, New Talent Grant Unveiled

Prince of Cats- H 2016
Ron Wimberly/Image Comics
New series include Cold War-era ballerinas, postapocalyptic biker gangs and the history of the world's financial markets.

Despite the announcement of 20 new projects, from new concepts and series to a new edition of a critically acclaimed graphic novel, the biggest news to come out of April's Image Expo was the return of one of the comic industry's most important editors, and an initiative designed to help the next generation of comic creators.

With new projects announced ranging from the Cold War ballerina thriller Prima to sci-fi motorcycle gang war series Motor Crush, Image Comics continued to expand the publisher's offerings beyond conventional mainstream comic genres, but one of the most surprising moments of the two-hour-plus press event came with the announcement that Karen Berger would be returning to comics to edit the new series Surgeon X.

Berger, a comic book veteran of almost four decades, is best known for her work with DC Entertainment, where she edited Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman's Sandman and created the Vertigo imprint for the publisher in 1993, spearheading the idea of mainstream comics aimed at an adult audience. (She was also responsible for DC's short-lived Minx line, aimed at teenage girls, from 2007-08.) She left DC in 2013; Surgeon X, written by Sara Kenney with art by John Watkiss, will be her first comic project since then.

Even Berger's return was eclipsed by the announcement of Creators for Creators, a new $30,000 grant to be awarded to a new creator or creative team for a project that Image Comics (and CFC partner, alternative press publisher Iron Circus Comics) will offer to publish when complete. Additionally, writers and artists of various Image titles will act as mentors to the recipients of the grant. More details about the grant can be found here.

The full list of Image Expo project announcements appears below. More details about the projects will follow in the coming months.

AFAR by Leila del Duca & Kit Seaton
A YA graphic novel about a teen girl who develops the ability to visit other planets via astral projection. (Fall 2016)

BLACK CLOUD by Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson, Aditya Bidikar & Tom Muller, edited by Maria Ludwig
Described by writer Latour as "Jessica Jones meets Roger Rabbit," the series follows a character from another world who finds herself exiled to Earth. (Fall 2016)

THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS by Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker
No less than "a mythical reinterpretation of modern global economics," Image promises the new series will include "maps, corporate organization charts, decoded apocrypha, and stock tips to die for." (Fall 2016)

After a bomb destroys New York, the Second American Civil War begins — and only five private contractors are able to bring the bombers to justice. (Winter 2016)

GLITTERBOMB by Jim Zub, Djibril Morissette-Phan, K. Michael Russell & Marshall Dillon
Writer Zub said that his new series is a horror story about the movie business. "The entertainment industry feeds on our insecurities, desires, and fears… You can’t toy with those kinds of primal emotions without them biting back.” (Summer 2016)

HORIZON, by Brandon Thomas, Juan Gedeon & Frank Martin
The arrival of an alien on Earth signals the start of an invasion — except that she is actually visiting the home planet of the race that decimated her own world. (July 2016)

THE HUNT by Colin Lorimer, Jim Campbell & Joana Lafuente
Updating Irish folk tales, a young girl goes into the afterlife to rescue the spirit of her long-dead father. (TBA 2016)

ISOLA by Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl 
A new fantasy series from the creators of DC Entertainment's Gotham Academy described as having "the scope of Game of Thrones and the spirit of Princess Mononoke." (Spring 2017)

KILL OR BE KILLED by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser
The latest comic by the team behind Criminal, Fatale and The Fade Out is a thriller about the nature of vigilantism. (Summer 2016)

LAKE OF FIRE by Nathan Fairbairn & Matt Smith
Set in 1220 AD, the Crusades are interrupted by an alien spaceship crash-landing and forcing new alliances. (Summer 2016)

MOONSHINE by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso, edited by Will Dennis
The team behind DC Entertainment's 100 Bullets reunites for a supernatural crime thriller set during the prohibition era. (Fall 2016)

MOTOR CRUSH by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, & Babs Tarr
A sci-fi series from the team behind DC Entertainment's Batgirl, filled with legal motorcycle races and illegal biking gangs. (December 2016)

PRIMA by Jen Van Meter, Rick Burchett & Eric Newsom, edited by Jeanine Schaefer
A dance company that was created to serve as a front for the Resistance during WWII continues to get involved with international politics during the height of the Cold War. (Fall 2016)

PRINCE OF CATS by Ron Wimberly
A deluxe re-issue of DC Entertainment's graphic novel retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in an alternate version of mid-1980s New York City. (Fall 2016)

ROCKSTARS by Joe Harris & Megan Hutchison
Rock and Roll collides with The X-Files in a new series described by writer Harris as "Almost Famous meets Supernatural." (Fall 2016)

ROMULUS by Bryan Hill & Nelson Blake II
In the near future, a martial artist wages war against a secret society that has controlled the world since the days of the Roman Empire. (Fall 2016)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY by Rick Remender & Jerome Opeña
Fantasy meets sci-fi in a new series by the team behind Marvel's Uncanny X-Force. (Fall 2016)

SURGEON X by Sara Kenney & John Watkiss, James Devlin & Jared K. Fletcher, edited by Karen Berger
Taking place during "an antibiotic apocalypse," one doctor uses her own flawed judgment and black market drugs to try and keep people safe. (Fall 2016)

VS by Ivan Brandon, Esad Ribi?, Ive Svorcina, Aditya Bidikar & Tom Muller, edited by Sebastian Girner
In a future where war has become entertainment, one soldier finds out what happens to those who lose the fight. (Fall 2016)

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD by Steve Niles & Alison Sampson
A road trip goes very wrong for one family as they find themselves stuck in a town filled with satanists. (Fall 2017)