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Image Month: El Torres - "I got a foot in the door in this magical mystery land"

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You might have heard about how different things are in Europe in regards to creating comics. I am not talking only about format and genres, but the manner in which creators are regarded and how they are able to keep control over their creations…

Well, that is not entirely true. Here in Europe we often are hired to work on licenses and we are paid for that, of course. Every creation is managed through publishing companies and their funny interferences. But let's say there are some ideals of ethics here, where creators still can own their creations.

And then there they are; comic books. These floppies with the possibility of endless fun, a  way of telling – and reading- stories that I loved since I was a child. But to work in this business is tough for a writer and even harder if you are a writer living in Spain with no mentionable contacts within the mainstream companies and the silly ideals mentioned earlier.

I am sort of a newcomer to the comic industry, though I've been writing comics for 15 years… in Europe. I never worked for the Big Two, never had a big success or sold the rights of one of my books to the movies. I just had a couple of horror miniseries in my backpack; the type of stories which are being applauded by critics but pass almost unnoticed to the big comic reading public.

I never imagined I could do my books at Image.

    


Let me explain. .. Image is like a magical mystery land to me. Oh, the great names… the great creators working and releasing their books through Image. In my thoughts I include all of them, not only Spawn and the Dragon and all these wonderful titles from the beginning, but also the new series and do mind that I am old enough to remember when those first Image issues seemed a complete craziness when they suddenly hit the top and instantly changed the industry.

It is magical not only because of the movies and animation and TV shows based in comics, -yes, that's cool and will give the creators a lot of pennies-, but because of the comics released for the sake of being just comics. For getting the magic out to the public!

That is what I find magical. Most of the titles nowadays are just part of the marketing game -every character is a brand-, or just retcons and retellings for the sake of licenses. And there are books that aspire to be a license with a movie and a videogame from the very beginning… you know what I mean. Very few comics are released now with the point of being JUST a good comic.. but most of those comics can be found at Image.

All with a clear set of ethics on their mind.

 

Creators are fully creators at Image, for the good and for the bad. You cannot blame anyone if your book doesn't work. You receive all the credit if it will be a true adventure with profit and al. You receive help and guidance, but they still stay out of the creative cycles.
There could be a business CEO with numbers on his mind behind Image, but still it has the creator ethics at heart which were established by its Founding Fathers. The Founding Fathers still have great names, but you don't need to be or become a great name in order to be published via Image Comics. You "just" need a good comic.

It's not easy as it looks, huh? It never is! As David Hine said, “this is not vanity press”.

And then, to be at Image is a constant struggle, because more and more creators are always attracted to Image, and their books are always so damn good that sometimes I truly despair and think that every book I create isn't good enough. Let us hope I will be announcing more projects at Image very soon.

I still cannot believe I got a foot in the door in this magical mystery land. The land where I can have the best of two worlds.

Thank you, Image. And Happy Birthday To You.

El Torres
Malaga, April 2012

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El Torres is a Spanish writer currently publishing the “Nancy in Hell on Earth” miniseries at Image Comics. His past Image Comics books include “Drums” and “Nancy in Hell”. Before his run via Image Comics he wrote and published some other horror creations like “The Veil” and “The Suicide Forest”.

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