When Ghost Machine as a project made its entry in October 2023 at New York Comic Con, it already was making waves. The project put together within a mutual collective some of the biggest names in the comic book industry by experience, work, art skill, story writing expertise and resume.
From that point, the project also laid out its game plan for how it was going to develop a multi-platform approach to rewriting the superhero comic book genre. The presentation and chatter raised eyebrows.
A Well-Planned Execution
Now, at the beginning of 2024 project members like Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok along with Peter Tomasi and Bryan Hitch are pushing out Ghost Machine #1, the first big graphic novel launch of a multi-character storyline. Various pieces have already been in play with comic book characters like Geiger, Redcoat, and similar. Now, being wrapped into one title, the combination of the Ghost Machine collective is in full swing and not likely to disappoint readers.
The Comic Book Shop Changed
Despite the common myth that comic books were an entertainment hobby of the 1980s and 1990s, with the last vestige of their presence in the recent big superhero movies the last few years, the industry continues to keep putting out new names, characters, concepts and titles.
While the top names are now moving into creator-owned projects like Ghost Machine, upstart new entries are trying their hand at direct distribution. The use of the Internet and online communities has bypassed the traditional industry and connected new artists with audiences. While doing so has produced a mixed field of flops and successes, it’s also training a whole new generation of comic book artists on how to connect with readers and own their product.
Image Helping in the Background
When it comes to publishing strength, it doesn’t hurt that Image Comics is in the background helping Ghost Machine reach full publication status. The comic book leader has a long history of supporting avant-garde titles and non-traditional storylines. Spawn, as many remember, was a distorted, troubled character with a lot of issues, and it was easily one of Image’s best early launches in the comic book industry.
The same is expected with Ghost Machine and all the other titles that Image backs and helps see fruition. It’s that kind of risk-taking and project support that has made Image continue to be the go-to name for better comic books versus the stale traditional package of yesteryear.