Eisner Award winning writer and artist Jeff Lemire, best known for comics like Sweet Tooth, The Underwater Welder, and Black Hammer, has signed an exclusive deal with Image Comics. The publisher made the announcement in a press release today, calling Image “his home publisher for all forthcoming projects launching in 2022 and beyond.” Much of Lemire’s recent creator-owned work has already been published by Image including Descender and Ascender with Dustin Nguyen and Gideon Falls and Primordial with Andrea Sorrentino. Lemire is set to work with both of these artists on two upcoming Image titles, Little Monsters with Nugyen in March and The Bone Orchard Mythos with Sorrentino at a later date.
“Having worked with Image on so many projects over the last decade, I’ve come to appreciate the complete creative freedom and support that they’ve provided me,” Lemire said in a statement. “I’m excited to make Image the exclusive home for all my projects in the years to come, both solo projects that I will draw myself, and my various collaborations. Bone Orchard and Little Monsters are just the start of what I have planned this year and beyond.”
Lemire previously won the Eisner Award for Best New Series for Black Hammer in 2017 and again in 2019 for Gideon Falls.
For those curious how this might impact Lemire’s Black Hammer titles over at Dark Horse, the creator took to his newsletter after the announcement was made to clarify that these will continue. He writes:
“I have an exemption in my Image deal to finish the last few Black Hammer series as planned. So Black Hammer Reborn, Madame Dragonfly (with Dean), and the Black Hammer: The End will continue as planned and come out through Dark Horse across 2022-2023. And all the new Black Hammer comics that I have planned for this Substack will also continue as planned. So, rest east Black Hammer fans, this new deal doesn’t effect my plans for the BH Universe at all.”
Lemire also clarified that his deal with Image is for “print comics only” so comics that he’s publishing on in Substack newsletter will continue. What his exclusive deal does mean though is that he has no time for work-for-hire anymore, meaning we shouldn’t expect anymore Marvel or DC work from Lemire in the foreseeable future.
Much of Lemire’s comics have been optioned for or made the journey to live-action adaptation in recent years. Netflix debuted the first season of Sweet Tooth last year and have already renewed it for a second. Essex County is also in the works for CBC with Lemire himself developing the scripts for the series. Others from Lemire that are being worked on include The Underwater Welder by Waypoint Entertainment (Ryan Gosling is also attached as a producer), Snow Angels at AMC, Gideon Falls with Hivemind, Descender at Lark and NBC Universal, and Family Tree with Orion.