Image is really going out on a limb these days. Far, far out on a limb.
Image has become the indie center of the comics world these days, with almost every creator-owned book coming out on Image. Hard sci-fi, post-modern meta-commentary, genre horror, and strange takes on detective stories are all just part of the multicolored patchwork of the new Image comics, and even with many successful titles they simply don’t have Marvel and DC type sales numbers.
That’s why they have to get a little creative with their promotions.
The new comic Beauty, from Jason A. Hurley and Jeremy Haun, is being released as the “winner” of the Top Cow Pilot Season promotion. This initiative began in 2007 where Top Cow issues six one-shot comics and then people vote online for what they would like to see continue. Originally it used MySpace for this voting, so it certainly has evolved over the last nine years.
This new comic was described as:
Modern society is obsessed with outward beauty. What if there was a way to guarantee you could become more and more beautiful every day? What if it was a sexually transmitted disease? In the world of The Beauty, physical perfection is attainable. The vast majority of the population has taken advantage of it, but Detectives Foster and Vaughn will soon discover it comes at a terrible price.
As a way to promote this new book, Image has decided to issue special editions that come with a pamphlet about the Beauty STD that is in the book and a condom to protect yourself. This is a fun promotional that really ties well with the controversial and challenging subject matter, but also grounds it to a degree with the audience that has been steeped in a culture of safe sex and STD fear.