— Eric Stephenson, the publisher of Image Comics
No. There’s no such “trend”— there’ve been any number of hit comics that didn’t “explain every single thing” with sales and critical success ensuing. Even if there were such a trend, audiences are allowed to…
In an age when we are asking a reader to gamble their $3.00 on an unknown quantity, you need to come with SOMEthing in your first issue. You have to give someone enough reason to come back next month with another $3.00 instead of buying the same old reliable crap. You need to be doing it better than the mid-range superhero book you are next to on the shelf. “Trust me, it gets cool around issue 4” is not a marketing plan.
I always go back to the first episode of the Shield on this stuff. That was one of the best first episodes of anything I have ever seen. It gives you a tone, a sense of the characters, and it ends with a crazy cliffhanger. If you don’t like that first episode, you aren’t going to like that show.
You need to hook me right away. Otherwise, I have shelves full of amazing comics I could be reading and not a lot of free time.