For most of comic book’s history the two major companies, DC Comics and Marvel, have not always been very kind to their creators. In fact, the creators of arguably the most important superhero, Superman, saw very little in residuals from DC Comics. In the 90s, during comic books second major boom, companies would hire creators to work on known creations, but would give them very little in regards to creative process and even less when it came to residuals and royalties. Even in instances where the creator, developed their own superhero for the company (e.g. Deadpool, who was created by Rob Leifeld in the 1990s for Marvel), the company would retain all of the rights to the creator.
In the Winter of 1991-92, seven Marvel artists (pictured above), who were disillusioned with this corporate model, decided they had enough, and started their own company with a new creator-friendly model comics. This company was called Image Comics. You can watch rise of the company in the new documentary, The Image Revolution (AV PN 6725.I434 2016), or read about in the EW feature The Coolest Comic-Book Company on Earth by Clark Collis.
What was interesting about this new company is that the only thing that image would own would be the the logo of their company. Everything else would belong to the creators (including most of the costs). It was a new way of doing business, that the major publishers hated, but eventually would have to embrace (if only slightly). And to this day, Image Comics is the main competition to the Big Two, and still continues to shape public consumption of comic books, with titles like The Walking Dead, Spawn, and Saga. You can find all of the Image titles we have on display this month of the Creator-Owned comic book display.