News from the archives of Internal Correspondence, the print predecessor of ICv2.com. This news from the February 1992 issue.
Malibu Announces Image Line
Dave Olbrich of Malibu was a very happy man as he proudly announced the creation of the new Image line. Image titles comprise a new universe of creator-owned books. The initial title in the new line was Rob Liefeld's very successful Youngblood. Other titles announced by Olbrich in the Image line are by Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Erik Larsen,...Olbrich alluded to other major talents signed with Image but was not at liberty to divulge their secret identities.
Reported separately was the news that Marvel's first public quarterly earnings report '...stirred quite a response from some of Marvel's young artists -- specifically Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, and others. These artists reportedly felt that more of Marvel's profits should have gone to the artists that worked on the books...'
After a brief period with Malibu, of course, the Image creators went off on their own to create the third largest comic publishing company in the US, which continues today. Valiant, Innovation, and Now all were announcing major comic publishing initiatives ten years ago; all are gone today.
The top five comic publishers for February 1992 were Marvel, with a 47% share, followed distantly by DC with 18%, Dark Horse with 7%, and Malibu with 4%, and Valiant with 2%. The breakaway of the Image artists referred to above, of course, decimated Marvel's market share, reducing it to the low thirties where it is today.
A Calvin and Hobbes book was the top media product, followed by a list heavily dominated by Star Trek, which was flying high at the time. A Doc Savage book was the top genre fiction title.
TSR held eight out of the top ten game slots with RPG products. TSR titles also dominated the game backlist bestseller list. TSR had 43% of the games business, with Games Workshop a distant second at 7%. Mayfair announced a major product as part of its DC roleplaying game system that month -- Who's Who.
Robotech was the bestselling video (wait a minute, Robotech is still hitting our anime bestseller lists regularly!) in February 1992.
Fantasy art and comic titles were the best selling non-sport trading card products in 1992.