Top Cow Productions

From Academic Kids

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Top Cow Productions (TCP) is an imprint of Image Comics founded by Marc Silvestri in the 1992. During Image's initial stages, Silvestri shared a studio with Jim Lee, where he created his first creator-owned comic, Cyberforce, as part of Image's initial line-up.

After setting up his own studio, Top Cow expanded into other comics, launching Codename: Strykeforce, a new Cyberforce series and various spin-offs. The company attracted various professionals known across the industry, including artist Brandon Peterson, writer Garth Ennis and former Marvel staffer David Wohl. It also helped launching the careers of various writers and artists, such as Christina Z., Joe Benitez, Michael Turner and David Finch. Turner and Finch have since worked for DC and Marvel Comics.

In 1996, Top Cow was briefly moved away from Image during a power struggle with Image associate Rob Liefeld, returning shortly afterwards, when Liefeld was removed from the company. At the same time, Top Cow was abandoning superheroes and moving into a darker subsegment of the fantasy genre, with new properties Witchblade and The Darkness, where Marc Silvestri returned to artist duties.

Due to the success of these titles, Top Cow, which was now functioning like a regular publishing company, launched a line of creator-owned comics, that included Fathom and Aphrodite IX. Unfortunately, problems with deadlines and royalties forced Michael Turner to leave the company, and Top Cow went back to focus on their chief properties. Silvestri tried the concept once more with a new imprint, Joe's Comics, created exclusively for J. Michael Straczynski, launching Rising Stars and Midnight Nation, but once again disagreements led to the imprint's demise.

Top Cow is also known for bringing Tomb Raider's Lara Croft to comics, with various graphic novels written and drawn by some of the industry's best known creators, including former writers Dan Jurgens and Paul Jenkins and artist Andy Park. The cartoon Battle of the Planets is another licensed property where Top Cow has invested, thanks to the collaboration of cover artist Alex Ross.

Top Cow titles

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