DC Comics announced that Vertigo Comics will be extinct beginning in 2020. They specifically note “DC will sunset the Vertigo publishing imprint at the end of the year.”
The news confirms rumors about the imprint being shut down from earlier this month.
In a press release, DC Comics announced they will be restructuring their comic book division under three labels: DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label. These changes are expected to go into effect in 2020.
Books being published under DC Zoom and DC Ink will be assigned to the DC Kids and DC labels “depending on the content and intended audiences.” DC Comics doesn’t specifically address their other imprints like Young Animal, Jinxworld, Wonder Comics, Sandman Universe, WildStorm, or MAD Magazine, but one can expect those titles will also be assigned based on their content and intended audiences.
- DC Kids will focus on readers between the ages of 8 and 12.
- DC will focus on readers 13+. It will “primarily be the current DC Universe of characters.”
- Finally, DC Black Label will be targeted towards readers 17+.
DC Comics Publisher Dan DiDio explained the change, “We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material.” He added, “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”
DC Comics Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee also stated, “What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines.”
Lee adds, “We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”
Lee would add on Twitter that “no books are being cancelled or going away.”
Our decision to rebrand all content under the singular DC imprint is just that. Amazing bks that comprise the Sandman Univ e.g. will continue. Big plans for yr 2! YA, pop-ups & creator-owned comics will continue to be a big part of DC. No books are being cancelled or going away pic.twitter.com/0MpLf1rtXl
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) June 21, 2019
Scott Snyder revealed that his American Vampire series will find a home under Black Label.
I cannot express how proud I am to have been a tiny part of Vertigo. And while my creator owned work like American Vampire will continue under Black Label, I just want to take a second and thank everyone who made Vertigo what it was…
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) June 21, 2019
Many comic book creators simply wished Vertigo farewell.
The comics that made me want to be a writer were Vertigo books. My first job in comics was as an editorial intern at Vertigo, working under @sxbond around the release of Fables 100. I still have more Vertigo trades on my shelf than Marvel (and I have a lot of Marvel Trades).
— James Tynion IV 🏳️🌈 (@JamesTheFourth) June 21, 2019
Goodbye, @vertigo_comics. I don’t think I’d be in comics if it weren’t for those books. Deep thanks to the pioneering @karenpberger and all the editors and creators that made it such an inspiring place.
— Cliff Chiang (@cliffchiang) June 21, 2019
Those early Vertigos are like the orange spine Penguins — timeless, perfectly perfect books. My shelf (and myself) wouldn’t be the same without them. Let’s all raise a cup of moonglow to old friends who made our lives better. Goodbye, Vertigo. You were good to us. https://t.co/kkLGmHFKAp
— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) June 21, 2019
Very sad to see Vertigo go… Where so many people got their start reading comics, and where I got my start writing for the Big Two. https://t.co/Vy9Eyi6Sdy
— Jody Houser ✒️🗯️🎲 (@Jody_Houser) June 21, 2019
Raising a grateful glass to @vertigo_comics 🥃
— jock (@Jock4twenty) June 21, 2019
This news makes me sad. I was there at the beginning, working with Vertigo visionary (and old pal) @karenpberger, two great editors (and equally-great people), Art Young and @sxbond, and a group of amazing artists. I tip my hat to them all and wish Vertigo a fond farewell. https://t.co/RPTE2xipoY
— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) June 21, 2019
DC Comics attempted to relaunch Vertigo Comics last year. However, it featured a number of extremely controversial creatives teams that included Zoe Quinn, Robbi Rodriguez, Ramon Villalobos, Eric Esquivel, Rob Sheridan, and Richard Pace among others.
Following the relaunch, the controversial creators announced would plague the imprint.
- Robbi Rodriguez would tweet unsolicited pictures of his extremities at former DC Comics Ethan Van Sciver.
- Zoe Quinn would take to social media to call Republicans evil.
- Ramon Villalobos would espouse anti-white racism.
- Rob Sheridan would attack Donald Trump supporters.
- Richard Pace advocated that businesses should deny services to those he deems “active fascists in power.”
- Eric Esquivel would be accused of sexual misconduct and see his Border Town series cancelled. He would deny the accusations.
Sales would also plummet as most titles didn’t even ship over 10,000 copies by their second issue.
Are you surprised that DC Comics is shutting down Vertigo Comics? What do you make of their new age-based restructuring? Is this a good move? Or does it spell bad things to comic for DC Comics?