After months of rumors, DC Comics made the news official today that Vertigo, the long-standing edgy imprint that gave birth to some of the best and most literate comic books of the last 26 years would be no more, effective as of January of 2020.
Publisher Dan Didio stated that “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. 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.”
The entire DC Comics line will now be organized into three labels under one banner including: DC Kids (for elementary and middle-school readers ages 8-12 ), DC (for ages 13+ featuring the current DC universe of characters), and Black Label (for adult readers over the age of 17). Titles that survive the reorganization will be reassigned to one of the above new designations.
DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee assured readers that the company “…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.”
Regardless of the name change, many fans who grew up with the label lament the closing of the Vertigo imprint, as it was the “go-to” place for the unusual and boundary-pushing material that was often hard to find in the primarily spandex world of comic books. Former Editor in Chief of Vertigo (and chief architect of the line), Karen Berger, took to twitter and stated that “Corporate thinking & Creative risk-taking don’t mix” in relation to the closure.
Corporate thinking & creative risk-taking don’t mix.DC nixing Vertigo was a longtime coming. But hey, we changed the game & we had a blast doing it!Honored to have worked with so many incredibly talented creators & editors & thx to all our fab readers! #VivaVertigo #Bergerbooks
— Karen Berger (@karenpberger) June 21, 2019
Luckily, fans of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, crime, and many others can still find these genres represented in many of DC competitors such as Image and Dark Horse which have reinvigorated their brands in recent years with a focus on creator-owned, non-traditional story telling.
Stay tuned for further news from the world of horror comics, right here at Horror News Network.