For anyone that has followed this blog over its life of a couple years you will know that our primary focus has been watching Vertigo, especially as it changed through a rebranding process. In 2014 we were promised that 2015 would see a Vertigo rebranding, which happened in the 4th quarter as twelve new titles were released in three months. Many were miniseries, and several new ones have begun in 2016 as well. It seems that Vertigo is not stopping, and is also doubling down on being a “creator owned” imprint in the model of Image Comics.
Now, DC Comics and Gerard Way have announced the Young Animal imprint for adult-centered superhero books, all built into the larger DCU continuity. Now Vertigo has made another announcement, that it is “restructuring” how Vertigo is set up and the Vice President and Editor Shelly Bond is having her position eliminated. She is then being sent over to Young Animal rather than being downsized, which could mean simply that the idea was to bring her over to help Gerard Way at Young Animal from the start. She has been at Vertigo for 23 years, overseeing mega works like iZombie, Sandman Mystery Theatre, and The Invisibles.
The statement from Vertigo and DC Comics reads:
STATEMENT RE VERTIGO RESTRUCTURING – April 2016
· DC Entertainment is reexamining the direction and focus of the Vertigo imprint of comic books and graphic novels. The goal is to keep competitive and stay relevant in the changing marketplace, and to set the business up for future success.
The updated business structure will result for some employees in a change of reporting relationship, new job descriptions, and expanded roles and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, as part of the restructuring, the position of Vice President & Executive Editor has been eliminated. This was a very challenging process, and we made every effort to ensure all decisions were made with great care and consideration.
· We are extremely grateful for Shelly Bond’s commitment and dedication to Vertigo, its books and its incredibly talented team of staff and creators.
· In Vertigo she leaves a legacy to which we remain committed and on which we intend to build for the future. She will always be a deeply valued and respected member of the DC family.
· We have the utmost confidence in the current editorial staff and look forward to the team leaving their mark on the Vertigo line knowing this new alignment creates a stronger organization that is well positioned for maximum potential.
The big hope is that this is not a sign that Vertigo’s rebranding is being considered unsuccessful and they are preparing to close up shop in some way or another. None of the Vertigo books were dramatically successful in terms of sales, but Vertigo books rarely top the charts. Instead, they are consistent sellers that do well in the long term, sell well in trade, and do well in non-comic markets. Hopefully all of the media crossover attempts will help the imprint, and DC’s investment should last longer than the lest than a year that Vertigo’s rebranding has been going.
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