Vertigo, the iconic DC comics imprint behind Sandman and Preacher, rumoured to close
The comic book industry is in turmoil. Marvel may be raking in the moolah on the big screen, however, on the publishing front both comic giants DC and Marvel are facing issues. These range from a reduction of the total titles they are publishing; failed long-term relaunch plans; sexual allegations against one of their writers (Eric Esquivel); and so on.
Now, the grapevine is buzzing as DC Comics is reportedly planning to shut down one of its iconic sub-labels called Vertigo comics—after 26 years!
Vertigo’s meteoric rise to the top during the ’90s is widely attributed to the type of comics it was releasing. Works of sequential art—initially spurred on by writers from the UK including Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison—that dealt with crime, drugs, social commentary, violence, speculative fiction, and profanity. Best-selling titles like Fables, Sandman, Y: The Last Man were comics meant for mature readers. Several of its pieces have become episodic television shows such as iZombie, Lucifer, and Preacher. Certain others went on to become Hollywood blockbusters A History of Violence and V for Vendetta.
Vertigo changed the face of comics. It gave the medium the respect it deserved. What’s more surprising is that this rumour has popped up just as another Vertigo comic has turned into a tv show: The Kitchen.
Cosmicbooknews’ Matt McGloin states the following: Reasons cited for the closure of Vertigo include that things started to go south when Warner Bros. realised they couldn’t adapt the comics into other forms of media, such as television or movies, because the comics are creator-owned, so execs at WB demanded the contracts get changed, which saw big-name talent leave Vertigo for better contracts and jobs elsewhere, including Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Grant Morrison, and Neil Gaiman.
Additional problems are said to include Warner Bros. restructuring Vertigo which saw its founder and senior editor Karen Berger demoted and then fired by DC Comics, in addition to Berger's successor also getting fired. The two then went on to create similar brands at Dark Horse and IDW Publishing, respectively.