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DC Comics Pulped Almost All 25th Anniversary Vertigo Hardcover Copies

In 2017, DC Comics announced they were to publish a Vertigo: A Celebration of 25 Years Hardcover that would include an oral history of the DC Comics mature readers imprint, Vertigo. Meant to published in 2018, it was delayed, and was then never released to comic book stores. One of those things. In 2019. DC announced that Vertigo would be discontinued, as part of a plan to publish all the company's comics under a single banner, with DC Black Label taking its place as DC's mature readers' imprint. And so that was that.

DC Comics Pulped Almost All 25th Anniversary Vertigo Hardcover Copies

But until this week I didn't know that the 25th Anniversary Vertigo Hardcover was actually printed – and then pulped. And checking around, it seems that no one else knew that, aside from those who got complimentary copies, or who passed them on to friends. This is how DC Comics promoted the volume.

One of the most influential imprints in comics history celebrates its 25th anniversary in this anthology graphic novel, VERTIGO: A CELEBRATION OF 25 YEARS! This deluxe hardcover relives the history of the innovative imprint as told by the people who lived it. A luxurious hybrid of oral history and retrospective art book, VERTIGO: A CELEBRATION OF 25 YEARS features a comprehensive timeline of every Vertigo project ever released; long-lost and never-before-seen artwork and story material; insightful new interviews and behind-the-scenes intrigue with Vertigo writers, artists, editors, designers and publishers; and all-new short stories and illustrations from classic Vertigo creators and other top comics talent. Vertigo has long been renowned for some of the greatest graphic storytelling of all time, as it's been home to such groundbreaking series as THE SANDMAN, SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, THE INVISIBLES, DOOM PATROL, Y: THE LAST MAN, PREACHER, FABLES, 100 BULLETS—and that's just to start. With Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Brian K. Vaughan, Scott Snyder Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Frank Quitely, Matt Wagner, Jeff Lemire and countless more among its illustrious alumni, Vertigo has been the place where iconic talent and story meet. VERTIGO: A CELEBRATION OF 25 YEARS is a dynamic look back at some of the most historic events in industry history. This anthology graphic novel will feature long-lost and never-before-seen artwork and story material, new interviews and behind-the-scenes material with Vertigo writers, artists, editors, designers and publishers and all-new short stories and illustrations from classic Vertigo creators and other top comics talent."

I honestly thought that it had not been printed because of low orders, or that it was delayed and then the label ended. Also the Warner Bros. approved nature of an oral history felt like it may have hampered the honesty. I presumed that the moment that a DC executive boasted in a Warner Bros. VP meetings of Vertigo's success, only to be asked by then-Warner Bros. exec Alan Horn why Warner Bros. didn't control or own more of the properties, and demanded vastly more restrictive contracts to be imposed as a result, leading Vertigo creators to disperse to Image, Dark Horse, Avatar, Marvel and more for better deals might not be included in such a volume. Or for all those peculiar "Essential" collections of older Vertigo material suddenly going to print after the creators enquired about getting their rights back. Roll on the Wildstorm-style unofficial Vertigo oral history. But maybe something sneaked through? DC Comics promised retailers that "EW, USA TODAY, Pop Matters, Ain't It Cool News, IGN, CBR, Comicvine, Newsarama will support the release" but there was no release and they did not.

But… there are copies out there. What was it that made it through editorial, that was considered so sensitive that it meant pulping the whole run and pretending it never happened? Will any copies get listed on eBay as a result of this article?

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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