I sent a few e-mails around to my usual people, but no one was talking. I e-mailed people at DC about half an hour ago, no response.
Not to me, anyway.
DC Comics just released a statement to their media partner CBR, presenting it as a restructuring of the Vertigo imprint. I also understand that talent and staff have just been informed.
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.
According to my original sources, I was told that the timing is down to the year-long contract commitment to employees who made the move from New York to Burbank being up. Due to poor sales for the Vertigo imprint, despite marketing support (such as returnability for all launch books) for the launches of a number of new projects. To Gerard Way's new mature readers line being editorially distinct. To the rise of prominence of Jamie Rich at the imprint. And the final trigger was, despite critical acclaim for many of the new books, they only garnered only one nomination for the Eisner Awards this year.
However I am also aware of considerable disagreement within the company, claims that Shelly was constantly blocked by the higher ups at the publisher, and that she's been scapegoated for Vertigo's relative poor performance.
As Shelly Roeberg, she joined DC Comics in 1993, and worked under then-Vertigo EIC Karen Berger across the Vertigo line. Marrying artist Philip Bond, she succeeded Berger as Executive Editor when Berger left after her demotion and similar company restructuring in 2012, and chose to make the move with DC from New York to Burbank.
Bleeding Cool also heard big plans for new Sandman spinoffs that Bond is rumoured to have arranged with Gaiman, and many creators have been approached to work on. However, they were originally meant to have begun publication by now, and recently it was expected that announcements would be made regarding them at ECCC. It's not known if this is a related factor, nor of their current status.
Shelly Bond is expected to stay at the publisher until the end of the month, to transition the rest of the team.
More as it develops, I'm sure.