Comics Folk On… Vertigo, and the Absence of Karen Berger and Shelly Bond

A few weeks ago, Bleeding Cool ran the news that DC Comics was to shutter the Vertigo imprint. This week, DC Comics confirmed the news, doing away with all their themed imprints, instead having three labels specific to age ranges, DC Kids for all ages, DC for 13-year-olds up and DC Black Label for 17 and over. But with Vertigo having the longest and richest history it was the absence of founder Karen Berger and Shelly Bond in recent years that figured strongly in comic book creators memories, and judgement,

Comics Folk On... Vertigo, and the Absence of Karen Berger and Shelly Bond

While Warren Ellis wrote,

This is a saddening thing. I was never really a "Vertigo writer" – TRANSMETROPOLITAN was brought into Vertigo after the sunsetting of the DC Helix line it was actually created for and published by, and I only did a handful of issues of HELLBLAZER before I had to leave, I never really "fit" there the way Garth and Grant and everyone else did, never for a moment felt like I was in that club – but I've always believed that DC Vertigo was central to the health of the American medium. Its creation made the medium a better place, and its sunset will make the medium poorer. Companies like Vault Comics have stepped into the breach, to be sure — their line is very much an early-Vertigo ideal. But: a giant media company putting relatively serious resources into serious work that the company would not own but simply believed should be published? That was a major statement about original creator-owned cross-genre/non-genre narrative art and its importance. Something of importance sailed away at sunset tonight, and I suspect we may not see it again. Good night, you crooked old house of mystery and secrets. I'll miss you.

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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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