Vertigo No More: DC Comics Ending Its Separate Imprints

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After weeks of rumors about the move, DC Comics has made it official: Vertigo and their other imprints will be shutting down as separate entities. DC Zoom and Ink, which just launched last year, are also part of the “sunsetting.”

In Dan DiDio’s words,

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material.”

It wasn’t too long ago (2018 to be exact) that DC announced the Vertigo relaunch. Now, instead of the separate imprints, all books will be published under a general DC banner but categorized for different ages. Those will be Kids, DC, and Black Label.

According to Jim Lee,

“[DC] will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”

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Some things we don’t yet know:

Will this lead to the cancellation of any comics?

What will become of the current Vertigo titles? (Seeing the Sandman Universe books under the regular DC label would be a first.)

Will reprints from the old Vertigo catalog — Preacher, 100 Bullets, etcstill carry the label? (DC already recategorized Killing Joke and Watchmen as Black Label.)

Here’s the full press release:

Beginning in 2020
All Content will be Organized Under Three Age-Specific Labels:
DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label

Vertigo Publishing Imprint to be Sunset at the End of the Year

DC announced today that beginning in 2020, all of its publishing content will be organized and marketed under the DC brand, creating three age-specific labels – DC Kids, DC and DC Black Label – that would absorb all of its existing imprints and focus DC’s publishing content around characters and stories that evolve and mature along with the awareness and sensibilities of DC’s readers. As a result of this new labeling strategy, DC will sunset the Vertigo publishing imprint at the end of the year.

The new segmentation, featuring the new age rating system, will launch in January 2020. Books currently being published under the recently launched DC Zoom and DC Ink imprints, which are focused on the middle grade and young adult segments, respectively, will be assigned to the DC Kids and DC labels depending on the content and intended audiences.

“We’re returning to a singular presentation of the DC brand that was present throughout most of our history until 1993 when we launched Vertigo to provide an outlet for edgier material,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio. “That kind of material is now mainstream across all genres, so we thought it was the right time to bring greater clarity to the DC brand and reinforce our commitment to storytelling for all of our fans in every age group. This new system will replace the age ratings we currently use on our material.”

The three labels will be structured as follows:

  • DC Kids will focus on readers ages 8-12 and offer content created specifically for the middle-grade reader
  • DC, focusing on ages 13+, will primarily be the current DC universe of characters
  • DC Black Label will focus on content appropriate for readers 17 and older

“What we’ve done here is apply an ages and stages organizing philosophy that will strengthen what we’re already doing well, whether that is our move into the young adult and middle grade audience or our long track record of success with creator-driven pop-up lines,” said DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee. “We will also continue to publish creator-owned projects, and will evaluate and assign to the appropriate label to help our fans find the best books for their interests. These new labels not only bring greater consistency and focus to our characters, but they also open up a wealth of new opportunities for the talent working on our books.”

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Kevin Sharp
From alternating Batman & Green Lantern as childhood Halloween costumes, to getting punched in my adolescent heart by Love & Rockets, to playing convention sidekick to the legendary Len Wein, I feel like the comics medium & characters are part of my DNA.

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