Monday, April 25, 2016

Off the ledge.

Karen Berger joins Image!

whoa! this should be the biggest news in comics, with the upstarts further eroding the foundation of the Pillars of Industry, DC.
But then....BAM!...

Shelly Bond fired?!?

 DC has turfed Vertigo's long time editor and current head of things, Shelly Bond has been let go in what is stated as a restructuring, the reasons being mainly that VERTIGO sales are poor.
The internet contingents lose their minds about this as is expected and many veer off into ugly territory centering around scumbag DC editor Eddie Berganza. This relates only in that it points out the disconnect from reality that DC's co-publishers and Super-Buddies, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio(t) operate under.

VERTIGO was the brainchild of Karen Berger, which was the front line of progressive comics in the American market since its inception. Shelly Bond was there from the beginning, side by side with Karen Berger building and crafting Vertigo into the industry leader it was, Always maintaining a solid core of ongoing titles (many creator owned,which is highly relevant) and publishing some of the most unique and beautifully crafted mini-series and OGNs in comics' history.

Vertigo has been going to pot since the New52 . Not suprisingly Berger left her post soon after DC did their big revamp, which in specific to this took the two central characters to the line and  dumped them back into the regular superhero line.
The loss of Swamp Thing and Hellblazer, along with the recent conclusion of Fables are devastating enough, removing from the shelves a constant presence. the back pages of each core book also carried invaluable house ads for all the various projects Vertigo produced. On The Ledge was the editorial page that also gave voice to the creators and the other folk making things happen for the imprint,
There has a visible and traumatic creativity drain from the company in these recent times because after years of producing and encouraging independent and creator owned titles the Publishers decided that they would no longer do so unless the creators ceded the rights to multimedia (read: movie making) productions to DC. Image Comics on the other hand gave creators free reign to do what they please with their creations and even gave fewer/no restrictions on content.

In previous years creators/titles that were accepted were given  a worry free 5yrs to tell their story without interference or fear of cancellation . Now titles get the axe if they haven't sold well in the first 5 issues! The publishers apparently think that the panic and reset tactics ( to less and less success)that they employ on the superhero line is a sound strategy for all it's line,
There never would have been a Sandman or Preacher or Transmetropolitan if  this "strategy" was wielded by Berger and Bond through out the previous 2 decades.

Ultimately Bond has been let go for reasons mostly out of her control and which don't address the massive amounts of TPB/GN sales tied to her Editorial stint. This move, never mind the optics is a bad one and it considerably weakens an already staggered line. Just this week DC announced the launch of another line ( headed by rocker and occasional comic writer,Gerard Way called Young Animal) apparently "in the spirit of old Vertigo"while disposing of a talent who has been there for it all.

Recently I have been critical of some of the direction from Vertigo, even wondering whether or not it would be around much longer.But I have been pleasantly surprised by many of the titles and each of the current books offers something unique and new even if it isn't to my tastes, They have continued to push forward and to challenge readers and while I believe the remaining talents at the imprint will continue to do the best that their considerable talents will afford but the repeated tampering and over-management from above will be the death of this thing.

So, say goodbye to just fell off the ledge.

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