As part of DC’s ongoing reorganization, three editorial personnel have been laid off from the Vertigo imprint: Pornsak Pichetshote, Jonathan Vankin, and Joan Hilty, The Beat has learned. All three are Vertigo veterans. Pichetshote was responsible for the recent hit THE UNWRITTEN, while Hilty and Vankin had mostly worked in acquiring graphic novels, including fall releases, CUBA and HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS.
Hilty is a 15 year DC veteran, having worked her way up from the Trading Card department to Vertigo, to the DCU and back to Vertigo. In her tenure, she discovered Brian K. Vaughan and G. Willow Wilson, among others. She’s also a talented cartoonist — perhaps the time off will give her some time to pursue this.
Pichetshote is also a filmmaker, and in addition to the hits he’s turned out, he’s one of the better liked editors in town; rumors that he’s going crosstown to Marvel remain prevalent.
In short, all three should land on their feet just fine.
In light of the departure of Vankin and Hilty, it would be difficult not to conclude that Vertigo’s drive to acquire more original graphic novels has been dealt a blow; both were charged specifically with this, and had been busy putting out books like THE QUITTER, INCOGNEGRO, and REVOLVER. In addition, Vankin edited several books in the Vertigo Crime line.
However, earlier this year, production of Vertigo graphic novels and ongoing series in the pipeline was reexamined, and the schedule was pushed back quote a bit. We contacted several creators who have GNs in the works, and all have been assured that they are still going forward. However, going forward, an ambitious OGN acquisition slate for Vertigo looks to be one of the casualties of the reorganization.
A DC spokesman had no comment on the layoffs.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.