Whoa, seismic news tonight as longtime Vertigo editor Shelly Bond, currently Vice President & Executive Editor and the storied Vertigo imprint, has been let go, as the imprint restructures. DC released a statement to CBR which you can read below. The move comes only days after a new “Young Animal” imprint, led by former DC intern Gerard Way, was announced, using many of the characters and tactics that made Vertigo a success when it launched in 1993.
Bond joined Vertigo in 1993, following a stint at Comico. Rising from assistant editor to editor to senior editor to group editor, and finally executive editor, next to Vertigo founder Karen Berger, she was the heart and soul of the imprint, masterminding the hugely successful Fables line and successfully shepherding the Sandman universe through its many iterations. I’m sure the internet will overflow in the next few hours with testimonies from the countless comics professionals whose careers she helped to jump start and to flourish.
But despite that storied history, it’s all about the current scheme, and Vertigo has been a weak link at DC even in a time of diminished sales. The imprint has had many reboots and restarts, with few new “franchise” series that became graphic novel perennials, despite the TV success of titles like Lucifer and iZombie. Of course, this was mainly due to Vertigo changing its contracts to take all media rights; for top line creators it makes more sense to go to Image, and that’s been evident for some time. I’m not sure that you could really lay the blame for this decline at Bond’s feet.
A recent new relaunch with 12 new titles, announced at San Diego last year, gained some critical acclaim but little sales traction. My guess is that this was the nail in the coffin for Vertigo as it had once been.
According to CBR, the Vertigo staff, including Senior Editor Jamie Rich, will now report directly to DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee.
More to come on all of this….
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.
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.